Stipple Illustrations Better for Visual Learners

Illustrations by Kevin Sprouls

Stipple illustrations are illustrations drawn by stippling, or as Kevin likes to call it, ‘dot drawing’. You may have read, recently, about how stipple illustrations can improve your logos by making them more memorable. According to David Airey, memorability is the second of the five key factors that make a great logo. But what about other stipple illustrations that aren’t used as logos? Just how Important are they?

Stipple Illustrations Aid Visual Cognition

Research is pretty well in on the topic of visual learning and cognition. The results are unambiguous and telling. Upwards of sixty-five percent of us are visual learners, and deal best with ideas, concepts and data presented to us with images and other visual techniques. If you want to really get your point across to these people, you need to supplement your text with illustrations.

Use stipple illustrations for all of these visual learners!

Part of the reason so many people learn visually is simply that our brains are designed that way. a full forty percent of the nerve fibers connected to the brain carry visual information which accounts for 90% of all the information the brain receives.

With all that visual information, the brain has adapted to using it and can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text-based information, which must be decoded before it can be processed, stored or learned.

Putting the Visual in the Information

These visual learners, and remember they are the majority of us, will appreciate graphs, charts and diagrams to aid them in processing data and information, but not all information lends itself to a pie-chart or a Venn diagram. Some information requires more appropriate illustration detailing how a thing works or what a scene might look like. In these instances drawings illustrate the information better.

There are many ways to illustrate information. Monks in the middle ages painted beautiful illuminations in hand written copies of bibles.

Early humans painted records of hunts and meetings on the walls of their caves. Today modern graph charts that show fluctuations of currency values in financial markets and children read ‘board books’ that may have no text at all.



If you have small children, or even if your children are older, you will recall the picture books that were nothing but pictures. As our children grow, these are slowly replaced with books that have progressively more text and fewer pictures until, in the end we have books that contain no more pictures in them. This trend is turning, though as people begin to realize that rich, vivid imagery isn’t simple, puffery; It is critical to our primary mode of learning.

Stipple Illustrations Offer Clarity and versatility

Stipple illustrations have much more versatility than many other kinds of illustration. They are used in media where photographs work poorly to offer greater detail and better finish than the photos can.

In other media, they translate reality in an illustration better than line drawings where shading lines and contours might become confused. Even in rich media like web pages, stipple illustrations present an elegant, professional appearance that stands out from the crowd and demonstrates real quality.

Kevin tied that feeling of quality to these simple ‘dot drawings’ when he brought this unique, iconic style to the pages of the Wall Street Journal for their signature Hedcut style.




Now you can bring that same depth of clarity, class and versatility to your own information by using one of his stippled illustrations in your newsletter, book, website, or any other information you might publish. Contact Kevin now to find out how.

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