The use of imagery in design can make the world of difference and is powerful in all contexts. In the age of information overload, we’ll do anything to filter information out. Imagine designs without any imagery at all just blocks of endless text — goodbye audience. With almost 50% of our brain involved in visual processing, it’s no wonder visuals are important when consuming information.
In our day-to-day working lives we write blogs, update social media, create email campaigns, develop our websites and formulate other marketing collateral that all lend themselves well to the use of imagery. No matter how impressive the written content may be, if low quality or outmoded images are used to accompany the text, the overall impression of the design can be damaged. Designs that lack imagery and creativity also pose the threat of being overshadowed due to their lack of engagement with their audience.
“With almost 50% of our brain involved in visual processing, it’s no wonder visuals are important when consuming information”.
Use copyright-free images or get permission for use
There is a common misconception that images available on the net are automatically free to use. What’s important to remember here is that the majority of these images are copyright protected, so can’t legally take these images and include them in your work. You need the correct license to use copyrighted images and, failing that, permission from the artist/photographer themselves to ensure the images are used correctly. For more information on copyright read our blog Copyright: why you can’t just use Google images.
How much do images cost?
The cost of images also needs to be considered. It’s all very well sourcing and purchasing a stunning image for $20 (for example) but if you’re working on a large project that requires a collection of images to be sourced, you could be looking at a much bigger bill. This takes money out of your budget that could be better spent on developing your brand or marketing elsewhere. For cash-strapped start-ups in particular, this kind of money is just not there.
Sourcing images for online marketing
While it may seem there are many issues to consider when finding the perfect image, it’s important to take the time to continuously source high-quality, dynamic images — they bring written content to life and make a lasting impression on your audience. Imagery adds an increased element of interest and dimension to designs by reiterating the message portrayed in the text. By breaking up the text, images also help to create content that is far easier to digest. Engaging content brings a more responsive audience, allowing you to really connect with and convert leads.
Knowing where to source images can be tricky and this is where we can help. It’s easy to browse for images and equally easy to get lost down the rabbit hole of image libraries that offer a potential end to your never-ending search. There are loads of resource options available, but a lot of them are — in our opinion — not up to scratch. If you’re using images to support your content you want them to look great and to reflect well on your brand, right? Some might be up to scratch in terms of design, but have such small image collections, that they aren’t useful or practical as a reliable resource.
Our definitive guide to the best free image sites
To make your life a whole lot easier, here at Popdot we’re putting together a definitive guide to the best free image sites that'll be posted on our website next week — don't miss out! Enjoy reading through our recommendations and be sure to save each website in your favourites — we guarantee they’ll help you boost your brand. Be sure to also check out our image infographic, here — a quick visual guide to make choosing images for your work really easy.
This article was written by Stephanie Gunn, Graphic Designer at Popdot Media. Steph is passionate about helping small businesses grow and develop while at the same time fostering great partnerships with her corporate clients.
Contact Steph today: [email protected].