The technical illustrator: A new picture

In many companies, it is the technical writers that take care of the illustrations in manuals. However, it is now time to think about the renaissance of technical illustrators, especially considering the requirements of mobile documentation.

Text by Stefan Hulitschke Eva Weber


The technical illustrator: A new picture

Image: © Arman Zhenikeyev/

Illustrations are an important medium for explaining complex technical matters. Philon von Byzanz, author of the “Mechanike Syntaxis”, one of the oldest preserved technical documents, had already explained this as early as the end of the 3rd century BC. In this document, he states that he has “added illustrations” in the book for the purpose of better understanding [1]. Technical literature has therefore been illustrated right from the beginning, as experts discover today [2].

Status of technical illustration

Only digital illustrations are used in technical documentation today. Often these are photographs, since digitalization has clearly simplified the entire creation process compared to the days of analog pictures. Even line drawings and texture illustrations for technical documents are created digitally, usually with CAD data from the design. Even moving images can be generated from ...