Planet illustration studio company blog 020 / How to explain and idea with illustrations
20th July 2015
How do we explain… an idea, method or directions ?
It’s an interesting question, simply because we all do it, but some are better than others.
You know the situation, you’re in a Supermarket, and you can’t find that thingy you’re looking for. The stuff, you know the one. You put it in an Iron, so it doesn’t block up and stop working…. got it yet ?
“Descaling solution” Used for Kettles and pretty much anything that holds water for ages, like an electric Iron for instance. (FYI: Vinegar does the same thing! )
Now this analogy will make sense in a little while, and that’s another thing about explaining something, it takes time. Time in this world of immediate information is limited due to constant interruption or distractions, meaning you’ve got to explain yourself quickly and directly.
So back to the Supermarket, “Excuse me, I”m looking for this stuff, it’s here, I know, I’ve seen it here… but I can’t remember where it was”. The shop assistant looks at me, and in a moment of silence, then you blurb something like “ it’s for Irons… “ Now the shop assistant moves into action, like a human version of google, they start listing items, any items that comes to their mind that have some relationship with electric Irons.
This part is similar to when I have a client contact me with a need for an illustration or some pictorial way to explain something. They normally give a very simple and generic request… like I’m looking for a graphic designer to draw a thing”. I then try to hone in on what exactly they’re looking for… normally an illustration, and what they’re looking for is an illustrator.
Graphic designers design graphical content, it’s layout and style. So a typical Graphic designer would pull together images text and build a composition. Where as Illustrators draw and illustrate images, much like a Photographer takes photographs using their skills to consider light composition and colours to create an emotional or informative image.
Typically after chatting to the customer who’s called, we learn that the Thing that's needed to be drawn needs more thought and consideration. This is where I really start to help my customers.
I steer them to suitable styles and really look at what they’re trying to say or do. It’s like building a house in a way, first you need to find the right location, looking at basics in detail can really pay off as you build the illustration from the foundations up. There I go again with another analogy.
Drawings to help explain something is a very useful way to communicate a message, because if done properly, it stands alone and does the job without support, like the user having to read the instructions… yawn. So time consuming ! See samples of instruction illustrations Examples
Back in the Supermarket.. the assistants decides after honing in on what you’re looking for, and either gives you the direction, pointing and saying “it’s over that way, at the end “. Or they might walk you to it, and locate the…. De-scaler. But wait a minute, that’s too easy…. Oh Look! There’s 3 different types of de-scaler. Now if the assistant handed you a packet, and said “Is that what you’re looking for…?" You might get the chance to ask for advice. “Well I’m not sure, this one says for Ceramic Irons only? “ Ultimately the assistant helps you to find the right De-scaler for your specific Iron. Happy customer Result! See our reviews:
Thanks and that’s the end of my analogy, and thanks for sticking with me on it. If you didn’t get it, and I understand perfectly, as I know I can go on a bit sometimes. Please read below.
Planet likes to provide illustrations that work for it’s customers, so if it’s a “ How to “ diagram or a technical illustration that shows off a new idea, or there’s information about it that only the Customer might understand, but wants to share their knowledge. That’s where working together with Planet to produce the best illustration is key to a successful commission, a happy customer with a quick and direct message. Reviews
To find out more about Commissioning and typical questions and answers, visit the links below.
Author: Adrian Cartwright illustrator Contact
Please follow Adrian Cartwright Lead illustrator and owner of Planet illustration for future updates and insights into professional illustration. See folio