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The Interactive Illustration

Sometimes words fail, a photograph doesn't show enough and a video shows too much. The happy medium can be found in an interactive illustration.

No other visual tool gives you as much absolute control over an image. You literally can create the image you want, in the style you need. 

Illustrations can offer visual explanations, but they also can act like mini-websites, with "data" packaged in an arresting, accessible visual manner.

Illustrator PingHua Chou offers a great example with an engaging illustration of six "bad drinks." Animals slither, a helicopter hovers and a cloud drops rain in various drinks called Snake-Teo Beer, Iceberg Whisky and Monday Flood. There is sound that adds to the fun.

Clever, you say, but how would I use that in a serious situation? Good question, simple answer.

Let's say you have a complex project with multiple elements spread over a large area. An illustration would allow you to show the entire project with enough, but not too much context. The major features of the project could be interactive, allowing viewers to hover over or click them to pull up details. There also could be a link to get a more in-depth look at that project element.