A picture paints a thousand words

PICTURES HAVE POWER! This saying is especially true in the world of online marketing. Whenever you see an ad pop up on your socials, there is a greater chance of you remembering what the model was wearing or the colours used in the campaign rather than the text.

Today’s digital age has also seen a shift from text-heavy pages to image-driven formats. So if you’re looking to start a website of your own, you may want to consider spending more time on your visual components. Don’t know where to start? Look no further than this simple yet comprehensive crash course.

Logos and Layouts: Successful Branding Through Images

Let’s get into branding. If you break down a website into its primary visual components, you’ll have two things: (1) media, which includes your brand’s logo and all other photos and videos; and (2) layout, which is how your content is organized. The two are very important elements that, when designed and executed well, can provide optimal user experience and readability on your website.

Coming up with an eye-catching logo can seem like a menial task, but don’t think that it won’t do wonders for your website. Logos are usually the first thing that captures the eye of your target audience so think of it as your brand leaving a first impression. Aside from being the face of your brand, a good logo is also the mark you leave on people’s minds. The image can be as simple as a 2D bitten apple or as complex as a mermaid with two tails.

On the other hand, it’s not enough that you have high-quality images, informative articles, and an effective logo lying around. Best believe that your website visitors will hit the back button as soon as they see a cluttered and dated page with poorly organized information. You are not only losing credibility but also customer retention which yields to actual profit. One way to get them to stay, explore, and come back is by having attractive media and a neat layout that cooks all of your content into an enjoyable meal.

Designing Your Own Images

With the help of various image resources and apps that offer free graphic design online, you can create endless materials that will level up your website and kickstart your visual narrative. By designing your own images, you’re creating a more personalized format to convey your brand’s message to the audience. Here are the best image creation tools online that even non-designers can use:

Canva

With a selection of over 50,000 templates, Canva is the one-stop image creator app that every marketer should master. Craft your ideas into stunning visual materials ranging from social

media posts, infographics, logos, and many more. The program comes with its own ​Design School​ offering helpful online courses on how to make graphics.

PicMonkey

Another easy-to-use image tool is PicMonkey where you can play around with its built-in roster of templates, fonts, and graphics. The app is accessible to both desktop and mobile users and also has its own resource centre complete with easy-to-follow video tutorials to level up your design skills.

Where to Source Stock Images

Aside from creating your own graphics, you will need a trusty resource for stock images.

So far, we have established that images stick to people’s minds better than text. They evoke emotion and illustrate what your brand is trying to offer, but for that to happen you need to find the right images that (1) is in line with your brand’s message and theme, and (2) can be legally reproduced on your website. A quick google image search can lead you to free stock photo sourcing websites that you can browse through to your heart’s content. To get you started, below are some websites that supply free photos for commercial and noncommercial purposes:

Unsplash

More than just an image sourcing platform, Unsplash is a community of photographers generous enough to share their images with fellow creators for absolutely free. With API connections to major websites such as Buzzfeed and Squarespace and a catalogue of over 1 million high-resolution images, it’s no wonder that Unsplash is now deemed as one of the most reliable websites when it comes to stock photo sourcing.

Foodiesfeed

Food always has to be visually appealing so if you’re planning to start a food-themed website, it’s important to stock your online pantry with appetizing photos. Initially a passion project by Jakub Kapusnak, Foodiesfeed has since grown to be an online network of food lovers and creatives all over the world. It’s also hailed as a credible free image resource by top digital magazines such as Forbes and Lifehacker.

Reshot

Reshot is yet another online treasure chest of unique photos that you can freely use to elevate your website. It prides itself on its selection of non-stock-photo-looking images that fit well with vintage and artistic themes. With this resource, browse through tons of handpicked image submissions from talented photographers across the internet.

Importance of Copyright

Photographers submit their work for free on image resource platforms as a way to boost their online visibility. While the photos on these websites are free and legally safe to modify and use within underlying conditions, it’s always a good practice to credit the photographer and where

the image was taken from. Also, before you download stock images, it’s best to read through the license policies first to ensure the safe and legal use of the material.

The great thing about starting your website now is that most of the materials and tools needed are within the standard internet’s reach. Site hosting giants like WordPress even have built-in themes and features that you can easily customize according to the nature of your website. But why stop there? Needless to say, images are vital aspects of a website so it’s only right that you spend as much time on it as your other content.

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