Do you love those watercolour paintings all over Pinterest? Maybe you enjoy moody black and white photography. But what if clever, minimalist icons are your thing?
If you’ve been in business for a few years, you might be at the stage where building a consistent brand image is your next focus. If that’s the case, figuring out what style of images you prefer is the next step. It’s time to figure out and decide
- what kinds of images work for your business,
- attract your audience,
- AND work with your brand and your personality.
What’s YOUR style?
In general, there seems to be three main image styles: photography, illustrations and graphic icons.
Photography is by far the most common style used in marketing.
- think of the many facebook photos showing everyday life unfolding
- all the websites that open up with great photos demonstrating the product/service they sell
- think all the instagram posts that focus on selfies (and so on)
Other folks prefer to use illustrations or artistic renderings rather than photographs. There’s so many beautiful watercolour sketches online, and carton-line drawings or doodles to represent a brand. This style also includes paintings created by others.
<example below: wine bottle label in a watercolour painting style>
And still others prefer to use very modern, graphic icons. Streamlined, to the point, and highly effective; there’s little clutter here because this style is all about the modern esthetic. Why use photos when a well-placed icon of a heart will show the “love”?
<example below: law firm website using icons>
If you’ve been using a specific style of images over any period of time, after a while people come to expect that style from your marketing collateral and your posts. And once you figure out what YOU like, and what works for your brand, it’s time to commit and meet their expectations.
Here’s some examples
A medical type of clinic will need to use photos of people being adjusted/massaged/examined. And don’t forget that now that we are all under new COVID-19 regulations, it may be a good idea to show how your office/clinic/shop is complying with those regulations. If not in your website photos, then certainly in your social media posts.
Having abstract, moody dark photos will not work here; it’s best to have an editorial style showing how your place of work actually works.
A daycare may find that using illustrations or cartoon-style drawings may be more suitable than photos. And this type of image allows for a whimsical, fun approach that doesn’t work well for all businesses.
A software company may choose to use icons/graphics over photos. Sticking to strong graphic images will probably be more effective (not to mention less boring!) than stock photos. These staged and highly posed stock photographs can be very generic, and don’t really add much to the image a company like this would want to create.
I hope the examples above have given you a better idea of the styles available.
Take some time and review your website and posts, and see where the common items are.
Check to see which types of images work best for your business and help to “tell your story.” This will help you start figuring out your style.
Once you’re more clear on what that style is, set aside some time for building a library of images that you have ready to use.
If you have questions about your brand image and the images that can best support it, please contact me. It would be pleasure to help you figure it out, or offer some suggestions.