- What are illustrations?
- Need of scientific illustrations
- How to tell whether a scientific illustration is good enough?
- Common mistakes while drawing illlustrations
What are illustrations?
Illustrations are science diagrams. These are ”logic pictures” or drawings used to explain a process, structure, or flow. Their main function is to describe a scientific concept in a clear and concise way.
Need of scientific illustrations
A good illustration can help the scientists to be heard when speaking and to be read when writing.MH Briscoe
Illustrations add to the reader’s interest and enjoyment. They help in providing pieces of information that are sometimes very difficult to explain through words only. 
How to tell whether a scientific illustration is good enough?
Ask these 5 questions from yourself when finalising the illustration for your article:
1. Is the illustration accurate?
“A beautiful but inaccurate drawing is useless for
2. Is the central message clear immediately?
A scientific illustration must have one dominating element and it should be the most detailed section of the illustration.
3. Can I tell where structures are in relation to one another?
“It should be able to communicate to scientists which structures are in
front and which ones are in back.”
4. Is the detail appropriate?
Eliminate unnecessary elements.
5. Will it survive print reduction?
During print reduction, spaces between structures become smaller. Thus they must be well spaced. Photocopy the drawing at various reductions to determine what will work well.
Common mistakes while making scientific illustrations
- Lack of logic in colors and patterns
- Ignoring the proportion and perspective
- Use of vocabulary or symbols of difficult interpretation
- Absence of graphic scales