Leveraging Images to Enhance Brand Identity
by Denise Kyeremeh
Illustration by Sophia Alem
The use of high-quality images can help to improve brand identity. Images can grab the audience’s attention by displaying relatable, eye-catching imagery without using too much copy, which can become redundant and boring. By identifying a target audience, you can use images that appeal to that audience to intrigue them. Images can communicate emotion and tone so that audiences will relate to your brand. Images communicate messages much quicker than words, which is useful in an age where attention spans are ever-decreasing. Using the right images to communicate what the company stands for can impact the audience’s perception of the brand.
Brand identity is the way that brands present themselves. Brand image is the way the audience perceives the brand. Images can promote a strong brand identity on social media by ascribing certain imagery to the brand. It is important to intentionally choose images for social media posting that are unique yet relative. The more cohesion you can create while still standing out from the crowd will go a long way to creating a strong brand identity. The goal is for the brand identity you create to be as close to the brand image the audience perceives.
Tips for creating a strong brand identity using photos:
· Post images that are all similar in quality
· Take images in similar settings. If you want to post photos taken both indoors and outdoors, post a variety of both
· Use a set color scheme and fonts if using the photos for social media graphics
Images can help flow.
When creating graphics that include images, it is important to understand how images can impact flow. Flow is a graphic design element that describes the way eyes move through the design. The use of images can highlight words used in graphics. If a full body image is used, the shape of the body can point audiences to the words on the page. Additionally, faces promote flow because people follow the direction of the eyes. Having eyes look in the direction of where you want the audience to look next also helps the flow of graphics. For example, if the image has a person pointing, it would help the graphic flow if the copy was at the end of the pointing finger.
Using Stock Images
Stock Images are great options for companies who want to use high-quality images that relate to your message but do not have a staff photographer. These images can reinforce the message companies are communicating with social media. Stock images are also a good way to find an array of images if the company does not have many of its own images to post. There are usually a wide variety of options when choosing stock images and companies can choose from images that incorporate certain colors or include poses that are better suited for graphics. The downside with using stock images is that they can feel inauthentic and “too perfect.” Stock images are copyrighted, and it is important to get permission to use these photos, which is known as licensing. It is common to have to pay for access to many stock images, particularly high-quality images.
Taking Your Own
Taking images as an organization can be beneficial in order to control brand identity. When taking pictures for social media it is important to use the proper equipment and settings. Whether using a cell phone or a professional camera, there are a few things to prioritize.
High Image Quality: High-quality images are important because low-quality images give an air of unprofessionalism. People may not take the brand as seriously if the photos are grainy or blurry. Good lighting helps the audience see the image clearer and focus on the subject of the image.
Obvious subject: When taking a photo, it is important to keep the image’s subject in mind. What is the audience supposed to focus on? Highlight the subject by making sure the background of the photo is not distracting. Present the subject clearly by having it be at the forefront of the image