Book illustration is an art form that is used primarily to create images and pictures for books. However, use of illustrations is not just to beautify books; they are instrumental in enhancing the written content of the book.

Enhancing Child Development

Illustrations are widely used in children’s books because of their visual appeal and to help the child understand the text better. Illustrations help the early reader to associate objects and actions with words. This helps the child to begin comprehending the words and move onto becoming a fluent reader. Illustrations also hold the attention of an early reader and help the child to move the narrative forward without adult help. In fact, at early stages of child development, the books may consist exclusively of illustrations but as children become more adept at reading, they move on to books with more text and fewer images.

Illustrations in story books help in overall child development by stimulating the reader’s imaginations, heightening perceptions about the narrative and increasing the reader’s sense of observation. Accurate and professional illustrations are also invaluable learning aid for children with short attention span and learning disabilities. Comprehension is made easier for these readers since they can use the images as a support system to strengthen their understanding of the text.

Conveying a message

Illustrations are often found in books for adults because illustrations can help readers to comprehend ideas which are difficult to explain using only written text. The reason for this is that the human brain is able to perceive visual information more quickly. Moreover, visual representation has greater recall value and is held longer in memory than written text. Illustrations are especially useful in instructional manuals, technical books and medical journals where technical sketches, accurate diagrams and flowcharts are used to convey complex concepts. Accurate visual representation is necessary for conveying messages that cannot be adequately expressed by words alone.

Drawing Attention

Many popular publishing houses, well-known book series and famous authors are associated with a distinct logo or a particular style of illustration. Since visual information has high recall value, use of illustrations is important to create brand recognition – for a product, a person, a company or a campaign. Professional illustrators can create images, logos or symbols which are so well-conceived and well-designed that the audience begins to associate these visuals with the advertiser. This helps not only in creating brand awareness but also in building up customer loyalty. Illustrations are important in getting the attention of the audience and it is only then that the audience will invest time in getting further information about the product and read the written content.

Even in case of books, a great book cover is often the best advertisement for a book and can catalyze the success or failure of a book. A book with an eye-catching cover is likely to stand out and be noticed by the readers. This increases the chances of the book being bought and improves the likelihood of higher sales for the book. Book illustration is not only a specialized art form but also an industry in itself, creating and catalyzing multitudes of success stories in the publishing industry.

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