Brand imagery is an ongoing topic for any business. It’s used across a variety of touchpoints to communicate your values, personality, and identity to your target audience. But not every project needs a professional photographer or designer to develop custom brand imagery. Especially for low-key projects, such as blog posts or social media imagery you might want to do the work yourself.
With the right approach and some basic guidelines, you can find fitting images that align with your brand and effectively convey your message. Keep reading and learn some practical steps to find appropriate images for your brand.
Set guidelines for your imagery
Before you start searching for images, it’s important to establish a set of rules that will define the visual style and characteristics of your brand imagery. Here are some key factors to consider:
Topics or topics-to-avoid
Determine the subjects or themes that are relevant and appropriate for your brand. Identify topics that resonate with your target audience and align with your brand values. Similarly, establish a list of topics or subjects to avoid to ensure your imagery remains consistent and on-brand.
Decide on the preferred perspectives or angles that reflect your brand’s personality. Whether it’s a top-down view, close-up shots, or wide-angle perspectives, choose angles that complement your brand and reinforce its identity.
Color Palette or Tonality
Define a color palette or tonality that represents your brand and its values. Consider the emotions you want to evoke and choose colors that align with your brand identity. This color palette will guide you in selecting images that harmonize with your brand’s visual aesthetics.
Setting and Surrounding
Determine the desired settings or environments for your brand imagery. Think about the places, landscapes, or interiors that reflect your brand’s personality. By specifying the settings, you can maintain consistency and create a cohesive visual narrative.
Decide on the composition style that best suits your brand. Whether it’s minimalist, symmetrical, or dynamic, select a composition that enhances your brand’s story and engages your audience effectively.
Where to find suitable images
Now that you’ve established your guidelines, it’s time to start looking for images that align with your brand. Here are some popular websites where you can find free images:
When browsing these platforms or any other image sources, keep your set of rules visible. This will help you filter out images that do not adhere to your brand guidelines and focus on those that align with your vision.
Let’s try an example. Write down the brand values of your company and create your guidelines from there.
Company: A travel blog with a focus on sustainable tourism.
Brand values: adventure, environmental consciousness, and cultural diversity.
Topics: Exotic destinations, eco-friendly activities, local communities, and responsible tourism.
Perspectives: Perspectives that capture the vastness of nature or the vibrant energy of culture.
Color palette: Earthy tones, blues, and vibrant accents.
Setting: Outdoors, such as mountains, forests, or beaches, as well as images showcasing local traditions and sustainable practices.
Sample images based on the created guidelines (all images from unsplash.com):
The main thing I focused on here, was the emphasis on the surroundings within the composition. The people and living creatures are small compared to their surroundings. This gives the setting more meaning, which makes sense for a tourist brand.
Customize your images
Depending on your skills and available resources, you can further enhance your chosen images to align them with your brand identity. One way to do this is by adding your company colors or color tonality to the photos. Use photo editing tools or graphic design software to incorporate your brand’s color palette, ensuring that the images seamlessly integrate with your overall visual branding.
Finding appropriate images for your brand is also possible without hiring an expert. By setting clear guidelines for your brand imagery and following the steps outlined above, you can find and customize images that effectively represent your brand. Remember to maintain consistency across your visual content to build a strong and recognizable brand identity. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can create a compelling visual experience that resonates with your audience and helps your brand stand out from the competition.