Illustrations essential ingredient in a Book – Proof

We’re familiar with the term ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ and in this blog post, we will discuss about few proofs and reports to back it up.

There are several leading writers who prefer the opposite and have surely come up with conclusions which will surely make us think about it.  However when the facts run along with it, we surely need to have images or illustrations for conveying the right message.  Let’s take for an instance.  If pictures weren’t an ideal ingredient to convey a message, then we would have been seeing large billboards on the roadsides which grab our attention for a moment.

We know that this point will not be enough to put forward that illustrations are essential ingredient in a book, not just for any book, any medium of advertisement to attract the right audience.


Proof #1:  Harvard Business Review


It was once explained in Harvard Business review that, from the time of cave paintings, graphic representation was a fundamental means of communication, how people think and to make sense to the world.

In this era, where we get information in surplus, you can still see how images make sense to the people.  To back up the Harvard business Review, Mayer Report, 1989b  stays that static illustrations surely does the trick, however if you’ve a dynamic illustration or animation, its even better and showcase a high-end result on the audience.



Proof #2:  Steve Thornton Report to University of Canberra


Steve Thornton backed up the words of the renowned author, Martin Gardner of Mathematical Recreations Column in Scientific America with his report.  Martin Gardner stated in 1973 that ‘a dull proof can be supplemented by a geometric analogue so simple and beautiful that the truth of a theorem is almost seen at a glance’.  What martin Gardner stated was absolutely true and Steve Thronton has supported in his journal.  Most importantly, I myself too support it.  Being an engineering student during my engineering life, I too have came across several sophisticated theorems which were too hard to intake was often made simpler with a geometric representation.  Sophisticated machine parts, was always made diluted with illustrations and thus I have always been a fan of educational illustrations and thus choose my career as an educational illustrator.

To be frank, I wouldn’t have got my Engineering Degree if images weren’t there to represent those sophisticated theorems and concepts.  Now I earn my bread and butter from it :-)

Lets get back to what Steve Thornton reported on Visual Thinking.  He generally states on there points which were

  1. The current trends of mathematics regarding study of patterns with technologies provide a general rule for the patterns and thus diminish algebraic thinking.
  2. Visualisation often leads to easy, smart and influential approach towards embryonic finding results in mathematics and problem solving.
  3. Identifying and giving importance to various learning styles, aid students to develop wide range of techniques for solving mathematical situations.


Even though Steve Thornton’s intention was to include visual thinking among students for better understanding of Mathematics, a state of art which was once implemented in 1945 by Hadamard, later became a topic of discussions on late 1980’s and early 1990’s.

We now know why Martin Gardner wanted to include geometric analogue or simple images or illustrations to explain the sophisticated truth of a theorem at ease.


Proof #3:  Images are processed 60,000 times faster by Brain than text


Researches have proven that images are captured by Brain faster 60,000 times than any textual representation.  This is the reason why leading companies in United States of America spends more or around half a billion to promote their products via visual representations.  Most importantly this statistics it not for a year, but every year, that too investing more and more each year.  Trust the graphs..!!

To back on the Proof #3 which we have put forwarded, several educational institutions including psychological institutions have carried out several experiments to support it.  An image was shown in a project for around 2 seconds and took down to a group of audience.  After it was took down, the audience were asked about what they saw and they confidently responded back.  Next time, instead of an image, a text message was shown and took down in 2 seconds.  When the audience were asked about what they saw, there were confident.

So what do you get from this experience..??

Moral is really simple and straight: Text is awesome to read, it takes more time for brain to process and reach.  With the real pacing world and nature of social media, it’s not ideal to go with text replacing the images.

Several internet marketing leaders too are supporting visual communications for social marketing.


Proof #4:  Increase in user accounts in Image Posting Social Networking Website – Pinterest


Pinterest is defined as a visual discovery tool has a rapid increase in users daily.  It has around 11 million weekly visitors showing an increase in 4000% traffic.

Doesn’t it ring a bell??

Pinterest is a place for image posting and there are several images which went viral without any text on it.  For the sake of example, let go to Tumblr, there are several posts in Tumblr which went viral without any description.  The common fact among both was they had a captivating image.

Does it ring a bell now??

Even in social networking websites, images and illustrations plays a vital role.  People, to make it precise to the point let say audience.  Audience are attracted to images and illustrations in social networking websites and several leading MNC’s are investing huge amount in it too.



Images and illustrations play a vital role in short frame of advertising.  Text brings an impact when audience has lot of time, however with the market and pacing word, we cannot totally relay on that.  For advertising or educational purpose, we would recommend you to go with illustrations to grab the attention of large number of audience to convey the message in a fraction of a second.

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