Illustration


An illustration is a visual rendering or a depiction. The mediums through which the depiction is produced, and the methods of rendering are wide-ranging and have existed almost as long as humans have walked the Earth. Women and men have produced illustrations since the cave-dwelling era, as evidenced by the cave paintings left behind in remote sites around the globe. The word ‘illustration’ has its root in the Latin phrase meaning to “make bright.” This suggests the ability to confer meaning, or to illuminate concepts through visual symbols. Symbols can stand alone, or may accompany and augment the written word. Illustration is a broad topic that has traditionally been divided into four techniques, including drawing, pasting, printing, and painting. Illustration is used in many modern industries and has an incredible number of applications today.

From cave drawings illustration evolved into more advanced forms such as Chinese pen and ink drawings and hand-drawn book illustrations. The medium went technical with the advent of woodcuts in the 15th century, which made reproducing illustrations easier for print publications. Later, engraving and etching techniques further allowed illustrations to be reproduced in a consistent manner and on a large scale. By the late 1800’s, lithography, a method of using moisture on a hard surface to either repel or hold ink and imprint an image on paper or other mediums, made it possible to create accurate reproductions in even large numbers. Although technologies have advanced, drawing and illustration still remains at its root a design process. Despite what technologies may be used, a skilled artist is behind any great illustration.

Modern illustrators can express themselves digitally with computers, or with traditional methods such as painting and drawing. Computer programs like Adobe Illustrator, which aid people in creating digital illustrations, are quite popular. At the same time, there remains an appreciation for hand illustration, and works by well-known artists such Norman Rockwell and Alberto Vargas fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars on the auction block. Today’s illustrators have the ability to choose from a variety of modern and traditional tools, techniques, and mediums to build a unique portfolio.

Illustration is useful in a variety of businesses and trades. Editorial illustration is often used to accompany an article, whether the article is printed or published online. Technical illustration, which encompasses the fields of medicine, science, and technology, requires the creator to produce highly detailed and precise work, often presented in educational materials or informative brochures. There is still a demand for portrait illustrators, consider courtroom and police sketch artists, who often produce work quickly and accurately. Commercial illustration, often seen in advertising, is a huge field in itself, and includes traditional illustrators and graphic artists. Of course, one of the first things many people think of when they think of illustration is animation. Even though much animation is created digitally these days, highly skilled illustrators remain in demand as animators in the movie and print entertainment sectors. Illustration is a style of artwork that has not fallen out of favor, rather it has evolved and transformed with the times.

See our related articles below to learn more about illustration, illustration degrees, programs, and more.

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Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Glendale, AZ
20154
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Mesa, AZ
25960
City
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Phoenix, AZ
12164
City
Public
Advertising | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Siloam Springs, AR
2073
Private
Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Sacramento, CA
35413
Suburb
Public
Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Oakland, CA
1828
City
Private
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
21399
Suburb
Public
Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
El Cajon, CA
9459
Suburb
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Glendale, CA
16781
Public
Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
El Cajon, CA
20335
Suburb
Public
Architecture | CAD, Drafting | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Woodland Hills, CA
21928
City
Public
Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Ukiah, CA
4833
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Walnut, CA
29935
Suburb
Public
Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Fremont, CA
11695
Public
Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Illustration | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Oxnard, CA
8642
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Marcos, CA
27442
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Santa Ana, CA
31073
City
Public
Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Diego, CA
23211
City
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
San Mateo, CA
11310
Public
Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Santa Rosa, CA
25877
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Los Angeles, CA
34824
City
Private
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Saratoga, CA
12893
Suburb
Public
Architecture | Arts Management | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
West Hartford, CT
7212
Private
Animation | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Washington, DC
921
City
Private
Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3217
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Coral Gables, FL
15629
Suburb
Private
Advertising | Animation | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Atlanta, GA
3871
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Savannah, GA
9906
Private
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Moscow, ID
11957
Public
Advertising | Animation | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Illustration | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Chicago, IL
400
City
Advertising | Animation | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Chicago, IL
12127
City
Private
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Glen Ellyn, IL
27083
Suburb
Public
Advertising | Arts Management | Audio Production | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Romeoville, IL
5847
Private
Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Portland, ME
325
Private
Advertising | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Baltimore, MD
2084
City
Private
Advertising | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Landscape Architecture | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Boston, MA
2422
City
Public
Advertising | Animation | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
North Dartmouth, MA
9302
Public
Animation | CAD, Drafting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Kalamazoo, MI
11999
Public
Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Lansing, MI
21123
Public
Advertising | Animation | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Muskegon, MI
5144
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Minneapolis, MN
10618
City
Public
Animation | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Kansas City, MO
690
City
Private
Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Landscape Architecture | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Brooklyn, NY
4707
City
Private
Advertising | Animation | CAD, Drafting | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Rochester, NY
15445
Suburb
Private
Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Cincinnati, OH
187
City
Private
Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Cleveland, OH
507
City
Private
Advertising | CAD, Drafting | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Piqua, OH
3519
Public
Advertising | Architecture | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Interior Design | Performing Arts | Photography | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Dayton, OH
21561
Public
Advertising | Animation | Architecture | Arts Management | Audio Production | CAD, Drafting | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Game Design | Graphic Design | Performing Arts | Visual Effects | Web Design & New Media
Two-year school
Fremont, OH
3152
Public
Advertising | Arts Management | Audio Production | Fashion Design, Marketing, Merchandising | Film, Video, TV | Fine Art, Drawing, Painting | Graphic Design | Illustration | Performing Arts | Web Design & New Media
Four-year school
Youngstown, OH
14644
Public