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16 Illustrations and artwork

16.2 Specific types of illustrations

16.2.1 Maps

Maps are difficult to execute and often require special attention. Information must be relevant, and presented in a clear and uncluttered fashion. The level of detail should relate to the reasons why the reader will consult the map. When a map is to be (re)drawn by the publisher (coordinated to match the design of a publication), supply a rough sketch or copy:

  • Geographical and political features must be easily distinguishable by line weights, tints/shading, and typographic conventions: for example, countries in capitals (FRANCE), towns in capitals and lower case (Paris), major physical features such as mountain ranges and oceans in italic capitals (PYRENEES, ATLANTIC OCEAN), and individual mountains and smaller bodies of water (rivers and lakes) in italic capital and lowercase (Seine, Aneto). Spellings must agree with the text. Supply text for any key or note to appear on the map.

  • • Incorporate a scale bar.

  • North is assumed to be at the top (usually the top of the page unless set landscape). If this is not the case, include an arrow to indicate north.

  • • Indicate any cropping, either to allow for enlargement of an area or to minimize peripheral features.

  • • If appropriate, give the projection.

16.2.2 Graphs

Graphs show the relationship between variable quantities. The horizontal (x) and vertical (y) axes should be labelled with a quantity (include any units in parentheses—ensure these match the caption and text). The labels should be parallel to the axis, reading from bottom to top for the y axis (Figure 16.4).

The intervals in the axis divisions should be consistent (unless it is a logarithmic scale). The numbers differentiating divisions should be horizontal for both axes. The numbers do not have to start at zero. A zero symbol should precede any decimal point for values less than one (e.g. 0.86 not .86)

Extra rules other than the x and y axes, such as gridlines, should be deleted unless there is a need to read off a specific value on a curve, but this is unusual. Arrowheads can be drawn at the ends of axes to indicate a trend but are superfluous if the axis has a scale.

Bar charts are used to represent categories of discrete data. They have vertical or horizontal columns where the column length is proportional to the quantity in that category; only the y axis has a scale. All the columns should be the same width and usually have a gap between. A histogram represents continuous data so the column widths may vary as their area is proportional to the frequency; the columns therefore have no gaps between. Both x and y axes have a scale.

Figure 16.4 Simple graph.

Figure 16.5 Example of a bar chart. From Experience of sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland 2011/12 (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, 2013).

The format should be consistent throughout a series of graphs, and be consistent with the text and caption.

Graphs created using generic word-processing, spreadsheet, or presentation software are not suitable for professional printing. Graphs produced using custom software for specific applications may be suitable provided the output settings match those required for digital artwork files (see 16.3).

16.2.3 Medical images

Radiographs (X-rays), scans, and other diagnostic images, as well as pictures of pathology specimens or micrographs, should be supplied as high-resolution digital files. Micrographs should contain internal scale markers.

Remove any patient identification details from such images (and accompanying text and captions). Use of a photograph of a patient will require a Patient Consent Form even if any identifying features have been removed/obscured.

16.2.4 Infographics

Infographics are a popular visual shorthand for conveying complex concepts (data visualization). They provide clear visual representations of data, integrating words and graphics to reveal patterns or trends (e.g. weather maps), or to provide information (e.g. maps of public transportation) that would be unwieldy in text form.

Static infographics may be produced using standard graphics packages. Online interactive infographics that allow the viewer to interact with data can be created using a range of software available on the Internet.

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Preface Editorial team Proofreading marks Glossary of printing and publishing terms