Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video Images, part of Branding for Designers.
- Images are typically the most important element on a page or screen. We look at an image first and then scan for words and shapes. A brand is defined, not just by the logo, color and type, but by the type and style of imagery. For decades Coca-Cola employed illustrations in a specific style, depicting a healthy, all-American lifestyle. Apple has maintained an image style of beautifully lit products on a white background. And Nike portrays athletes in action with dramatic lighting and color.
Looking at the brand attributes is the first step. First, what is the content of the imagery? Nike's imagery matches a brand about aspiring to be your best as an athlete. Is the content the product? If so, is it well-designed enough to be the hero of a photo? Is the content of the imagery people? If so, the next question is, "Who?" Real people or celebrities? Children or adults? Families or individuals? This opens the door to issues such as race, gender, age or nationality.
Hopefully you're working with a client that includes diversity in their attributes. Let's jump to a place where I've decided a wide range of people doing everyday activities communicates the brand's message. For example, honesty. I now need to decide what style of imagery is best. Should the images be black and white, technicolor and posed, realistic and candid, or illustrations? Frankly, this boils down to creativity. In the instance of communicating honesty as an attribute, my choice is a realistic color photograph.
But the choice may not always be that clear. Using the brochure example, try several styles. It's often a good idea to have two or three options to present to the client, so let him or her help make that decision. After all, it's their brand and they know it better than you can. They may not be able to define a visual concept verbally, but will respond to the content and styles of images.
- The history of branding (pre- and post-1950)
- The elements of branding
- Conducting research
- Solving problems and presenting solutions
- Creating logos and identity systems
- Building a visual system with color, typography, and more
- Communicating branding with manuals and vision books