We’ve spoken about most aspects of web design visuals such as how to choose a colour palette, typography matches as well as typography and colour psychology. But what about one of the most important types of visuals? Photos and images are crucial to accompany and strengthen your website and your business. There are many different avenues you can take when it comes to including images that’s why we have compiled this article to show you the best ways to tackle image sourcing and how to decide on the best images.
1. Using stock images.
There are a few issues that can occur when using stock images. The most important thing to remember is whether or not you have the right to use that image on your website. There are many stock image websites out there that claim to offer “free” stock images. However, this is not always the case and you could actually be using an image that is subject to copy write. Always research stock image websites carefully so that you don’t run into any legal trouble down the line. Or better yet use a paid-for subscription based service like Shutterstock. Any point to take into consideration when picking stock images is that some of them are completely unoriginal and very posed. We’ve spoken about how images like this can negatively impact your website before. If you want less cheesy images think about exploring some of our other alternative options below.
2. Using your own.
Of course, if you don’t want to use stock images there is always the option to create your own. Just remember when taking your own photographs to use a professional equipment that is capable of delivering high-quality images worthy of putting on your website. Additionally, if any editing needs to be done use a professional grade photo editor like PhotoShop or any of these other sweet alternatives. However, if you prefer to use graphics or illustrations for your website you can create these yourself too. Just make sure you have the right equipment, a few things you may need are a graphics tablet, scanner and a graphics creation software like Illustrator.
3. Hire a professional.
If you have some money to spare you could always hire a professional. Hiring a professional can take the stress out of sourcing or creating your own images yourself. However, this can amount to quite a high cost. Steer clear of “cheap” or “discounted” suppliers. Majority of the time you get what you pay for, so always do your research and be mindful of companies offering too good to be true deals. Unfortunately, they probably are too good to be true and will only leave you with a half decent result that you cannot even use on your website. If you want a high-quality product you have to use high-quality suppliers.
4. Know your specs.
Visuals can come in many different forms so it is important to know which ones are the best to use on the web. If you’re making your own or hiring a professional you can always dictate what file type you want your image to be. The most common image file types for using on the web are JPEG, PNG and GIF. JPEGs are good to use for compressed digital photography. PNGs are good when working with vectors, graphics and illustrations. Finally, GIFs are better for low-resolution film clips, animated imagery and logos with a limited colour palette. As well as format remember to keep file size in mind. File storage size can directly impact your website- extremely large file sizes can result in slower page speeds whilst a smaller file size will be almost unnoticeable.
5. Relevance and meaning.
Despite all of the given points above one of the most important things to remember when choosing imagery for your website is that they must be relevant to your business. It must contribute something to your website whether is provides product imagery, reinforces your ethos or shows your users your unique selling point. This makes sure that users are engaged in your website and your services or products.
If you want to read more about choosing the best images for your website here are a few of our favourite references:
If you need any help regarding graphics, images for the web or even a general web design inquiry please don’t hesitate to contact us. Happy designing!