Keeping your Images to your Image

After you have your logo, tagline and basic theme layout decided, the next major design consideration is how you are going to use your images. They will form part of your brand and as such they need to work with the style and the colours of the logo and theme you have decided on.

Most sites have a theme to their images. Here are some examples from sites

  • WPMUDev uses a range of product cartoon characters.
  • TechRadar uses product shots
  • Suggest website examples to add to this list, or make your own.

Now all sites need to keep a set of rules for a consistent look.

  • Where the images come from?
  • What is the style of your images?
  • Adding any text, lower third.
  • The size and aspect ratio of large, medium and thumbnails.

Where do images come from?

In this world of sharing images, you need to tread carefully. Many people are making a fortune with legal cases for copyright pictures. It may be well to share a meme on Facebook, but take much more careful where you find the images to use on your website. Simply doing a google search for an image is a poor strategy that could easily bring you problems. Most image sites now want to charge fees for their content being used.

It may be just as easy to take your own. Bearing in mind the size of the images you are likely to use, a good phone should be able to take good enough quality photos.

Premium sites offering photo content abound but I will give special mention to Adobe. They have a quality selection of images on a monthly plan. You can also take any image from their stock and bring it straight into the Adobe cloud apps like Photoshop. You can play around with the image to make sure it fits your needs. Change your mind and grab another maybe. You only need to ‘buy’ the rights to the image once you have confirmed it works and need to make use of it.

What is the style of your image?

Obviously, the image needs to follow the concept of the content that it is part of. However, you need to bear in mind how the image will look when a thumbnail as part of a list of posts, or products.

Are you going to keep to photorealistic images, or cartoons, or black and white even?

If you are looking at product images, do you want to keep the same background, maybe matching the background of the content page it will sit in?

Adding Text, lower thirds.

Do you want to add text content to your images? If you do, then consider how they will look at different sizes. Will the text be readable or a distraction for the thumbnail? If so, then you could crop it off?

You could create your images by loading them into your photo editing software.  Try Gimp  if you want a free application. you could also consider dropping the images into Powerpoint especially if you are going to add lower thirds.

Please make note that if you have content with a large area of text and then share it on Facebook, you will not be able to easily boost the post or use it for other Facebook advertising. This is due to their guidelines to not be all text in the images.

We use a Powerpoint template for our video channel.

What is the size and aspect ratio of your images?

Your images need to ‘work’ at all the sizes you are going to be using them – from large image to thumbnail. You also need to check that when your website responds to different sized devices, the images still look good too! Bear in mind the aspect ratio – Width to height.  You will typically upload the large version of the image to WordPress which will then create the other sizes. This can involve cropping if you do not keep the ratios the same. So, again you need to check that the images work in the all the size for you when they are created.

Sharing and using the images to other systems.

You should also look at how you will use the images across video sites and social media sites. Bear in mind the Facebook restriction on all text images.  Will images grab attention on Facebook or Twitter? If not, then use a separate image to promote these, but make sure it is congrument with the look, so when they click through to the website, it flows together.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash