The use of visual imagery to enhance, explain or as evidence of a concept.

The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" describes the ability of a single image to convey complex and sometimes multiple ideas more effectively than a descriptive text. Illustrations are able to explain complex ideas in a simple and more accessible format by encoding information through colour, shapes and rhythm rather than just relying on text and words. This often requires some creativity and understanding of the concept in order to accurately encode that information using visual devices, but this can be achieved through collaboration with designers and media experts. An illustration should aim to depict the concept, not necessarily interpret it, and can often help to reduce supporting information to a minimum. Rather than make the illustration do everything, use it with patterns like explanations. You can also use multiple illustrations to go through a stepped process, where the image evolves with extra detail as you go through each part of the explanation. Do this on a timeline, and you have an animation.