Images in Design – See the bigger picture

Make your design speak a thousand words…

Sourcing good photographic imagery to use for design is one of the most common and important tasks I have as a designer. Although challenging and frustrating at times, the power of great photography has the potential to speak a thousand words, (or so they say)!

Imagery, is a key element to enhance, complement, and portray a message in design. It can create a huge impact on how people interpret how we see the visual world. Here are some useful tips that may help when creating a design:

The higher resolution the better!

Sometimes, when you’re presented with grainy, monotone and out of focus images, it can make it very difficult to amend if the resources you have to work with are limited. As a rule, use 300dpi for print and 72dpi for web. Sourcing high resolution images provides sharper, more defined results!

Get a professional to take some top-notch shots

Although not within everyone’s budget, getting a professional to take some shots is worth every penny. Their expertise and guidance will help to create the perfect shots to suit your business and the style you are looking for, which ultimately help to bring your designs to life. Bramham Horse Trials have allowed us to use some great photography for their new website.

Let the image breathe…

A big element to consider is not over-cluttering a design. Make sure it has enough white space to breathe. Don’t dilute the focus of the image with unnecessary content. When designing, consider composition, typography and focus of the piece to draw the viewer in.

Narrow your selection

To best enhance your design, if you have in excess of 800 photos of similar things, try and make clear decisions as to which images won’t work as well as the ones you like. Your first instinct is usually right!

Design for the tone of your piece

Does your design convey emotion, need to be a bold statement, be a subtle addition, or provoke a reaction? Using imagery in the right way to complement your piece is key to creating a strong style and message.

Use stock imagery – but don’t over rely on it.

There are some great stock images out there, but there are also some awful ones too! Try and avoid the cheesy, forced posed images; instead natural, realistic shots are much more appealing and ones that people can relate to! Sites like Shutterstock, iStock and Getty Images are good for finding stock imagery.

Photoshop at the ready!

If you do have to work with lower resolution images, using Photoshop to edit, crop, convert to black/white, or blur to add interesting effects can make for a visually appealing photo. Remember to print images out though – what looks good on screen may not look as good when printed.

Use photography as content

Start to think about photos at the start of the design process. Photos break up the visual monotony of lots of heavy text – people take notice of images. So be careful to choose ones that complement the content you are including. Draw the viewer’s attention with eye catching images.

Colour is key

Are you looking for a monotone piece or do you want a vivid, striking colour palette? Sometimes, choosing your image first can influence what colours you may want to use within your design. Using images together with similar colour tones can collectively be very striking.

Don’t neglect imagery

Design, check. Content, check. Web domain, check. IMAGERY? Don’t let this crucial element of your design be your downfall. Think about what style and personality you are going for. Take time to choose what best sums up what you are trying to say.

Are you looking for pixel perfect pictures? Thrive has access to some top notch photographers and even more handy tips on offer. To find out how we can help with your image, speak to our snap happy team!

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