Never a truer word spoken! Images aren’t simply objects we use to fill up empty spaces. They communicate a message and engage a visitor. They have to tell a story. Your story.

Images are the key to good design, be it print or digital. Good images evoke emotion, add depth and make things tangible. They should be original, engaging and most importantly, relevant to the subject matter.

Well-chosen images on a website will capture attention, inform and hopefully persuade your potential clients. They will communicate your services and products far more powerfully than words alone and should give your target audience a really positive impression of your business. On the other hand, the wrong images can confuse or give a negative impression. A website or brochure which features a harmonious selection of images, colouring and styling will win hands down over a scruffy, uncoordinated design which features an array of disparate images and colours.

A few things to bear in mind when choosing images…

Quality – blurry, pixelated images will spoil any design. Images need to be crisp and high definition – if you stretch an image to fill a space, you will lose that sharpness and with it, your credibility.

Originality – avoid contrived images which look stilted and unnatural. These images are usually instantly recognisable as ‘stock’ photos by customers. It doesn’t mean stock images can’t be used – it’s just worth taking more time to dig deeper and find the right images for your business. Literal or metaphorical? People or abstract? A well-selected combination of the two often works very well.

Emotion – images need to evoke the right emotion and convey the right feeling. Natural, happy people enjoying your product or service will stimulate that emotion in a prospective client.

Branding – images should be consistent with your company branding and the expectation of potential clients. If you sell a high-end product or service, you choose images that reflect that style.

Consistency – the colour, styling and overall look of the images on your website or in your brochure should be consistent. This again will help with brand recognition and build your reputation.

Focus – get rid of everything your visitors don’t need to see! It’s always an idea to crop unwanted backgrounds or areas from an image and make sure your visitors focus on what is important.

Images are important but as with everything, a balance is equally important. Professional, innovative design with well- defined layouts and good styling provide a good combination of imagery, content and white space to ensure your clients aren’t overwhelmed when they visit your website or read your brochure.