Style of Depiction




The user needs to interpret images in order to identify parts and tasks correctly.


What style of pictorial depiction is most easily understood?


  • Technology for representation and reproduction allows for a wide range of depiction styles from digital photography, photorealistic rendering to line drawings.


The images are best presented as black and white line drawings, using various line weights.

The lines representing the external edges of objects should be thickest. Lines representing convex edges should be thinner; lines representing convex edges should be thinnest.

Black and white line drawings allow selective depiction of the objects elements to assist with object identification and allow unnecessary details to be omitted that may otherwise add confusing detail to an image.


Bussard, (2002)

Haaland & Fussell, (1976)

Martin, (1989)

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Related Patterns:


Absence of Detail

The use of line drawing implies details will be selectively included or omitted, which can lead to different interpretations with low detail images.


Discernable Details

Details need to have sufficient definition to enable users to interpret them. In some cases the use of thick line weight may obscure small details.

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In cases where thick line weights obscure small details areas may need to be enlarged so the detail can be illustrated in the line drawing style without losing definition.


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Author - Four Legged Stool PAIs used as part of the thesis.

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