Technical illustrations: to be perfectly clear
It is often said: “One picture is worth a thousand words”. And it’s true: in-sales documentation, presentations, spec sheets and manuals, images are indispensable. Often photos are used, but they are not always available or usable. In many cases, drawings are clearer, more communicative — and more professional.
For example, if your product is not yet ‘finished’, if different product variants have to be depicted, if photographing your product is impractical or impossible, or if you want to explain actions, procedures or ideas.
Texplica technische illustraties has many years of experience in creating technical and educational illustrations.
Illustrations that are used for, among other things:
- User manuals
- Assembly and service manuals
- Folders and brochures
- Instruction material
- Educational material
- Parts catalogs
- Online catalogs
- Machine interfaces
Do you need one or several illustrations? Please feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities!
With illustrations, and also with technical illustrations, the possibilities are nearly unlimited. How would you like it portrayed? The choice will often depend on the budget and the available time.
Often a line drawing (with clearly defined surfaces and shapes) is a good choice. But sometimes a more realistic image is desirable or necessary. If photorealism is desired, CGI (computer generated imagery) can be a solution.
For user instructions and the like, a series of images (‘comic strip’) is often the clearest way to convey a story. Depending on the complexity of the product and the actions to be performed, adding supporting text is often a good idea or even necessary. Because experience shows that otherwise users will not experience it as a ‘real’ user manual.
The advantage of vector-oriented drawings is that they can be enlarged without loss of quality. If necessary, a stamp-sized drawing can also fill a trade fair wall or be used on a giant banner.
Some visualization options summarized:
- Elevational drawing
- Sectional drawing
- Perspective drawing
- Isometric drawing
- Exploded view
- Cut-away drawing
A drawing can belong in more than one category: for example, a cut-away isometric or perspective drawing.
For elevational drawings, existing CAD drawings (digital files) can often be used. It is also possible to use photos or physical dimensional drawings as a starting point.
Still, a fairly realistic image can be created if necessary by the use of color, color gradients, shadow and structure.
To draw cross-sections it is often possible to use technical drawings (in the form of CAD files or paper drawings) as a starting point. By using color, shadow and captions, the drawing can be ‘dressed up’ in such a way that a much clearer and more expressive image is created. By the way, photos can also be used as a starting point, although that sometimes is a little more work.
There are several kinds of isometric projection. Because there is no perspective distortion with isometric drawings, it is a relatively simple (and therefore time-saving) way of drawing. The disadvantage is that the result can sometimes look unnatural.
Perspective drawings have vanishing points and ‘foreshortening’, which means a greater degree of difficulty and more work. Drawings can be created in various ways: for example using a 3D drawing program, but also much more simple by tracing a photo.
Renderings are not really ‘drawings’ — they’re the result of constructing an object in a virtual 3D world, providing it with color and structure (and other physical properties such as transparency), and then (by adding equally virtual light sources and camera) generating an image. The entire process can be quite time consuming, but the results are (when necessary) indistinguishable from ‘real’ photos.
Cabinets ‘Forest’ for Castelijn Collection (design Louk Straver)
Even if machines that sell for tens or hundreds of thousands euros a piece look good — to sell them, you obviously need more. Purchase decisions are primarily made on the basis of function and specifications. It’s what’s inside that counts.
To help marketing of their ‘pick and place’ machines, Philips Electronic Manufacturing Technology wanted various illustrations that clarified the structure of their equipment. In this isometric drawing, the housing of the three machines has partly been made transparent in various places, to allow a view of the various placement heads.
In a glance
TwinOxide International wanted to show an important advantage of their products in powder form: they are much more concentrated than the liquid formulations of their competitors. So users need less warehouse space for storage of their usage stock. And that saves money.
You could explain that in words, but it is a lot easier to show it. This illustration shows that one euro palet with buckets of TwinOxide powder is equivalent to sixteen IBC’s with a liquid product.
Texplica was responsible for all the illustrations for dozens of schoolbooks published by SMD Educational Publishers in Leiden. Subjects include technology, controls, recycling, maritime technology, logistics, utility construction, energy, science, physics, mathematics and drive technology. The illustrations were intended for books for IVBO, MAVO/VMBO, HAVO and VWO levels.
SMD Educational Publishers, together with the Dutch Hydraulics and Pneumatics federation FHP, developed the textbook ‘Pneumatiek - Besturingstechniek’ (‘Pneumatics - Control technology’) for mechanical engineering students. The hundreds of illustrations in full color were drawn by Texplica, in close co-operation with one of the authors.
The name ‘Texplica’ combines ‘tech’ and ‘explicare’, a word that in Latin (and in several modern languages) stands for ‘explain, unfold’. Just think of the French ‘expliquer’, for example. So, Texplica refers to explaining technical matters.
Texplica Technische illustraties was founded by Jan van Es in Eindhoven. He has been making technical and educational illustrations, among other things, for the industry and publishers for decades.
When talking about illustrations for industry, that mostly means images intended for marketing, documentation and service purposes. More specific, for sales kits, brochures, spec sheets and user and service manuals.
The work for publishers involves illustrations for school books for all educational levels, about subjects such as technology, environment, communication, architecture, pneumatics, physics, chemistry and science. Sometimes individual illustrations, but more often all illustrations for entire books.
Some clients Texplica has worked for:
Texplica Technische illustraties
5643 HN Eindhoven
Tel. +31 40 212 76 96
Chambre of Commerce nr. 17239255 0000
VAT ID: NL001539244B29