Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
Words and pictures are intricately linked in journalism, advertising and educational contexts. Words printed under a photograph, the caption, signal the importance of the common sense representations portrayed in the image. Words beside a picture in an advertisement explain a product and its attributes clearly to a potential customer. Words spoken by an instructor give explanations and life to slides projected from the back of a darkened classroom. Words and images work together for most successful communications.
“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?”
Politics and the English Language, 1946
— George Orwell
A great portion of our efforts to hone our craft revolve around becoming better communicators, or finding that set of symbols that is most conducive to reaching that critical shared understanding for a particular work effort.