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Ever since the dawn of mankind, people have had the desire to express their emotions via the art of painting. Even today, we discover primitive paintings in caverns, showing our prehistoric ancestors in their daily activities, such as hunting. And from there on, our desire to create illustrations has been passed on through the ages.


An illustration, while just a regular image, is much more focused on the subject than on the form of the image. Illustrations are mostly used to accompany text, such as newspaper and magazine articles, books, short stories, etc, providing the reader with visual representation of the textual information. Illustrations were used in the first books, where they were hand-drawn, to accompany the text and decorate the pages. During the years, the techniques for creating illustrations developed along with the technical advances and today, a great deal of the modern illustrations is created on computer tablets.

Illustration types

Illustrations have gone a long way from their creation, and today there are several types of illustrations.

2D illustrations

The most common type of illustration is the 2D illustration. 2D stands for two-dimensional, meaning that the images created were dimensionally characterized by height and width only. 2D illustrations can represent just a single sheet of paper with an image on it, just like a regular picture. Such illustrations are usually found in magazines, books and have become very common in websites, where they are used to improve the web page design.

Modern 2D illustrations, just like the regular images, are divided into two types - raster and vector illustrations. While raster illustrations are very common among artists who like to draw with a tablet, vector illustrations are slowly gathering popularity due to their superior quality and scalability. Vector images and illustrations are used mainly in high-scale printing.

3D illustrations

With the advances in the drawing techniques offered by computers, 3D illustrations were created. They are dimensionally characterized not only by height and width, but also by depth. The adding of depth to the illustrations allows for a much more life-like representation of the object of the illustration. Today, 3D illustrations are used mainly for technical illustrations. Technical illustrations try to represent technical information in a visual manner. Such illustration images allow for the non-technical crown to have a much better understanding of the written text. This is why such illustrations are often used in school books and guides.

Another use of the 3D illustration is the creation of abstract art images, which are gaining a lot of popularity. Today, there are a lot of online image galleries dedicated to the promotion of such a 3D abstract art.

Illustration designers

Illustration graphic designers have gained a lot of popularity in the last years. With the introduction of the personal computer to the graphical scene and with the appearance of software for advanced image editing, such as Photoshop, Corel Draw and Illustrator, illustrations became very popular, due to their original simplicity and design to aid textual information.

Today, a lot of websites are using such illustrations, since an eye-catching unique website design can attract a lot of visitors, who would have otherwise been barely interested in the content of the given website.