How to imagine your new website
Posted 01 December 2015
Sometimes, the hardest part of any new website development project, is visualising the end result and commissioning the right imagery to represent your brand.
One of the key elements of good web design is imagery, whether that is photography or illustration. Your corporate brand guidelines will usually have a strong influence on the sort of pictorial references that you can use to present your company’s images and services. These will be chosen to reinforce your brand credentials and overall product or service offering.
For designers, one challenge is accessing imagery that is appropriate for digital use, and which fits the broader UX. For example, portrait images will not work in a landscape format, and colour tones and angles from different shoots may not look consistent. Art direction is also key.
The ideal situation
With time and the right budget, the perfect solution for your new website is to commission a suite of art-directed photography specifically for this purpose. You will brief in the photographer, source the models, scenarios and locations, obtain the necessary consents and get the raw files as needed for editing.
Photo shoots can be expensive, so stock imagery is often used. This varies significantly in quality, but there are hundreds of shots to choose from in different categories and designers can work with the images and manipulate them to add filters, colours, tones, graphic overlays and text boxes, in order to create a bespoke feel.
A happy medium
Whether commissioned specifically for your website, sourced from stock imaging, or a mix of the two, a good designer can apply visual elements to bind the different photos together and make them appear to be a cohesive set that will work well for your audience. They will also save the images in the right resolution and advise as to where illustration or other graphical elements may be just as, if not more, appropriate for the overall effect you are trying to achieve.
Images and SEO
As a final point, your web designer will add appropriate alt tags and image metas to your photos so that the search engines can index them correctly, further helping in ranking your content. Search engines cannot ‘read’ images in the way that they can with text, so this meta information is absolutely crucial.