Benefits of Science Illustrations in Medical Learning

Graphic Designing

7 minute read

Art has always played a significant role in the development of science. It has successfully shared many discoveries and information that were helpful to mankind in various unimaginable ways. Art, when combined with science, unfolded diverse facets and contributed a lot to positively transform the medical domain. Gone were the days when people scrolled through piles of books or study materials for understanding the medical concepts. Now, with the use of visually appealing graphics, understanding and learning have become more effective and effortless for the individuals. Studies have also shown that the mind tends to believe and comprehend more of what it sees than reads. It is what led to the further implementation of scientific illustrations to meet the needs of scientists and educators.

medical illustration benefits

Most people may still think that science and art are opposite sides of the coin and cannot be combined together. However, the conjunction of those domains is the lesser-known field of science, which is known as medical illustration. There are many who also think that using it is irrelevant since we now have digital photography. Even the average smartphones have powerful cameras that can take outstanding snaps which are far better than illustrations. On the contrary, it is not true as digital photography won’t be useful if you want to take the photos of a microorganism or the internals parts of an animal. That is why scientific illustrations serve a very important role in the respective field.

What is Scientific Illustration?

Scientific illustrations are not just artwork but a way of communicating complex science concepts, subjects, and details in the most comprehensive and engaging way for a greater understanding of the subject and scientific topics. The scientific illustrators usually employ technical art and aesthetic skills to combine it with observations and research of the scientists for accurately presenting a subject. Apart from this, they might also incorporate 3D modeling, animation, or videos to make the topics attractive so that it engages the audience of all levels. It might seem like a small field of study but the subjects can be diverse and include all fields of science starting from microscopic biology to astrophysics. It can showcase what is unobservable, such as molecules, viruses, the internal anatomy of plants and animals, surgical procedures, geologic cross-sections, and extinct life forms either in a realistic or abstract manner.

Importance of Scientific Illustrations in Modern World

Now that you understand what science illustration is, let us discuss why do we need it and why using it is so important. Scientists usually delve into the unseen world of extinct species, sub-cellular processes, dark matter, nanoparticles, etc. In most cases, the camera won’t be of any help. Therefore, artists and illustrators, who are educated in this matter, collaborate with medical personnel and researchers to create comprehensible illustrations to showcase the unseen objects and help people understand it. The ability to convert and develop attractive images, models, or charts that offers precise information on the subject matter is a skill which every aspiring scientific illustrator needs to develop.

Even though photography is becoming more advanced, scientific artwork is still necessary for scientists and educators. It is true that digital photography can capture impressive images, however it still some limitations. Things that cannot be photographed, such as microscopic and macroscopic elements, can be easily crafted with accurate depictions in the form of illustrations and artwork. Scanning electron microscope and producing images of microscopic elements can be done only for a certain size limit. If it crosses that, then images snapped will lack clarity and detailing. However, with illustrations, there is no restriction to photograph subjects on the atomic scale.

Many objects in the space are out of the telescope range. Even if we manage to send the telescope to the outer surface, the quality and details present in the images might lack important information. In that case, science illustrators can help a lot to create the desired subject as per the requirements. They can use their artistic knowledge and skills to transform the scientific information into a tangible form that can aid in the understanding of an individual.

Advantages of using Science Illustrations

There are various benefits of using science illustrations which is why it is considered important in the field of science and medicine. Some of these are mentioned below:

  • Act as visual records

    Science illustrations can act as a visual record of a species or specimen. For example, it can visually represent species that no longer exists, like a dinosaur. It can also showcase how something moves or happens over time, e.g., a plant growing or a bacteria reproducing.

  • Highlights anatomy of specimen

    With scientific artwork, you can bring out the details in a specimen if it is particularly tiny. You can use a digital camera to get a macro shot however, it cannot display the level of details that can be achieved through illustration. It can create cross-sections and reveal the inner anatomy of a subject while also showcasing its exterior properties at the same time. By using animations, it can accurately describe the process of cell formation or how cells interact in the microscopic environment.

  • Offers iconotypes to scientists

    Iconotype is a type of specimen that is represented in the form of drawing or painting instead of a physical specimen. It is mostly used by scientists and scientific museum when there is an unavailability of a physical type. So, by using it, scientists can actually show what a plant or animal looked like when it was alive.

  • Are visually appealing

    It can realistically render subjects by using colors and other artistic manipulation to draw the attention of the audience. Besides, both photography and scientific illustrations can be used in publication to make it richer and more aesthetically pleasing.

  • Aid in educational purposes

    It can aid in educating both medical professionals and patients. In the case of patients, it can help them to learn about a procedure or diagnosis. Besides, the knowledge that they gain through these illustrations can also support in improving their health status. However, in the case of professionals, it can be used to train them and help them learn a procedure, anatomy, or process.


So as you see, medical illustrations have numerous practical benefits that make them integral to scientific research and development. A lot of advancements are being made in that field to evolve the process of developing more curated illustrations. With time, we will see different yet more creative designs to make scientific research easier.

As we know, illustrations, blueprints, and designs for the scientific field must be accurate and highly detailed. Only an expert in the art with adequate scientific knowledge can create such flawless illustrations. Therefore, it is always recommended to hire a professional team for medical illustration services.

These agencies are backed by experienced professionals with hands-on experience across multiple domains. Find a reliable partner and get stunningly realistic scientific illustrations.