As the many pages of law journals, monographs and textbooks demonstrate, the complex interface between law and visual culture continues to be a marginal aspect of legal study, research and scholarship. To paraphrase sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1965/1990, p. 1) there exists a hierarchy of legitimate objects of study. The orthodoxy continues to be preoccupied with the ways in which the written texts of law make the world. The multifarious gatekeepers of legal studies have responded in a variety of ways to scholarly and pedagogic projects that turn away from law's written text and its operationalisation. In my experience from giving papers and talking to lawyers and judges, these range from bewilderment, disbelief and passive aggressive indifference to more open attacks and withering denunciations that dismiss work that touches on the visual aspects of law as esoteric, trivial, ‘not law’. The publication of these three books exploring various dimensions of the interface between law and visual culture does not herald the death of the written text of law, but they do point to the long history and contemporary significance of visual culture for law. Their publication provides an opportunity to examine a body of work that takes this interface seriously. Each of these studies demonstrates the need to qualify the legal obsession with the word and for legal scholars to pay due regard to a wider range of visual cultural forms and practices that shape and represent law and legal practice. They also provide an opportunity to reflect on apparent resistance to taking the visual dimensions of law more seriously. In combination, these three monographs illustrate the substantive, jurisdictional, disciplinary and methodological diversity of current research on the visual dimensions of law and its historical range.