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Medical Illustration
Beautiful and accurate medical illustration by board certified medical illustrators for healthcare, life sciences and publishing. Educate clinicians and inform patients.

Medical Illustration

As specially trained medical illustrators, we bring a unique blend of medical science knowledge and artistry to medical illustrations used for patient education, medical education and marketing.

Our experience in a broad range of therapeutic areas is backed by our knowledge of physiology, anatomy, cell biology and molecular biology. Our clients appreciate our in-house medical expertise knowledge and the time and effort it saves.

Who we've worked with

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The AXS Studio difference

We specialize in medical illustration, with board certified medical illustrators on staff. We’re trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, cell biology and surgical illustration. We speak the same language as our clients, which makes us an efficient and effective partner for visual communication needs.

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Creative visual storytellers

We love to explain medical science concepts through pictures. Whether it’s organ and tissue function, cell biology or the amazing molecular interactions that form the basis of life, we’re inspired to help others understand understand what goes on inside the human body.

We accelerate understanding

We believe that medical illustration makes complex ideas easier to understand. With better understanding, people can make informed decisions, which is especially important within healthcare.

Certified medical illustrators (CMIs)

Many healthcare agencies hire generalist illustrators who are not trained in nor certified in medical illustration. This often results in errors and headaches for clients. At AXS, we employ CMIs who also hold postgraduate degrees in biomedical communications. Our in-house medical expertise saves clients valuable time and effort.

We speak the language of science

Our Client Services team members have life science backgrounds and extensive experience helping clients develop medical illustrations. We speak the same scientific language as our clients and understand their unique challenges in presenting disease and therapeutic information in a highly regulated environment. We provide a supplier partnership you won’t find elsewhere.

Illustration down to a science

All medical illustration work is done in-house at our Toronto studio. This allows us tight control over the creative process, eliminating errors and enabling us to meet critical client deadlines.

Prepared for success

Our medical illustrations are carefully referenced and prepared to clients’ MLR review specifications. This combined with our medical content expertise and rigorous illustration workflow ensures on-time delivery of MLR-approved medical illustrations.
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Why invest in accurate medical illustration?

  • Medical illustration helps patients and their families understand unfamiliar and often complex concepts.
  • Medical illustrations are a highly effective way to communicate new ideas about disease pathways and management to healthcare professionals.
  • Medical illustrations that are accurate lend credibility to life science companies communicating with healthcare professionals (HCPs).
  • One good medical illustration can be used in multiple channels: Web, detail aids, journal papers, exhibit booths,news releases and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a medical illustration take to create?

It typically takes three to six weeks, depending on the content and complexity of the visuals. Another determinant is the client-side review process. We recommend contacting us two months or more before your need your medical illustration completed.

Who uses medical illustration and why?

Medical illustration is used to educate physicians and nurses about new research and understanding about illnesses and their treatment. It is also vital to disseminating new procedures, including surgical techniques.

Medical illustration is used by patients and families to understand medical conditions and therapeutic options so that they can make informed choices about care.

Medical communications and scientific affairs managers at pharmaceutical companies use medical illustration to explain disease pathways to healthcare professionals at symposia and congresses, and through disease awareness websites.

Pharmaceutical product and marketing managers use medical illustration to explain the therapeutic mechanism of action of drugs to healthcare professionals in publications, on websites and in medical congress exhibits.

Medical science liaisons use medical illustrations in their detail aids and presentations to explain disease pathways and therapeutic mechanisms when calling on physicians.

Specialists use medical illustrations in symposia presentations to describe everything from molecular disease pathways to new surgical procedures.

Patient advocates use medical illustration to explain complex disease information and treatments to the public, who have a wide range of medical and scientific literacy.

What do clients have to say about medical illustrations by AXS Studio?
The words most often used are “beautiful” and “accurate”. The visual quality of our medical illustration work is highly regarded our medical knowledge is unlike what they’ve experienced elsewhere. This is why most of our work is done for repeat clients.
Why hire AXS Studio over another illustration studio?

Many art and design studios employ generalist graphic designers or illustrators to illustrate medical content. The lack of medical and scientific training can result in inaccuracies that misinform viewers.

At AXS Studio, we employ medically-trained illustrators who are able to depict medical content accurately and clearly. For our clients, this results in credible and effective images that speak to both lay and audiences and medical professionals.

Are medical illustrators certified?

While it is not a requirement to practice, certification ensures a professional standard has been met and maintained. A Certified Medical Illustrator (CMI) has passed examinations in business practices, ethics, biomedical science, and drawing skills, and has passed a rigorous portfolio review. Competencies are maintained by meeting continuing education requirements and must be renewed every five years. CMI certification is administered by the Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators and is based on standards established by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

What’s included in the price of a medical illustration?

This varies among providers and so does the quality of service and degree of content expertise. AXS Studio pricing includes project management, content research, preparatory sketches, 3D modeling, rendering and compositing.

When hiring AXS Studio, do I need to provide a subject matter expert?

You do not because we have in-house medical science expertise. Our artists have specialized postgraduate training in medical illustration, which includes courses in physiology, pathology, anatomy, cell and molecular biology. We have four Board Certified Medical Illustrators (CMIs) on staff and have been illustrating complex medical processes for a discerning healthcare professional audience for the past 15 years. While we’re always happy to work with content experts, it’s not a requirement.

I’ve heard of offshore companies that offer medical illustration at a steep discount. Does AXS outsource to offshore suppliers?

We do not. All of our illustration is created in-house in our Toronto, Canada studio with qualified medical illustrators. This allows us tight control of quality and timelines, which is important when working toward fixed deadlines. As well, unlike many services that can be offshored to cut costs, quality medical illustration demands a high degree of specialized knowledge and training.

Our illustrators hold Master of Science, Biomedical Communications (M.Sc.BMC) degrees. This highly specialized training enables us to illustrate medical content more clearly and accurately than illustrators without proper medical training. There are businesses operating in Canada and the U.S. that produce illustration via lower-cost offshore producers. If you’re considering hiring one of these companies, we advise asking for information on their illustrators’ medical science qualifications.

Do you sell stock medical illustration?

We have some work that can be licensed for use. However, most of our medical illustrations were created custom for specific clients and are not for resale.

I’m pitching a journal cover. Will you give a discount if my illustration isn’t selected?

The same amount or work goes into a medical illustration whether or not it’s chosen by a publisher, therefore we do not discount the price for work that goes unpublished. Nor do most medical illustrators accept “spec” work. It is recommended to first pitch your concept to the publisher, with a sketch if feasible, before hiring a medical illustrator.

Can my medical illustration be animated at a later date?

Illustrations and animations frequently use many of the same elements, including 3D models and rendering processes. Nonetheless, animation is more involved than illustration and takes longer to develop. When making an animation following an illustration, we factor the repurposed work into the animation cost.

Can I upsize a small medical illustration if I need a larger version?
While you can print a larger size than originally intended or increase the dimensions of the digital file, the resolution of the image will not scale respectively. The scaled picture may appear blurry and will display artifacts. It is important to create the illustration at the largest size you’re likely need and then scale down when smaller versions suffice.
COVID-19 Update:
In alignment with public health directives, we continue to prioritize the safety of our staff and uninterrupted service to our clients.
We are open for business. Wishing you good health and resilience. We’re all in this together.