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Visual Literacy Resources:
Illustrations for Development

The value and accessibility of development literature can be increased immensely by appropriate artwork. In some cases, illustrations are the only way of getting a message across. But these illustrations must be of good quality and understandable by the user - whether aimed at an illiterate farmer, or a well-educated development specialist. On this site, you can download over 3,400 black and white illustrations, drawn by a variety of artists and provided copyright-free to people who need to illustrate social development messages in the development business.
The illustrations have been used in a range of development projects around the world (please note that they should not be used for any commercial or profit making use i.e. they should not appear as illustrations in any book in which the author is making money from their use).
Preview the Images
Download Documents
Download the Illustrations

The illustrations can be downloaded and used like clipart if they are already appropriate for the intended audience. They can also be used in discussions with local artists in developing countries to obtain illustrations designed for specific purposes. For example, you tell the artist that you want a drawing like the one you’ve downloaded - from the same angle, the same detail, but you want the person to be drawn in local attire and with a more appropriate visual look for the area you are working in.

The illustrations can thus help local artists to produce better work, since the immediately available guidance is not always accurate enough or suitably informed for artists to work from. The illustrations are grouped according to broad titles.

Click on the links in the table below to see example illustrations and download the illustrations.

The collection of illustrations was originally compiled and organised by George McBean, UNICEF Caribbean Area Office and Nick Narishkin UNICEF, New York HQ. For more information and additional resources see the Illustrations and Animation for Development website at http://georgemcbean.com.

Agriculture
Agriculture
George McBean has worked for 28 years working in field of Communication for Development when he retired in 2003 as Head of Graphic Design Unit UNICEF HQ New York. George is experienced in many forms of visual communication including related research, and has published key work on Visual Literacy and the use of cartoon animation in development. He is well known in his field. In 1980, an Illustrations for Development booklet from East Africa was published by him, which is still relevant today. The research was later superseded by the Visual Literacy studies which George did in Nepal for UNICEF in the late 1990. This was quoted in the book 'People Pictures and Power’, Bob Linney 1991 - Macmillan-Talc) as the most important visual literacy study ever done, and was also mentioned as such by the New Internationalist magazine.
Health Health Health Health
Health
The collection represents the work of artists from more than forty countries who have offered their work copyright free. Many UNICEF staff members and colleagues in other organisations have to be thanked for commissioning the original work over some twenty years. Most especially Anis Salem, Robert Tabji, Monique Clesca, Regina Faul-Doyle, Clifford Wang, Bob Linney, Bruce Wilson and Jonathan Zetland. Special thanks to the artists: Jess Abrera, Wad Abu, Adnan Ahmad, Syed Ahmad, Meschack Asare, Terry Aston, Helen Averley, Durga Baral, Rose Barnacle, Narenda Basnett, Janet Blakeley, David Bracken, Matt Brooker, David Browne, Rachel Busch, Peter Campbell, Jim Carson, Joel Chikware, Joanna Clutton, Jean Cozens, Carolyn Crory, George D'arcy, Terry Davies, Julie Douglas, Ely, John Erasmus, Chris Esler, Jenny Fagence, Julia Foster, Teri Gower, Adnan Gumman, Polly Harvey, Ron Hopkins, Elroy Huges, Karen Hunter, Sam Hunter, Mary Jessop, Winston Jordan, Mani Joshi, Deepak Joshi, Tomomi Kaharabata, Mohan Khadga, Khalid, Anop Kittichaiwan, Jolyne Knox, Kim Leppard, Ron Lumsden, Nonoy Marcelo, Chris Madden, Apelis Maniot, Mark Maynard, Mbala, George McBean, Kieran McClusky, Trevor McCormick, Tannaz Minwalla, Cynthia Moore, Mike Munday, Guy O'neal, Pei's, Babu Raja-Deola, Sharad Ranjit, Elizabeth Rathmell, Jane Ray, Filepe Risopatron, Wendy Robinson, Margaret Rollo, Rong, Ned Royal, Mike Sanderson, Joy Simpson, Birendra Singh, Jane Smith, Mark Urgent, Gini Wade, Jane Walton, Hugh Watt, Iswanto Yarman Turi, and the many others who have donated their work.

Nutrition
Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition
Nutrition

PREVIEW THE ILLUSTRATIONS

Preview images are provided in a reduced size. To view these illustrations click on the relevant links below.
Full-sized images are available under downloads.

Agriculture Disability Reproduction
Cartoons Disease Rural
Characters Household Shelter
Childhood Hygiene Urban
Comic characters Miscellaneous Waste
Communication Nutrition Water

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENTS
George McBean, Norbert Kaggwa, John Bugembe, Eds. 1980. lllustrations for Development. Afrolit Society. 69pp [2077 KB]
George McBean. 1988. Rethinking Visual Literacy: research in progress.
Health Education Research - Theory and Practice Vol.3 no.4, 393-398
[352 KB]
George McBean. 1989. Rethinking Visual Literacy. Helping pre-literates learn.
UNICEF Nepal. 42pp
[3274 KB]
DOWNLOAD ILLUSTRATIONS
  Topic
Total images
For ease of downloading on slower connections, the illustrations are divided into files under the following topics:
Agriculture
79
agriculture1.zip
[1829 KB]
agriculture2.zip
[1529 KB]
       
Cartoons
39
cartoons.zip
[2254 KB]
           
Characters
196
characters1.zip
[1261 KB]
characters2.zip
[1675 KB]
characters3.zip
[2007 KB]
characters4.zip
[1356 KB]
Childhood
150
childhood1.zip
[1087 KB]
childhood2.zip
[1540 KB]
childhood3.zip
[1214 KB]
   
Comic characters
1287
comic01.zip
[2016 KB]
comic02.zip
[2445 KB]
comic03.zip
[1856 KB]
comic04.zip
[1826 KB]
comic05.zip
[3736 KB]
comic06.zip
[2722 KB]
comic07.zip
[2231 KB]
comic08.zip
[1561 KB]
comic09.zip
[1489 KB]
comic10.zip
[716 KB]
comic11.zip
[2515 KB]
comic12.zip
[894 KB]
comic13.zip
[1094 KB]
comic14.zip
[1459 KB]
comic15.zip
[770 KB]
comic16.zip
[927 KB]
comic17.zip
[927 KB]
comic18.zip
[1001 KB]
comic19.zip
[1176 KB]
comic20.zip
[1063 KB]
comic21.zip
[816 KB]
comic22.zip
[673 KB]
comic23.zip
[1305 KB]
comic24.zip
[1294 KB]
Communication
130
comms1.zip
[1283 KB]
comms2.zip
[3038 KB]
       
Disability
16
disabil1.zip
[524 KB]
           
Disease
333
disease1.zip
[3219 KB]
disease2.zip
[3259 KB]
disease3.zip
[2593 KB]
disease4.zip
[2387 KB]
Household
26
house1.zip
[745 KB]
           
Hygiene
185
hygiene1.zip
[1719 KB]
hygiene2.zip
[1356 KB]
hygiene3.zip
[1072KB]
   
Maps
119
maps1.zip
[ 8230 KB]
maps2.zip
[ 7355 KB]
Alternatively, visit the UN Cartographic Section for the latest versions of these and other maps.
Miscellaneous
110
misc1.zip
[973 KB]
misc2.zip
[771 KB]
       
Nutrition
152
nutrition1.zip
[1737 KB]
nutrition2.zip
[1074 KB]
nutrition3.zip
[1949 KB]
   
Reproduction
111
reproduct1.zip
[1322 KB]
reproduct1.zip
[1046 KB]
       
Rural
125
rural1.zip
[4242 KB]
rural2.zip
[2201 KB]
       
Shelter
50
shelter1.zip
[2815 KB]
           
Urban
111
urban1.zip
[2425 KB]
urban2.zip
[2773 KB]
       
Waste
29
waste1.zip
[1229 KB]
           
Water
240
water1.zip
[2581 KB]
water2.zip
[1946 KB]
water3.zip
[1443 KB]
water4.zip
[1831 KB]

Hygiene Water
Hygiene

Water handpump

Hygiene and Water
Water from a well

 

Page last updated July 12, 2014