Images are a powerful way to clarify thought and expression. Some wait until after they’ve written up their project to find illustrations, but many of us have found that looking for and collecting images from the start, like drafting small pieces of the puzzle, help us to clarify and extend our thought. Additionally, by building arguments around images from the beginning, we are often better prepared to explain ourselves along the way. Scan your texts for images or special terms, save or circle them, , and look the most promising.
- Selecting what to work up as we can’t talk about everything, your audience expects you to prioritize, so first list the candidates, rank them in importance, and work on the most important first.
- Cropping to isolate essentials, eliminate distractions, and balance margins so the eye is led immediately to the central element and issue.
- Underlining to focus attention, because a simple, clean thin underline often does the most with the least (a principle of economy)
- Annotating to guide reading, and keep it short, memorable, to the point, and sweet!
- Discussion in the caption or text and don’t just jammer with the thing behind you, but Walk through the illustration as if rehearsing a conversation
- Install a simple, free application like Jing, memorize the shortcuts, and sign up so you can easily find your images online
- Small images blown up to 1024 pixels (Powerpoint) become blurry and unreadable, so choose “large” images on Google search or enlarge your source windows to insure image quality, ideally, as many pixels in your original as in your screenshot and result
- Save your files using searchable filenames ((and learn how to search (WIN, OSX))
Great Examples of Image Use
- Laws That Choke Creativity, Lawrence Lessig’s fabulous TED talk, where the images behind him support his story
- The Head First Formula, O’Reilly Publishing, a sophisticated design for effective self-study
- Getty Images Lawsuits: Enforcement Or Trolling? Be absolutely sure that any images you use from the web are not scams to extort money from you