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An illustration is a decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process, designed for integration in print and digital published media, such as
poster A poster is a temporary promotion of an idea, product, or event put up in a public space for mass consumption. Typically, posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Post ...
s, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials,
animation Animation is a method in which Image, figures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent cel, celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most an ...

animation
s,
video games#REDIRECT Video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device ...

video games
and
films A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface ...
. An illustration is typically created by an
illustrator An illustrator is an artist who specializes in enhancing writing or elucidating concepts by providing a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text or idea. The illustration may be intended to clarify complicated c ...
. Digital illustrations are often used to make websites and apps more user-friendly, such as the use of
emojis Emoji ( ; from Japanese language, Japanese 絵文字 ; plural ''emoji'' or ''emojis'') are pictograms, logograms, ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages. The emoji’s primary function is not to usurp language but to ...

emojis
to accompany digital type. Illustration also means providing an example; either in writing or in picture form. The origin of the word "illustration" is late Middle English (in the sense ‘illumination; spiritual or intellectual enlightenment’): via
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the Latin spok ...
from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
''illustratio''(n-), from the verb ''illustrare''.


Illustration styles

Contemporary illustration uses a wide range of styles and techniques, including
drawing Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically and/or chemically processing cellulose fibres derived from wood, Textile, rags, poaceae, grasses or ...
,
painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, ...

painting
,
printmaking , ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printmaking is the process of creating work of art, artworks by printing, normally on paper, but also on fabric, wood, metal, and other surfaces. "Traditional printmaking" normally covers only the process of ...
,
collage Collage (, from the french: coller, "to glue" or "to stick together";) is a technique of art creation, primarily used in the visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture Sculpture is the ...
,
montage
montage
, digital design,
multimedia Multimedia is a form of communication that combines different content forms such as text Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory) Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theo ...

multimedia
, 3D modelling. Depending on the purpose, illustration may be expressive, stylised, realistic or highly technical. Specialist areas include: *
Architectural illustration Architectural rendering, architectural illustration, or architectural visualization is the art of creating three-dimensional images or animations showing the attributes of a proposed architectural upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second ...
*
Archaeological illustrationArchaeological illustration is a form of technical illustration that records material derived from an archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology ...
*
Botanical illustration Botanical illustration is the art of depicting the form, color, and details of plant species, frequently in watercolor paintings. They must be scientifically accurate but often also have an artistic component and may be printed with a botanical d ...
*
Concept art Concept art is a form of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly ...
*
Fashion illustration Fashion Illustration is the art of communicating fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with illustration, drawing and painting and also known as Fashion sketching. It is mainly used by fashion designers to brainstorm their ideas on paper ...
*
Information graphics Infographics (a clipped compound of "information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics. The c ...
* '' Livre d'art'' *
Technical illustration Technical Illustration is illustration meant to visually communicate information of a technical nature. Technical illustrations can be components of technical drawings or diagram A diagram is a symbolic representation of information In ...
*
Medical illustration A medical illustration is a form of biological illustration that helps to record and disseminate medical, anatomical, and related knowledge. History Medical illustrations have been made possibly since the History of medicine, beginning of medicine ...
*
Narrative illustrationIn comics studies, sequential art is a term proposed by comics artist Will EisnerWill Eisner, ''Comics and Sequential Art'', Poorhouse Press, 1990 (1st ed.: 1985), p. 5. to describe art forms that use images deployed in a specific order for the purpo ...
*
Picture books A picture book combines visual and verbal narratives in a book format, most often aimed at young children. With the narrative told primarily through text, they are distinct from comics, which do so primarily through sequential images. The images in ...
*
Scientific illustration An illustration is a decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process, designed for integration in print and digital published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations Anim ...


Technical and scientific illustration

Exploded-view diagram of a gear pump (c 2007)
Technical Technical may refer to: * Technical (vehicle), an improvised fighting vehicle * Technical analysis, a discipline for forecasting the future direction of prices through the study of past market data * Technical drawing, showing how something is con ...
and
scientific illustration An illustration is a decoration, interpretation or visual explanation of a text, concept or process, designed for integration in print and digital published media, such as posters, flyers, magazines, books, teaching materials, animations Anim ...
communicates information of a technical or scientific nature. This may include
exploded view Image:Gear pump exploded.png, upright=1.3, Exploded view drawing of a gear pump An exploded view drawing is a diagram, picture, schematic or technical drawing of an object, that shows the relationship or order of manufacturing, assembly of variou ...
s, cutaways, fly-throughs, reconstructions, instructional images, component designs,
diagrams A diagram is a symbolic representation of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics. T ...
. The aim is "to generate expressive images that effectively convey certain information via the visual channel to the human observer".Ivan Viola and Meister E. Gröller (2005).
Smart Visibility in Visualization
. In: ''Computational Aesthetics in Graphics, Visualization and Imaging''. L. Neumann et al. (Ed.)
Technical and scientific illustration is generally designed to describe or explain subjects to a nontechnical audience, so must provide "an overall impression of what an object is or does, to enhance the viewer's interest and understanding". In contemporary illustration practice, 2D and 3D software is often used to create accurate representations that can be updated easily, and reused in a variety of contexts.


Illustration as fine art

In the art world, illustration has at times been considered of less importance than
graphic design Graphic design is the art, profession and academic discipline whose activity consists in projecting visual communications intended to transmit specific messages to social groups, with specific objectives. Therefore, it is an interdisciplinary ...
and
fine art In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. In the aesthe ...

fine art
. Today, however, due in part to the growth of
graphic novel
graphic novel
and
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
industries, as well as increased use of illustration in magazines and other publications, illustration is now becoming a valued art form, capable of engaging a global market. Original illustration art has been known to attract high prices at auction. The US artist
Norman Rockwell Norman Percevel Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was an American painter and illustrator. His works have a broad popular appeal in the United States for their reflection of Culture of the United States, American culture. Rockwell ...
's painting "Breaking Home Ties" sold in a 2006
Sotheby's Sotheby's () is a British-founded American multinational corporation with headquarters in New York City. It is one of the world's largest brokers of fine art, fine and decorative art, jewellery, and collectibles. It has 80 locations in 40 countr ...
auction for US$15.4 million. Many other illustration genres are equally valued, with pinup artists such as
Gil Elvgren Gillette Elvgren (March 15, 1914 – February 29, 1980) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States ...
and
Alberto Vargas Joaquin Alberto Vargas y Chávez (9 February 1896 – 30 December 1982) was a noted Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Se ...
, for example, also attracting high prices.


History

Historically, the art of illustration is closely linked to the industrial processes of
printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour shows the Teide volcano. The city of Santa Cruz ...

printing
and
publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as books, newspa ...
.


Early history

The illustrations of medieval
codices The codex (plural codices () was the historical ancestor of the modern book. Instead of being composed of sheets of paper, it used sheets of vellum, papyrus, or other materials. The term ''codex'' is often used for ancient manuscript books, wit ...
were known as
illuminations ''IllumiNations'' was a series of nightly fireworks shows at Epcot before IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was created in 1999 for the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration. Le Carnival de Lumiere The first evening presentation, Le Carniva ...
, and were individually hand drawn and painted. With the invention of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a printing, print medium (such as paper or cloth), thereby transferring the ink. It marked a dramatic improvement on earlier printing methods in whi ...
during the 15th century,
books A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many page (paper), pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bookbinding, bound together and protected by a book cover, cover. The t ...
became more widely distributed, often illustrated with
woodcuts Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with Chisel#Gouge, gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. ...
. Some of the earliest illustrations come from the time of ancient
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identif ...
(Khemet) often as
hieroglyph A hieroglyph ( Greek for "sacred carvings") was a character of the ancient Egyptian writing system. Logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. ...
. A classic example of illustrations exists from the time of The Tomb of Pharaoh
Seti I Menmaatre Seti I (or Sethos I in Greek) was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the son of Ramesses I and Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, ...
, circa 1294 BC to 1279 BC,who was father of
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...

Ramses II
, born 1303 BC. 1600s Japan saw the origination of
Ukiyo-e Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including Jōmon pottery, ancient pottery, Japanese sculpture, sculpture, Ink wash painting, ink painting and Japanese calligraphy, calligraphy on sil ...

Ukiyo-e
, an influential illustration style characterised by expressive line, vivid colour and subtle tones, resulting from the ink-brushed wood block printing technique. Subjects included traditional folk tales, popular figures and every day life.
Hokusai known simply as Hokusai, was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printma ...

Hokusai
’s ''The Great Wave off Kanagawa'' is a famous image of the time. During the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, the main reproduction processes for illustration were
engraving '' (1514), an engraving by Northern Renaissance The Northern Renaissance was the Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages In ...

engraving
and
etching , who is believed to have been the first to apply the technique to printmaking. '', an etching by Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch Drawing, draughtsman, painter, and printmak ...
. In 18th Century England, a notable illustrator was
William Blake William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his life, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the Romantic poetry, poetry and visual art of th ...

William Blake
(1757–827), who used
relief etching , who is believed to have been the first to apply the technique to printmaking. '', an etching by Rembrandt (c. 1648). Rembrandt is generally considered the greatest etcher in the history of the medium (as an art in its own right). His most im ...
. By the early 19th century, the introduction of
lithography Lithography () is a method of printing originally based on the miscibility, immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by the German auth ...
substantially improved reproduction quality.


19th century

In Europe, notable figures of the early 19th Century were John Leech,
George Cruikshank George Cruikshank (27 September 1792 – 1 February 1878) was a British caricaturist and book illustrator, praised as the "modern Hogarth" during his life. His book illustrations for his friend Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dicken ...
,
Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian e ...
illustrator
Hablot Knight Browne Hablot Knight Browne (10 July 1815 – 8 July 1882) was an English artist and illustrator. Well-known by his pen name, Phiz, he illustrated books by Charles Dickens, Charles Lever, and Harrison Ainsworth. Early life Of Huguenot ancestry, Hablot ...
, and, in France,
Honoré Daumier Honoré-Victorin Daumier (; February 26, 1808February 10, 1879) was a French painter, sculptor, and printmaker, whose many works offer commentary on the social and political life in France, from the Revolution of 1830 to the fall of the second Nap ...
. All contributed to both satirical and "serious" publications. At this time, there was a great demand for
caricature by Max Beerbohm (1896), taken from ''Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentlemen'' A caricature is a rendered image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way through sketching, pencil strokes, or through other artistic drawin ...

caricature
drawings encapsulating social mores, types and classes. The British humorous magazine ''
Punch Punch commonly refers to: * Punch (combat) A punch is a striking blow with the fist. It is used in most martial arts and combat sports, most notably boxing Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing boxing glove, protec ...
'' (1841–2002) built on the success of Cruikshank's '' Comic Almanac'' (1827–1840) and employed many well-regarded illustrators, including Sir
John Tenniel Sir John Tenniel (; 28 February 182025 February 1914)Johnson, Lewis (2003), "Tenniel, John", ''Grove Art Online, Oxford Art Online'', Oxford University Press. Web. Retrieved 12 December 2016. was an English illustrator, graphic humorist and polit ...

John Tenniel
, the
Dalziel BrothersThe Brothers Dalziel was a prolific wood-engraving business in Victorian London, founded in 1839 by George Dalziel. The Dalziel Family In 1840, George (1st December 1815 - 4th August 1902) was joined in the business by his brother Edward Dalziel ( ...
, and
Georges du Maurier
Georges du Maurier
. Although all fine art trained, their reputations were gained primarily as illustrators. Historically, Punch was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s. The magazine was the first to use the term "
cartoon A cartoon is a type of illustration, sometimes animated, typically in a non- realistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning has evolved over time, but the modern usage usually refers to either: an image or series of images intended fo ...
" to describe a humorous illustration and its widespread use led to John Leech being known as the world's first "
cartoonist A cartoonist (also comic strip creator, comic book artist, graphic novel artist, or comic book illustrator) is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons (individual images) or comics (sequential images). Cartoonists include the artists w ...
". In common with similar magazines such as the Parisian Le Voleur, Punch realised good illustration sold as well as good text. With publication continuing into the 21st Century, Punch chronicles a gradual shift in popular illustration, from reliance on caricature to sophisticated topical observation.


The "Golden Age"

From the early 1800s
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most ...

newspaper
s, mass-market
magazine A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media) ...

magazine
s, and illustrated books had become the dominant consumer media in Europe and the New World. By the 19th century, improvements in
printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour shows the Teide volcano. The city of Santa Cruz ...

printing
technology freed illustrators to experiment with color and rendering techniques. These developments in printing effected all areas of literature from cookbooks, photography and travel guides, as well as children's books. Also, due to advances in printing, it became more affordable to produce color photographs within books and other materials. By 1900, almost 100 percent of paper was machine-made, and while a person working by hand could produce 60-100lbs of paper per day, mechanization yielded around 1,000lbs per day. Additionally, in the 50-year period between 1846 and 1916, book production increased 400% and the price of books was cut in half. In
America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...
, this led to a "golden age of illustration" from before the 1880s until the early 20th century. A small group of illustrators became highly successful, with the imagery they created considered a portrait of American aspirations of the time. Among the best-known illustrators of that period were N.C. Wyeth and
Howard Pyle Howard Pyle (March 5, 1853 – November 9, 1911) was an American illustrator and author, primarily of books for young people. He was a native of Wilmington, Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States ...

Howard Pyle
of the
Brandywine School The Brandywine School was a style of illustration—as well as an art colony, artists colony in Wilmington, Delaware and in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, near the Brandywine Creek (Christina River), Brandywine River—both founded by artist Howard Pyl ...
,
James Montgomery Flagg James Montgomery Flagg (June 18, 1877 – May 27, 1960) was an American artist, comics artist and illustrator. He worked in media ranging from fine art painting to cartooning, but is best remembered for his political posters. Life and career Fla ...

James Montgomery Flagg
,
Elizabeth Shippen Green Elizabeth Shippen Green (September 1, 1871 – May 29, 1954) was an American illustrator. She illustrated children's books and worked for publications such as '' The Ladies' Home Journal'', ''The Saturday Evening Post ''The Saturday Evening Po ...

Elizabeth Shippen Green
,
J. C. Leyendecker Joseph Christian Leyendecker (March 23, 1874 – July 25, 1951) was a German-American illustrator. He is considered to be one of the preeminent American illustrators of the early 20th century. He is best known for his poster, book and advertisin ...
,
Violet Oakley Violet Oakley (June 10, 1874 – February 25, 1961) was an American artist. She was the first American woman to receive a public mural commission. During the first quarter of the twentieth century, she was renowned as a pathbreaker in mural deco ...
,
Maxfield Parrish Maxfield Parrish (July 25, 1870 – March 30, 1966) was an American painter and illustration, illustrator active in the first half of the 20th century. He is known for his distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery. His ...
,
Jessie Willcox Smith Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) was an American illustrator during the Golden Age of American illustration. She was considered "one of the greatest pure illustrators". She was a contributor to books and magazines during ...

Jessie Willcox Smith
, and John Rea Neill. In
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...

France
, on 1905, the Contemporary Book Society commissioned Paul Jouve to illustrate Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Paul Jouve will devote ten years to the 130 illustrations of this book which will remain as one of the masterpieces of bibliophilia.


See also

*
Association of Illustrators The Association of Illustrators (AOI) is a British trade association for illustration, to advance and protect illustrators' rights. It was established in the United Kingdom in 1973. The AOI promotes and encourages commercial and ethical standards ...
*
Association of Medical Illustrators The Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) is an international organization based in Illinois that offers certification in the field of medical illustration. A bachelor's degree with a major (academic), major in art and a minor (academic), mino ...
*
Comic book illustration A cartoonist (also comic strip creator, comic book artist, graphic novel artist, or comic book illustrator) is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons (individual images) or comics (sequential images). Cartoonists include the artists w ...
*
Communication design Communication design is a mixed discipline between design and information-development which is concerned with how media intervention such as printed, crafted, electronic media or presentations communicate with people. A communication design ap ...
*
Graphic design Graphic design is the art, profession and academic discipline whose activity consists in projecting visual communications intended to transmit specific messages to social groups, with specific objectives. Therefore, it is an interdisciplinary ...
*
Illustrator An illustrator is an artist who specializes in enhancing writing or elucidating concepts by providing a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text or idea. The illustration may be intended to clarify complicated c ...
s * Institute of Medical Illustrators *
Posters A poster is a temporary promotion of an idea, product, or event put up in a public space for mass consumption. Typically, posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Post ...

Posters
*
Society of Illustrators The Society of Illustrators is a professional society based in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 20 ...


References


External links

* * {{Authority control Illustrators Design
Communication designCommunication design is concerned with how Communication, media intermission such as human interaction, print and digital pieces of work communicate with people. {{Commons category, Communication design Communication studies, Design Design Packagi ...
Graphic design