A picture is worth a thousand words

‘A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.

The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.

The expression “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” appears in a 1911 newspaper article quoting newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane discussing journalism and publicity.

A similar phrase, “One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words”, appears in a 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio.

It is believed by some that the modern use of the phrase stems from an article by Fred R. Barnard in the advertising trade journal Printers’ Ink, promoting the use of images in advertisements that appeared on the sides of streetcars. The December 8, 1921 issue carries an ad entitled, “One Look is Worth A Thousand Words.”

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