Even a cursory look through the scientific literature will reveal that published illustrations differ widely in their quality Many details in format lettering and labeling call for careful attention, and seemingly small things can make the difference between a so-so illustration and an excellent one. If professional graphic artists and photographers are available, consult them, and provide them with samples from the journal.
Increasingly, scientists are using their computers (with associated peripherals such as scanners and laser printers) to prepare their own graphic illustrations. If you decide to prepare the illustrations yourself, investigate the latest software and printer requirements and learn how to use them.
Finally, watch out for what Peterson (1993) calls "glitziness." It is easy to become caught up in the capabilities of sophisticated graphics software. Some truly beautiful illustrations are possible. However, be aware that they can present a new set of communication pitfalls.
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