Last week I shared some compelling research on the positive impact of including visuals in your marketing communications. Click the blue text above and check it out. We think you will find the benefits of adding visuals compelling for most, if not all, of your on- and off-line marketing communications.
Knowing that visual communications can make a big difference in growing your business is important, but it's only the first step. The next big challenge is actually doing it. Finding and editing images to support your message. Wondering where to find great photos and illustrations? We've put together a list of image and editing resources, many of which are free, to get you started.
Step 1: Find the Perfect Image
There are a lot of great sources for stock photos. Stock photo's had a bad rap in the past for being generic - but times are changing. The libraries of images is ever expanding. And there are efficient ways to search these libraries to find the perfect image to pair with your message. You can search by all kinds of key words such as industry, emotion, color, concept, illustration, photography... the list goes on.
Below are a Few Popular Sites For Royalty Free Images
The prices vary by image, use and file size. I've also included a list of websites where you can download photos for free. You'd be surprised how easy it is to find an image (or one very close to it) that you are looking for. You can usually get a better deal if you use credits or points to purchase your image. Of course the points you buy and the points you spend never seem to match up (surprise!). It's a way to encourage you to return to a particular site for your next photo.
Stock Images - Pay to Download
Public Domain Images - Free Download
Here is a recent post by Designmodo out lining 16 great sources for free photos.
Step 2: Crop Your Image to Accentuate Your Point
Sometimes the image you find works perfectly - nesting beautifully in your communication, accentuating a point you want to get across. Other times, a little editing can really make the image your own and drive your point home.
Photo Editing Made Easy - Cropping
Photoshop has been the industry standard for photo editing for a long time. But there are a lot of other free tools available on line as well. By cropping a photo, you can accentuate a particular aspect or even transform the meaning. With basic skills like cropping and adding text, you can turn a stock photo into a custom high impact messenger for your business.
Below I've provided links to a few free photo editors. These site put the tools in your own hands to create marketing communications with a punch.
Step 3: Add Your Message
Choose a Font and Add Your Message
Do you need to add copy? In many cases, just placing an image next to your content can grab attention, engage your audience and accentuate the point you are trying to convey. In other cases, you may want to add your message directly to the image.
Consider your brand personality, the tone of your message, and legibility when selecting your font. For more tips on choosing a font check out "What Font Should I Use?" Five Principles for Choosing and Using Typeface by Smashing Magazine. There are lots of sites to download exactly the right font to convey your message with the right tone. Just Google - "Fonts" or "Free Fonts" and you'll find a long list of providers.
At RainMaker Signs we believe great visual communications make great things happen. We specialize in event signs, graphics, and displays - large format communications designed to get your business noticed and create a great experience for your customer.
Let us know how we can help you out. Give us a call at 425-861-7446 or email sales@RainMakerSigns.com. We're always excited to help our clients achieve their goals.