Value of Illustrations. The perfecting of photo-engraving processes for making illustrations has been one of the most important factors in the development of popular magazines and of magazine sections of newspapers, for good pictures have contributed largely to their success. With the advent of the half-tone process a generation ago, and with the more recent application of the rotogravure process to periodical publications, comparatively cheap and rapid methods of illustration were provided. Newspapers and magazines have made extensive use of both these processes.
The chief value of illustrations for special articles lies in the fact that they present graphically what would require hundreds of words to describe. Ideas expressed in pictures can be grasped much more readily than ideas expressed in words. As an aid to rapid reading illustrations are unexcelled. In fact, so effective are pictures as a means of conveying facts that whole sections of magazines and Sunday newspapers are given over to them exclusively.
Illustrations constitute a particularly valuable adjunct to special articles. Good reproductions of photographs printed in connection with the articles assist readers to visualize and to understand what a writer is undertaking to explain. So fully do editors realize the great attractiveness of illustrations, that they will buy articles accompanied by satisfactory photographs more readily than they will those without illustrations. Excellent photographs will sometimes sell mediocre articles, and meritorious articles may even be rejected because they lack good illustrations. In preparing his special feature stories, a writer will do well to consider carefully the number and character of the illustrations necessary to give his work the strongest possible appeal.
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