Humans are generally hardwired to respond to visuals. We notice, we remember, we learn from what we see, forming judgements and perceptions subconsciously. When it comes to making decisions about a product this will be largely based on how it is represented visually and contributes to the value we hold for that particular item. Basically if we like what we see we'll buy it!
When marketing our products and services, visuals play a very important part in persuading customers to buy. So how can we ensure we choose the best images for print media and use them in a way that maintains their quality ?
Read on for some top tips on how to make images work for your business promotion.
How important are images?
You've heard the old adage, 'a picture paints a thousand words,' or in other words why load up your advertisement with copy and graphics when a striking, high quality and fitting image can do the job for you in a much more effective way. It's a known fact that potential customers will respond more positively to printed material that focuses on photography rather than text. In line with this, research from M&G Marketing suggests that only 10% of people will remember something they heard after three days, whereas 65% will recall a picture or image within the same time period. Add this to the fact that two out of every three people consider themselves to be visual learners and you can start to see just how important it is to choose the right images when marketing your business.
As a guide, consider the following criteria when choosing the most suitable images:
- Is it eye catching and of interest to your chosen audience?
- Is it appropriate to the product, brand and company ethos?
- Is it up to date and trending?
- Is the image as natural as possible; not staged or posed?
- Does it support the tone of the message/content?
So how can you make sure that the images you choose not only work but are of good quality for your print media?
(Read our blog 'Image Magic!')
Choosing your images
When selecting images for your brochures, roller banner displays, outdoor banners etc you have two main sources.
1) Image library sites
2) Take your own photographs
1) Image library sites are the most convenient way to finding a great image for your promotional display or literature. Just open the website in your browser, tap in a search word that relates to the theme, a key word linked to the product or service you are promoting and the site will draw up and list all appropriate images on your page. It's then just a case of downloading the right one. The more popular sites for stock images include:
- Getty Images
Be aware that some sites require subscription and not all images are free for use by a third party; so check the usage rights.
By obtaining photos and images from these sites you can guarantee a quality reproduction from web page to print.
2) Taking your own photographs is obviously more involved but if you have time and creative confidence, this option gives you the freedom to come up with something unique and custom made to really wow your audience. And or course using an amateur photographer (or yourself!) will be less expensive than commissioning a professional one.
Image quality could always be an issue when going the DIY route, as the original photograph will need to be high resolution at the outset before going to print if it is to reproduce well. Your online printing company or graphic design studio can advise on how to achieve the highest quality for your images or check their website artwork guide on how to set up your ad ready for printing.
Photos taken on mobile phones are too small and will not be suitable for reproduction into print, especially when using them for large format products such as outdoor banners.
For more advice read our blogs:
What are high resolution images?
The best quality images to use on large printed displays need to be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch). This is the number of individual dots that can be placed in the span of an inch. The higher the number of dots or pixels the clearer the resolution of the image. Even if your image looks fine on screen it may not look so good when printed. Images can become pixelated, or blocky, if the camera you're using is not set to a minimum of 20 megapixels. Always set your camera to record pictures as large as possible, selecting the RAW setting as opposed to the JPEG. The JPEG files are compressed which means that storage space is saved but editing is much less flexible which may affect the final contrast and sharpness of the image. On the other hand, a RAW file is an uncompressed version of the image file which takes up a lot more space on the memory card, but does offer much greater control in editing the final image, in particular it's colour and clarity.
Check your Printer or Graphic Designer's online resolution guide for more detail.
How to add the image to your design
When supplying your own artwork take into account the following tips to make sure the image you've chosen really works in your design:
- Your images need to be the right size for your design. Not too big so as to dominate the page nor too small they are lost (More information in our blog 'The detail's in the design')
- Image colours need to be vibrant, attractive and complimentary (See our blogs 'Colour can pack a punch'; 'Color, Kuler, Colour' & 'The detail's in the design')
- They should be positioned where they won't block out text or important information such as contact details, but are clearly visible for your audience to appreciate (Read more at 'Be roller banner savvy')
- Use editing suites such as Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Canva to make your image more interesting by using shapes, colour effects, cropping, positioning, resizing and blurring. (For more online design advice see 'How to design your own roller banner'; 'Checklist for submitting a roller banner design brief'; 'Thoughtful layout'; 'Ps - create your banner here')
Need a little advice or support?
There's a lot of information here to take in so if you feel out of your depth or would appreciate some professional help to ensure your promotional print turns out the best it possibly can, then give the experts a call. Eazy Print team members are ready to help either online or by phone. These friendly folk will explain all technical information in the simplest of terms and will share with you their experienced guidance to help you achieve the desired results.