Traditional screening paradigms often focus on single targets. To facilitate drug discovery in the more complex physiological environment of a cell or organism, powerful cellular imaging systems have been developed. The emergence of these detection technologies allows the quantitative analysis of cellular events and visualization of relevant cellular phenotypes. Cellular imaging facilitates the integration of complex biology into the screening process, and addresses both high-content and high-throughput needs. This review describes how cellular imaging technologies contribute to the drug discovery process.