How to source images for your brand

By The LDN Team | 1 December 2016
How to source images for your brand
Everything you need to know when sourcing images to represent your brand across multiple platforms.

Been eyeing up treats in the pantry again? No, not your kitchen pantry. We’re talking about Maggie Beer’s pantry

Maggie Beer knows how to use imagery to make your mouth water. Shots are beautifully lit, presented and photographed. This is food porn at its best. 
Not only is this delicious to eat, it is gorgeous to look at – Maggie Beer's website
The Maggie Beer website uses a mixture of flat lays and quality product shots.

The reality is visual marketing has never been more important. Research shows our brains not only process images faster, but can also retain and transmit more information when it’s delivered visually. 

Whether used on flyers, in magazines, blogs or social media, the right kind of imagery can be the difference between a campaign that converts and others that make little or no impact. 

Here are our top tips to train your eye and get your imagery right:

Decide on a style

There’s a kaleidoscope of styles to choose from: close-ups, flat lays, styled shots, and more. 

Flat lays are classic, simple shots taken from a bird’s eye perspective. Stylish images with a basic background and one theme can be arresting, which is why they have become an Instagram phenomenon
Cake Wines has mastered the art of the flat lay

Cake Wines incorporates visual clues in their imagery as to the flavour of their wines.

One brand that has mastered the use of flat lay imagery is Cake Wines. Paired-back shots with clever placement of spices and fruits hint at the flavours and sophistication of its products. 

This might not be the right style for your brand. Keeping your images simple and clear is another winning option. When you’ve got a wide range of products, it’s worth avoiding complicated imagery. I Scream Nails uses simple, bright, vivid imagery to convey the colours of its extensive nail polish product range. Colour appeals to your senses and the colours here really do scream off the page! 
I Scream Nails know how to put their product first
Regardless of which style you choose, you need to use it consistently. Consumers need to recognise your brand from a consistent image style across your website, flyers and magazine adverts. 

Invest in a commercial photographer

A picture really is worth a thousand words. So investing in a professional photographer can pay dividends in the long run. Take some time to choose the right photographer for your brand. Before you settle on a photographer, consider the following:
  • How do you want to convey your brand?
  • What style are you looking for?
  • Will you focus on products alone or do you want to show people enjoying them? 
  • Where will the images be used? e.g. flyers, website, blogs, brochures. 
  • What’s your budget?
Once you’ve selected your professional photographer, brief them well on what you want. Why not create a moodboard of images to illustrate to the photographer the style of photography that you like and would like for your brand? Pinterest is a great resource for compiling your mood board images.

Source stock shots

Not everyone has the time or budget to engage a commercial photographer, but don’t panic – there are other ways to get the imagery you need.
Source imagery from stock image website iStock

Access large libraries of professional images on stock websites like iStock.
Stock image libraries are repositories of photographs and illustrations from a wide range of photographers and designers that can downloaded for commercial use.

If you’re booking a brand new design with LDN, we can help you source the best stock images as part of the overall design cost. 

Alternatively, source your own stock shots online:
  • iStock has millions of online high quality photos, as well as illustrations, clip art, videos and audio tracks. There are pricing plans based on how many images you want to source and whether you want access to the entire range of images.
  • Shutterstock lets you buy as few as five images or subscribe for up to 750 images and more with a monthly payment commitment. 
  • Negative Space is one of the growing number of websites that offer free images with no copyright restrictions (here are some more). 

Never compromise on quality

To ensure the best quality imagery on your flyer, you need images of the right intensity and richness of colour. You want images to be sharp, so you can get a feel of the textures where needed. 

A photo is made up of lots of discrete points captured by a digital camera. These discrete points are better known as pixels or dots per inch (dpi). Typically a good quality image is 300dpi, also known as a hi-res image. While images online can be as low as 72 dpi, your designer will request hi-res images for flyers or brochures. 

Not sure if your image is hi-res? Check out the resolution data in the image file. As a rough guide, a 300dpi jpeg image is generally about 1MB in file size.  Your LDN agent will be able to confirm if your images are high enough resolution for printing.

Final word of advice

You don’t have to be a designer to create high-impact visual marketing. Simply follow the tips above and if in doubt, ask the experts for help.

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