The spatial variation in phase and the propagating wave-front of plane wave electromagnetic radiation are widely familiar text-book territory. In contrast, the developing amplitude and phase of radiation emitted by a dipole or multipole source generally receive less attention, despite the prevalence of these systems. There is additional complexity in such cases where, in consequence of retardation, the character and features significantly and progressively change as radiation propagates onwards, from the near-field and out towards the wave-zone. Readily developed analytical representations of the electric field, cast as a function of distance from the source, provide illuminating insights into the most prominent and distinctive properties of radiant electromagnetic emission. Graphical implementations and animations of the results prove particularly instructive in revealing the spatial form and temporal evolution of the emergent electromagnetic fields.