Secrets of a Parisian Illustrators’ Agent

February 21, 2024

By Hugo Weinberg

Hugo represents over 100 world-class illustrators reflecting a full range of styles and sensibilities. He has vast experience serving the French and international communications communities, with clients that include media companies as well as brands in the consumer, B2B, luxury goods and cultural sectors. You can contact Hugo at

Key Takeaways:

  • Illustration offers a powerful medium to com­mu­ni­cate brand unique­ness.
  • Illustration is flexible and good at com­mu­ni­cat­ing ideas from simple to complex.
  • Working with an illus­tra­tor effec­tive­ly requires following a certain process.
  • Illustration is well adapted to B2B campaigns, providing orig­i­nal­i­ty and unique­ness.
  • It can be an afford­able way to make your brand stand out.

Illustrators’ agent Hugo Weinberg is syn­ony­mous with illus­tra­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you’ve been lucky enough to have spent time in the Paris com­mu­ni­ca­tions scene over the last decades. His career began with a love of illus­tra­tion, for its extra­or­di­nary ability to grab the eye of even the most dis­tract­ed indi­vid­ual with cunning, beauty and intel­li­gence. And for the alchemy it creates between a brand and the illus­tra­tor’s per­son­al­i­ty, craft and style—a mixture that always gives birth to something unique and exciting.

CONTENTI sat down with Hugo to discuss his passion for illus­tra­tion and what his job entails.

C: Can you briefly tell us what your job entails? 

HW: I represent over one hundred illus­tra­tors with diverse styles, tech­niques, inspi­ra­tion and visions. I work as a connector between these artists and companies in the pub­lish­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, man­u­fac­tur­ing, luxury goods and other indus­tries, who seek to use the power of illus­tra­tion to support and dif­fer­en­ti­ate their brands and products.

C: Why is illus­tra­tion powerful and how can brands use it? 

HW: Illustration offers the oppor­tu­ni­ty for a brand to draw on an artist’s unique style and vision to create something that is truly dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing. Also, no medium is better adapted to conveying ideas thanks to its incred­i­ble flex­i­bil­i­ty.  

C: How does an illus­tra­tion job begin? 

HW: I can be called by an editorial director of a book col­lec­tion or a pub­li­ca­tion that has a certain type of illus­tra­tion in mind for a cover or an article. Or it might be an art director or creative director from an ad agency or other business. They may have a par­tic­u­lar artist in mind or are looking for a certain style and ask me to propose an artist.    

C: What are the steps involved in engaging and working with a pro­fes­sion­al illus­tra­tor? 

HW: Choosing the right illus­tra­tor for the job is the starting point. I’ve worked on thousands of illus­tra­tion projects and am familiar with how each of my illus­tra­tors works, so I am good at setting up winning rela­tion­ships. The brief is extremely important. A good brief is essential to setting expec­ta­tions from the beginning. I often play a role in helping clients define the brief, and together we can work towards ideas that will translate effec­tive­ly to the medium of illus­tra­tion.

C: What are some of the reasons your clients choose original illus­tra­tions? 

HW: Editorial directors look for smart, lively graphics that uniquely capture the subject at hand—an article, book or magazine cover. Just as impor­tant­ly, they want to draw the reader’s attention and create a sense of intrigue for the contents inside which can’t be assessed at a glance. Brands, either directly or through their agencies, contact me to help them create a unique visual style for corporate branding, packaging, or a brand or marketing campaign.

C: How is working with an illus­tra­tor different from working with a creative agency or freelance art director? 

HW: Professional illus­tra­tors, at least the ones I represent, have a par­tic­u­lar artistic vision and style that people seek out, although illus­tra­tors can master more than one style. I encourage clients to let the artist apply that vision and inspi­ra­tion to the defined problem within the confines of the brief. That’s why it’s so important to link the right illus­tra­tor to the right project and set expec­ta­tions with a good brief.  

C: How do you take into account an artist’s working process? 

HW: The most important thing is to progress by defined steps. After the brief, the artist will produce a rough drawing. The rough will make the idea concrete and ensure that every­thing was under­stood and that it reflects the message that the client wants to tell. The next step before the final execution is to fine tune the rough and add precision. The illus­tra­tor begins the final artwork once all comments have been inte­grat­ed at this pre­lim­i­nary stage.

C: We’ve worked together on numerous occasions for CONTENTI’s B2B clients. Your role encom­pass­es a lot more than iden­ti­fy­ing the right illus­tra­tor for the job. 

HW: Because I know my illus­tra­tors and how they work, I can help make sure that both parties perfectly under­stand each other. That can smooth out the creative devel­op­ment process, save time for everyone, and make sure everyone is delighted with the expe­ri­ence. 

C: Do you get a lot of requests for illus­tra­tion in the B2B sector? 

HW: Absolutely! It’s a great medium to bring technical subjects to life because it can adapt to any idea—and best of all, the result is one-of-a-kind, helping B2B companies dif­fer­en­ti­ate their brands.

C: One final question… Is illus­tra­tion expensive?

HW: Less than you might think, but obviously more than you would pay for an off-the-shelf image. People invest in illus­tra­tion because they want access to what it can provide: unique­ness, quality and the intel­li­gence, aes­thet­ics and human sen­si­bil­i­ties reflected in the illus­tra­tor’s vision. You can pay less for a stock image, but you won’t get any of those qualities.

A few samples from some of the illus­tra­tors Hugo rep­re­sents

(Go to

to see more examples.

A retro robot sorting papers in a 1950s style office, illustration
Mark Thomas for Lucca
Poster for Willi's Wine Bar in Paris for the 2024 Olympics
MH Jeeves for Willi’s Wine Bar
Illustration of the Paris Opera for Arte
Ulla Puggaard for Arte
Jeff Fisher for the OECD
Ruby Taylor for Vittel showing illustration of a city with a QR code in the middle.
Ruby Taylor for Vittel
A bird motif for a Hermès scarf by Jeff Fisher
Jeff Fisher for Hermès

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