Are Pictures better than Words


The day was December 8, and the year 1921, it started and now is the modern trend. The ad campaign that published the article “One Look is worth thousand words” has been acknowledged to have begun the saga of pictures, attenuating the premise of words, and  implying that pictures can better illustrate with a more obvious opinion, a situation that words might require a book to comprehend. Looking into it closely, one might get confused and find it difficult to ascertain, whether pictures alone can project the truth. Can they cripple the nub of words, or, are they simply an associate of words, bound to influence each other and work out the course, or are pictures obsolete for words are not biased, their interpretation not limited  to an individual, truly versed in pool of rendering, not bound to literal periphery.

The fact that WordPress itself, acknowledges the posts published with images, and highlights the necessity of pictures, provides enough evidence as to how deep the pictures are embedded in our system. There is no denying that pictures provide the gist of the post to certain extent, they highlight the obvious predicament that one supposedly postulates, they many-a-times form the complete post, but are they always essential. Does one use it to lure the visitors into their content, are the words not strong enough that they require pictures, does one want to enlarge the post, does the picture complement the words, is it more likely that a visitor looks at pictures and does not read the entire post, for too many words after certain time appear like blah, blah, blah!

Why pictures?

  • It is easier to understand that one does not go sweeping the details, the first step is of-course swooping the surface and then scratching it. So, pictures very well enlighten the former.
  • Even a bookish person, is more inclined to structural benefits such as flowchart, graph etc, for it saves time
  • Visual information is remembered longer than verbal.

Why not important?

  • It is known that pictures are many-a-times misleading, just because pictures fill up the space, enlighten the post, does not mean they are essential, for instance abstract content does not require pictures, it further implies ambiguous messages.
  • Pictures save time. Not necessarily,  they are just the doorway with which we can infer whether the words are useful to us or not. Moving through the door, one may find useful content or may be not, but the limited scope of pictures can act as a barrier in that department.

The Children Framing childhood project , an effort by HGSE proposed that the children take pictures and then illustrate them in words. This helped understand children and their ways of thought became more obvious to the educators. In this case, if one separates the words and simply keeps the pictures, then the educator who tries to infer from the pictures does not propose the opinion of child but the opinion of one self. To understand what the subject expects people to understand from his/her picture, the subject must provide words to the pictures, otherwise the illustration from the picture varies from individual to individual and is devious.

Thus, pictures better than words does not hold true. Pictures merely complement the words and help present them better. Pictures are limited to the viewer and may or may not illustrate what one tries to imply. Pictures are tools, to hold the thought and remember forever, but the depth is cognizant to words. Even the thought “Pictures better than words” is an assembly of words, and there is no picture to illustrate it. Some words are so surreal, that imagination runs high, those words are transformed in our mind to imaginary depictions, and when that happens we do not need pictures since a deeper insight already resides in our mind.