When designing any website, imagery and visual references are essential. From landscape photography, to video content, the images of your team or staff, or even unique illustrations and animations, imagery can cover a lot of bases in web design. And while most companies understand the importance of using professional quality imagery, they can often mistake this with a need for stock imagery. But an over-reliance on stock images can have a range of negative effects, so it’s important to balance these with original imagery too, and where possible, choose original imagery over stock images. So what exactly is the role of stock images in web design? And how can they be used effectively? Well, here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester, we are Manchester’s leading web design experts, and we provide high quality, effective, web design solutions for a range of local companies and businesses across Manchester, and the surrounding area. This includes Blackburn and Stockport. As a result, we have produced this guide to using stock images successfully.
What are stock photos?
So, before we begin, what exactly are stock photos? Well, these are images taken by other people, that can be used by anyone, and any company, that pay a subscription, or a one off fee. You can even find banks of free to use stock photos too. The main difference between a stock photo and a professional image, is that other companies can choose to use the same images you have. And this can really drive down the originality of your web design, and your company identity. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that stock images can’t be used at all.
The role of stock images in web design
Stock images in web design can play a range of important roles, including:
- Planning and design
- Small filler images
Stock images and website planning and design
During the planning stage of a website, you can fill out your design with free stock imagery to keep costs down until you are sure of the right message and composition you want to deliver. This can help companies collectively make key decisions including those regarding colour schemes, typography and layout. The stock images can be replaced with professional imagery, or paid for stock images where necessary. Just remember that professional imagery is always the better option.
Stock images for small roles
If your website uses mid level pages, articles or blog content, and you need the right visual to accompany your information, a stock image can be useful. As this image wont feature prominently on your landing pages, stock images used in small roles are less likely to be recognized from other websites, and so your website will still appear fresh and original for users.
Editing stock images
Finally, you can consider professionally editing stock images to create something original from an image that already works well for your company or brand. This can save time and money, as you wont need to produce the image first, only edit something you already have access too. But this should only be considered by teams with high quality media editing skills.
For more information or for professional web design, get in touch with the team today, here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester.