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POSTED 26.3.2019

Why a great picture matters

The essence of graphic design is to visually communicate ideas with the aim of creating imagery which communicates a core value or message.

By Sean Clancy, StoryLab’s Graphic Designer

As designers, we use a mixture of photography, illustration and typography to achieve this. Photography is the most common solution and photographs of people seem to have the most impact, but that’s another post!

The reasoning for creating images to communicate ideas goes back to the days of cavemen (and women).

Simply put, the human brain processes visual cues better than written language  — we are visual animals after all. Experts suggest that we remember 10% of what we hear, 20% of what we read and 80% of what we see.

I think most people instinctively recognise good quality imagery when they see it, so why, when we know the power of images, do we not always give them due concern?

If your intention is to put the right foot forward in business or otherwise then why do so many let themselves down when it comes to communicating visually?

I often hear of a company who does great things, how it’s ‘very good’, ‘successful’ etc. But when I go online and search, my heart sinks. They might have a bad logo, a terrible website or have chosen awful imagery.

And then there’s the social media platforms. You can say styles are subjective but with images, quality can’t be. Pictures are often badly cropped, are low-resolution, (reproduced too small to have any impact) or they just look downright amateur.

Many businesses with quality branding and access to good branding resources, frequently neglect the quality of the images that are required. In design, I’ve routinely had to request  — and demand — better images and brand resources.

Sometimes a brand will shrug the shoulders and say ‘It’s all we have. We’ll have to go with that.’ The results are predictable.

A picture paints a thousand words and we are living in a visual age.

With almost all of us looking at screens, the power of a great image has never been more important – or such a critical investment in your design thinking.