The subject of this editorial is figures-not the kinds of figures seen on the beach or those displayed in the columns of a ledger. The figures of concern here are those included with manuscripts submitted to Optical Engineering. You might ask, "Why an editorial on figures?" I'll tell you why-because we have been receiving too many crummy ones! I don't wish to exaggerate the severity of the problem, but approximately 11 out of every 10 illustrations submitted are bad. I don't understand the reasons for this, particularly when the journal to which they are being submitted is one involving optics, but it is true.* I just can't figure it out.