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6 ways to use stock images in your projects

Author : shariq.atiq.z
Publish Date : 2021-04-13 09:16:03
6 ways to use stock images in your projects

When it comes to stock images, we don't just mean photos of people in formal suits shaking hands. We explain how to find jewelry in an image archive and how to make it reflect your brand.

With a trained eye and some research skills, a good archival image can prove invaluable for your design project, saving you and your clients if the alternative is to use a photographer.

Whether you use a Stock photos site or use customer-selected images, we present our suggestions for choosing natural, professional, and original stock images, avoiding some recurring problems.

 

1. Keep an eye on the competition

Put yourself in your customer's shoes when looking for an image to use, and analyze it to check for competitors' products or technologies. Also check that it doesn't contain any brand colors or recognizable shapes and designs of competing products, even if the logos are blurry. Yes, we are really thinking of a certain iconic brand that represents a silver-colored fruit ...

2. Stay in the area

Stock images come from all over the world, which explains their quantity and variety, but when looking for a photo for a client, check that the image content complies with the rules and customs of the destination territory.

Currency, for example, is an element to consider: you would not give a customer in the US an image of people sitting in a club with prices in euros. Time is also important: don't choose photos of sunny California if you work for a client located in snowy Stockholm.

Finally, if you see vehicles or road signs in the photo, check which side the cars are going on and whether they are left or right-hand drive. In most countries, cars go right and the driver is left, except in Australia, India, the UK, and a few other places.

A quick tip: Sometimes a single image can be cropped in various ways to make a series of images with complementary colors and themes. This is a great way to maintain continuity within a small project.

3. Attention to the brand

Many companies have specific rules regarding the representation of their brand in images. You have probably had the opportunity to consult them and have seen examples taken from their sites and printed materials.

Sometimes, however, there are also unwritten rules, based on individual preferences or the strategic priorities of the company. If possible, try to chat with a designer or brand manager who works in the company to better understand which style they prefer.

Some stock images have been processed and have a very filtered and stylized look, so we recommend asking the client before selecting them. While these images follow today's trends (hello, Instagram!), They may not be a good fit for the client's branding, and even if they are there probably are rules on color temperature, vignetting, and saturation.

4. Put the discounted images aside

We don't need to tell you that overly constructed images aren't eye-catching. In general, it is best to avoid photos with people looking directly at the camera or with a facial expression unrelated to what they are doing. For example, the infamous “women laughing alone with salad”.

We recommend that you also treat symbolic clichés with caution, that is, images that have been staged to illustrate an abstract concept. For example, the crossing signs to indicate the making of choices, the piggy bank to indicate savings or the businessman with a megaphone to represent the theme of communication in the company.

5. Get help from keywords

There's a special technique for finding the images you want in a large archive, and the search terms you use can really make the difference between hours of research and quick decision-making. Using multiple keywords makes it easier to narrow your search quickly, or you can exclude certain keywords.

Finally, when you start your searches, make the most of the filters on the site that contains the stock images. On major sites, the filters are incredibly detailed, allowing you to choose image orientation, aspect ratio, country of origin or number of people represented.

6. Use all your senses to find captivating images

The sensory signals and texture are important in the stock images, whether you're creating a flyer for an event, a graphic for email, a web page, or a business card. A warm blanket, a vase of fresh flowers, or a slice of cake is always positively perceived. On the other hand, photos were taken indoors that are dated or shoddy, or contain unsightly objects may make an otherwise acceptable image seem unsuitable.

A quick tip: always choose the highest resolution you can afford. This way, you can choose whether to enlarge and crop the image in many different ways, avoiding the dreaded pixelated look.



Category : general

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