squashed car– and everything else for that matter…

Using good images can be one of the biggest problems in design. It is all to do with the image’s resolution, which so many people have little understanding of. They cheerily go off producing items of design and then get a shock when it doesn’t quite look the way they expected.

When an image is blown up larger than it should be it will look pixelated. Making do is all very well but when your reputation depends on it can you take that chance. Is it better to have a poorly produced marketing item than none at all – How do you feel about that?

These problems stem from the difference between web and print resolution. However big images appear online they will not reproduce that size in print. In some cases when the images are small you can get away with it but the best example is when an image is taken from the web to be produced on a pull-up roller banner! It is totally unsuitable and will become grainy and pixelated at best but more likely unrecognisable.

To produce consistent marketing material across the web and transfer into print you have to buy the largest stock images possible. By thinking ahead the largest image will always be suitable for any printing and then use a smaller version for any online design.

Most stock image libraries now offer the larger versions for the same price.

So be prepared and buy large just in case.

(The images used on the banner to the left are not the same ones used in the website images to the right)

Another problem that appears frequently is caused by laziness or the unavailability of the right image or design elements and an ‘it will do’ philosophy wins over. The result being usage of an image that becomes completely out of proportion and made to fit a space it wasn’t designed to do. This section below of a roller banner uses an image of christmas baubles that originated from a leaflet and has been scaled one way to fit and not in proportion.

To me it screams every time I go passed it but to the ordinary voyeur it probably goes unnoticed, so then the question is does it really matter?

What do you think? Similar to the image of the car at the top!

I hate to admit I am a design snob – but if I wasn’t would that mean I wasn’t as good a designer as I maintain I am?

Good images get you noticed, on social media and in print.

An amazing, attractive image in an advert will catch the attention of the customer far quicker than a line of text, our brains like images, they are easier to compute! A poor image, drab colours, out of focus and fuzzy shapes will blend in and get missed… the eyes get tired and bored in the end, they certainly won’t be remembered !

Or they do get remembered, for the wrong reasons!

Look through the magazines and see how many fuzzy images are being used. Look at the fuzzy blurred text and titles and then tell me they represent a business that cares about how they look! You will never see a fuzzy Coca cola logo, or a misshapen Virgin media symbol.

It all comes down to brand image and the brand guidelines imposed by such companies and are refined to the last ‘nanometer’.

It is how you want to look and be remembered by your new and old customers. How you convince them that you are worth using. Good images may not always be appreciated but dismal images shout poor quality, carelessness and laziness.

If you don’t care about how you are portrayed by your own marketing literature will your customers believe you will care about how you treat them?

unsquashed carThis is how the car should have looked!

Getting it right costs less than ‘making do’ and far less than losing customers out of lack of respect and sloppiness.

angie phillips Written by Angie Phillips, Design Consultant - Helping you create business by creating effective design with expertise and efficiency. Personally committed to my clients and always happy to offer advice. Promoting and helping you to grow through strategic introductions even after our work is done. More design tips and useful information here