The benefits of medical illustration

7 Minutes


A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Let’s talk about the benefits of medical illustration. Medical illustrators collaborate with scientists and physicians to produce effective artwork that can be used to educate as well as reaching patients and potential customers. Illustrators and animators are asked constantly to promote healthcare services and products. It can range from the explanation of the mechanism of action to the hard facts about disease prevention.

The evolution of artwork

The need for visual artists trained in the sciences is growing as technology and science become more advanced.  We are now able to perceive information and collect data of processes and objects at extremely small without being able to see them.

Artists can take this data and create comprehensible illustrations to show these unseen objects and create a depiction of what the scientists learn from the data.

Medical illustration helps depict submicroscopic objects too small to be seen by a microscope that we are unable to otherwise picture.

Using scientific information, the illustrator can render atomic processes in either highly complex forms that capture the important information of how these atoms are structured. This helps bring the science and data into a tangible form that aids both in understanding and interest of these subjects.

Illustrations can work to fill in the gaps, and render the subjects more clearly in isolation while selecting the necessary elements and eliminating anything unwanted.  The artwork also holds the ability to create cross-sections and reveal the inner workings of a subject while still showing the context of the exterior in a way that photography cannot.

For example, the illustrations below show all recognizable body features while revealing the underlying structures of the bone and organs.Illustrations with movement

image showing pictures of medical sector

The scientific illustrator does not just depict a single snapshot but can craft animations that describe the process to show how different cells interact. It can also be composed to include more elements of a process that would otherwise not all be visible at once, and it can realistically render subjects by using colors and other artistic manipulation to draw the attention of the audience.


Due to discoveries in science and technology the field is constantly in flux.  Now more than ever, it is common for most of the work to be done digitally, and the prevalence of 3D modeling, animation, and video is growing.

This can be done in a single image, which showcases all different steps of the process in one view, or it can be done in an animated format, such as below:

Medical illustration uses

Scientific illustrators and scientists work with the same goal: to make an impact in the world by making science accessible and helping audiences understand new scientific discoveries and information.

For this reason, medical and science textbooks will often include illustrations instead of photographs due to this advantage that art has over photography.

Artwork and models are often used in science museums as part of exhibits to depict and describe topics to the audience.

Patient education resources are one significant way that scientific illustration is used to aid in the medical field, and medical education is also extended to medical professionals in training, who can learn a process, procedure, or anatomy through artwork.

Below is an example of a medical illustration that depicts human anatomy:

medical illustration showing cardiac frequency

Some illustrators become authors or co-authors of scientific journal articles because their work contributed greatly to the discoveries. Overall, it is clear that scientific illustrators are an indispensable part of the scientific community.

3DforScience is a scientific communication company specialized in healthcare digital content and can help you create your medical illustrations. We can support you in the way you want to meet your needs reaching a particular category audience and complete the project in time.[


3DforScience is a scientific communication company specialized in digital content for the pharma and biotech industries. Our passionate creative team works alongside an in-house scientific team to provide cutting-edge medical animations, scientific illustrations, virtual reality, etc.

Our extensive experience within the field ensures all the content we produce is scientifically accurate, innovative, engaging, and pitched at the right level for the target audience.Would you like to bring your scientific messaging to life? Contact us. We would love to help you create something unique

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