Follow Us:

Challenges of technical illustration

Thanks to the move to digital media, there are more opportunities than ever today to use new ways to create illustrations. And equally, the use of digital publishing enables those technical illustration openings to be exploited more than before, thanks to the expansion of the capabilities of the new media.

Whereas educational coursework published in a book would have a physical limit to the space available for illustrations, the ability to publish digitally effectively removes that restriction. Today, publishers can exploit the almost limitless amount of room in cyberspace to add additional technical illustrations, animations and interactive three dimensional models that can enhance the reader’s involvement, education and understanding.

The opportunity to create a more involving experience has not been lost on publishers. Many have been re-engineering their printed works to take advantage of the opportunities that a DVD-based publication, or an online package, can offer. At the leading edge, it is now not unusual for technical illustrations such as construction or engineering drawings to be presented in new formats such as on an iPad or other tablet. The use of these new platforms means technical illustration needs to move with the times, to develop and adopt new techniques in order to exploit the full potential of these new pieces of equipment offer.

One technical illustration technique currently popular is the infographic. This image file takes a range of factual information on a particular subject, then interprets it in a visually arresting way, so that the facts are explained using a combination of words, pictures, graphs and pie charts all within a single document. These are frequently shared across new media including Twitter and Pinterest.

Technical illustration is a specific, niche discipline which requires an expert knowledge of the latest illustration techniques and software. The team at HL Studios include specialists who can carry out technical illustration, animation and all types of layout to suit the needs of educational publishers, who increasingly outsource the production of specific parts of a project to those best suited to manage it. They can turn any print file into an interactive talking book, suitable for a tablet. Modern digital publishing, which the HL Studios team are set up to handle professionally, demands a different set of skills than those needed for traditional publishing, delivering the written word on paper. Illustrations can be developed alongside animation, providing consumers with the opportunity to interact via computer mouse or touch screen. By adding several layers to the illustration, it is possible to impart a much higher level of detailed information, than that which would be possible with a traditional printed version of the material.

Despite the ever widening range of options and styles for executing technical illustration, it remains as important as ever to focus on the messages and information a technical illustration is trying to get across. By hiring an experienced team, such as the illustrators at HL Studios, you will ensure you get illustrations which not only look good, but work well too. By working closely with the specification for the illustration, a good illustrator will quickly establish the key messages to include in a piece of artwork, and also be clear on what should not be included, as it will only cloud those key messages.

Contact HL Studios


Phone: +44 (01993) 848260

HL Studios, Witney Business Centre, Windrush House, Witney, Oxon, OX29 7DX.