We survey, record, and illustrate the historic environment using innovative approaches to create a specialised record of beautiful and informative illustrations. As a specialist team of heritage illustrators, photographers and graphic designers we help people explore and analyse heritage with new eyes, enhancing understanding and enjoyment whilst promoting innovation. Leading and innovating in our approaches we seek to use a wide range of techniques to bring heritage to life to communicate to our varying audiences.
Click on the links below to find out more about some of our approaches to visualisation.
This technique is the attempt by an artist to visualise scenes from the past almost as though the artist themselves were there drawing what they saw before them. Information is drawn from archaeological remains, environmental evidence and ethnographic sources.
Whilst reconstructive art will visualise scenes from the past , technical reconstruction and illustration will take a more measured approach which lends itself to the illustration of architecture.
Records and illustration of archaeological sites and objects are essential for the presentation and understanding of the sites.
Analytical site drawing
Using traditional survey techniques to aid understanding by observation and close contact with building fabric, particularly useful for vernacular buildings and architectural details.
Analytical site survey and illustration
Whilst measured and drawn methods have significant strengths, successful illustration can use theodolites, CAD and 3D modelling.
GIS and cartography
Heritage data is in essence spread spatially, using GIS can deliver both on a traditional such as the Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall walking maps as well as providing access through digital platforms to spatial data such as the Stonehenge Landscape Survey.
Using imagery to present information quickly and easily has been vital in understanding the big data sets created by the Historic Environment.
In collaboration with our Heritage Crime team we have been developing arresting graphics to support an ELearning package for Police Officers about tackling heritage crime on war memorials.
Our work also includes the use of animation, graphic novels and video to tell the story of our heritage. Used most recently on a film and accompanying graphic novel about the bombardment of Scarborough during the First World War.
Examples of Visualisation Approaches Image Gallery
Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.
Our guidance on visualisation techniques is designed to give clarity to complex subjects.
Paul Backhouse is the Head of Imaging at Historic England and oversees graphics, design, photography, cinematography, digital publication and Geospatial survey.
Contact Paul Backhouse
- Read an article in Issue 6 of Historic England Research digital magazine about how we have used visualisation techniques to help understand and interpret the wider Stonehenge World Heritage Site landscape.