We all have something to say and we want a phone to hear or maybe we want an eye to see our words. It is not possible to say everything. Some words and messages should be deleted. Writing ancient languages was more similar to drawing, because it was important to convey messages and communicate. Sometimes sketching is the best tool to convey a message.

Humans are always looking for new and creative ways and tools to communicate with others and the world around them. The reason is clear: the means of communication must deliver a specific message to the audience, as the speaker wants. No one wants others to misunderstand what he means, what he says, and his message, or not at all.

Based on this, it can be concluded that the way that is chosen to say (transmit the message) should firstly be suitable for the message and secondly, it should be suitable for the audience of that message. It is precisely for this reason that they choose children’s picture books to talk to children. Because it is with the help of illustration that the message and story is told to the child.

It’s not just children who understand the language of pictures well, adults do too. Basically, with the help of pictures, plans, maps, and charts, not only can you easily simplify a lot of complex information and tell the audience, you can also send simple and one-line messages (such as: see and buy this product!) in the most attractive and engaging way. He reached his audience.

It is for this reason that images and illustrations have wide and varied uses and are considered visual ways of conveying messages to the audience. This image may be a diagram in a textbook or an infographic on a news site, or it may be a design on the packaging of a particular product or an advertising banner image.

This article aims to familiarize you with illustration and its uses and types. We start from the definition of Illustration.

What is illustration?

First, let’s see what this word means in the word and what its lexical root is. Illustration is a noun made from the verb illustrate. Illustrate has a Greek root, which means to make clear. Therefore, the meanings of Illustration are: to bring an example, description, image and photo. Among these meanings, which are all related, the best equivalent is image and visualization.

In short, illustration is a visualization made by an artist. It is a drawing (or painting, collage, engraving, photo, etc.) that explains something. The illustration doesn’t have to be drawn—a photo in an encyclopedia is also an illustration, because it explains what is written.

Therefore, as it was said in the introduction, illustrations have the task of conveying messages and explanations. That is, the illustrator has an idea and must convey something to the audience with the image he draws or creates. Illustrations may be used to supplement and interpret the text or content, or be used alone and independently.

Imaging may be done with different techniques and devices. Or it may be very professional, complicated and expensive (such as illustration for children’s books, which has its own training), simple designs may be drawn on white paper with a black pen, or it may be done with the help of digital design and special software (such as 3D Modeling or Illustrator) illustration has been done.

All kinds of illustrations

As we said and it is clear from the definition of illustration, its applications cannot be limited to a few specific cases. In every profession, job, and industry, imagery can be used to convey a message or help understand an idea (in animations, movies, computer games, books, magazines, brochures and flyers, teaching aids and educational aids, digital designs, multimedia, etc.).

In the following, we introduce 7 types of illustrations that are most used in the real and digital world, along with an example for each:

1) Editorial Illustration or text-based illustrations

These types of illustrations are always accompanied by the text, that is, they explain and interpret and accompany the text. This text can be a story in a book or a magazine or newspaper or the content of a website or application. In this type, the fit of the image and content and attractiveness (the beauty of the image) is very important.

2) Concept Art or conceptual illustrations

This type of illustrations are used in making movies, animations, comic books and computer games. In these illustrations, mental ideas of characters, story events, spaces and other details are designed before being made, so that they can be engraved and modified with the opinion of other involved teams and become the final design.

3) Scientific Illustration or scientific/technical illustrations

Any illustration that is made with the purpose of simplifying and helping to understand a scientific or technical or technological subject is included in this category. All illustrations in books and educational and academic resources are of this type. These illustrations can be accompanied by numbers or text. What distinguishes this type from text-based illustrations is the necessity of their simplicity and clarity (that is, the images must be far from ambiguity and complexity).

4) Fashion Illustration

The first thing fashion designers do is to draw the clothes that are going to be sewn and displayed. In this picture, all the details of the dress, the color combination, the jewelry that should be worn with it, the bag and shoes, even the model’s hair and make-up are drawn. This illustration may be in ink and on paper or computerized and using software. Designers of jewelry, bags, shoes and interior decoration designers act in the same order.

5) Advertising Illustration

Any type of illustration that is made for the purpose of advertising a specific product and brand is of this type. The idea of this illustration, expressiveness, attractiveness and their specificity are very important. Advertising illustrations are designed for various purposes (presenting product benefits, introducing a new product, comparing several products, introducing a brand, etc.). But with whatever purpose they are designed, they must remain in the mind of the audience.

6) Packaging Illustration

This type may also be associated with advertising purposes. The more attractive the product packaging, the more tempting it is for the customer. Its difference with the previous type is that the packaging should primarily serve the brand and product. It should somehow show the audience the feeling and experience of owning and consuming the product.

7) Infographics

You must have seen many infographics and you know very well what their work is. The main purpose of this type of visualization is to show statistics and information using statistics and graphs. Infographics have different uses (to show figures and statistics related to the growth of a business, medical infographics, environmental infographics, etc.). It may be a scientific and educational visualization of the infographic type.

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