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The history of illustration can be traced back to the eighth century. Several famous illuminated manuscripts were created in the Middle Ages, including the Book of Kells ( In the 15th century, movable type was introduced and came to be used by book illustrators. Other printing methods such as etching, woodcuts, and copper engravings were used as illustration techniques in the 16th century and beyond.

In 1796, lithography was invented in Germany. In the original process of lithography, artists made prints directly from designs drawn on slabs of stone. Metal sheets eventually replaced these stone slabs. By the mid-1800s, illustrators used lithographs and engravings to draw magazine and newspaper pages.

As knowledge of photography developed and advanced reproduction processes were invented, artists increasingly used photographs as illustrations. Many industries today, ranging from advertising to fashion, employ illustrators. Today, many illustrators use software illustration programs to do all or some of the work. 

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