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A picture is worth a thousand words.

When developing your brand it’s all too easy to forget that imagery plays an important role in bringing the visual messaging element to it all. It’s the part that needs to resonate and connect with your audience, so getting it right is as important as your logo, typefaces and colours.

Choosing the right suite of images can be tricky, striking the right balance between being innovative and on message. A good starting point is to break it all down with a plan.

Be a focused magpie

It’s always a good starting point to have a plan before you go crashing into looking for images on the internet. Revisit your core values, mission statement and company message and map out your thoughts—these will all have an impact on narrowing your ideas and searches. Once you have your plan, it’s then time to research. This can be done easily via stock libraries, or if you are looking for a more bespoke and specific look, then search for local professional photographers online or via the, who will be more than willing to discuss and create what you are looking for.

If you decide the stock photography is for you, then make sure you search through all the top stock libraries. Most libraries have ‘collections’ or ‘lightbox’ facilities, so you can save your choices to review together at a later time.

Mirror your messaging

It can be so tempting to pick an image because you think it looks good or is unusual. But it’s important that the imagery you choose reflects your marketing messaging as much as possible. It also needs to stand out and reflect your company’s ethos and brand values.

When your customers see your images along with your other brand elements, they need to make a connection to you quickly and simply; if they have to think about it or try to work it out, then it’s not effective or representing you well.

Add some emotion

Your brand imagery needs to engage your customers on an emotional level too, so the images you select need to reflect your brand story (you have a brand story, right?). Connecting with your customers on emotional levels through your images is a great way to engage and clarify your message. Make your images memorable, stand out from the crowd and reinforce that connection.

Explore, learn and get creative

One of our greatest resources, the internet, allows you to endlessly explore. Go and search what’s on trend and look at other websites and literature you admire, even if they are companies not in the same industry as you. Understand how they have approached their image choices and how they have got them to work with their brand. Do lots of research and learn what will work best before you commit.

Photoshoot or photo stock?

This question is always seen as one of the most important when it comes to brand image choice. Put simply, if you have the money to invest in a bespoke professional photoshoot, then this is the best route to get the exact images you really want to fulfil your brand brief. Your own photoshoot should always be seen as an investment and worthy; that’s why all the biggest brands do their own and invest.

For speed and to keep costs down and where a professional photoshoot wouldn’t be suitable, stock libraries will be your port of call. In the early days of stock photography, the libraries held a bit of a tarnished name when it came to quality, with many sites tending to opt more for quantity where they were competing with each other. Over recent years however this has been quashed due to the advancement of better quality control, experienced photographers and more Photoshop professionals entering the market. Stock libraries image it easy to search for specific images quickly and easily and find something along the lines of what you require. You can then manipulate images to your specific needs easily with Photoshop, Lightroom or any other photo editing software. There are of course limitations and finding a whole suite of similarly creative images can sometimes be tricky.

Need a bit of guidance to get your brand images hitting the mark? Give us a shout, we have been helping businesses big and small find their successful look.

Email today to get the ball rolling.

Doug Norman

Author Doug Norman

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