Applicable for blank/editable designs only

We have put together some tips to help you on your way to creating a great design!

A design that uses imagery effectively always leaves a lasting impression, so knowing how to make the most of images is a must.

Even if your text has been carefully crafted to perfection, poor imagery can be a real turn-off for your readers. Whether you’re sourcing images from your brand library, a public stock library or using your own photography, there are several aspects of working with images that you should consider at every turn.

Inappropriate images 

You simply cannot go wrong with images that are relevant to the themes in your work. If you’re making a company magazine, what do pictures of food or animals have to do with anything? Unless these are pictures of your company’s work, stick to images that represent the best of your business’s culture.

Cheesy images 

Although they always manage to convey their meaning, these sorts of images are heavy-handed. Images that portray more natural behaviour should always be preferred as your reader will be more likely to associate with them.

Low-resolution images 

Don’t use a headshot that looks like it’s been distorted to protect the subject’s identity. There is no excuse for using images that are too low in resolution. Images that appear distorted cheapen your design, leading readers to lose faith in the validity of what they’re reading.

Consistent selections 

Lots of different images can look amazing, but they don’t always look amazing together. Ensure that the images in your work complement one another. Even if images do not feature together on one page, images that do not work together will make your document feel chaotic. Try to source images that make sense as an ensemble.

A bad example 

A better example

Stretching images 

When an image doesn’t fit the space we’d like it to, it’s tempting to stretch it. This means you’re enlarging the image but not preserving the ratio of its dimensions. You should never, ever do this – especially with pictures of people. Everyone will see that you have distorted the image.

In the examples below, see how these images are affected by the stretching applied to them.

Image location

Images can’t always go where they look nicest, especially when the order is essential to readers. Is your image relevant to the text? Does it require a caption? It’s easy to overlook these issues when trying to fit content into a page. If your text references an image or diagram, make sure it’s nearby so your reader can glance over at the image and come back to the text without losing their place.

Licensing images 

Do you know where your images come from and how you’re allowed to use them? 

Images must always be sourced responsibly. This means you should be aware of the license you are purchasing along with the image and what this allows you to do. Just like films and music, images have an owner and the license determines how you may use the image.

If you’re using an image from a stock or brand library, it’s likely that you can use this image freely in your work. However, it’s highly unlikely that images sourced from a Google image search (or indeed from any other search engine) will be licensed for your use, so don’t do it.

Not only is using imagery from an internet image search unethical, it’s potentially illegal. Only use images you have a license for and are therefore allowed to use.

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