First impressions are everything. But before we delve into company branding, we need to look at ourselves.

We wake up, put some clothes on – usually without much thought –  and go about our day. Depending on what you’re doing that day, your ‘image’ will change.

If you’re not leaving the house, you might throw on some comfy lounge clothes and not care if your hair is a mess. But imagine walking into a boardroom full of stakeholders with burger grease staining your t-shirt, it wouldn’t happen.

The same applies to the ‘image’ of your brand. It needs to convey the right message to everyone, letting them know who you are and what you do at all times.

Not only do the images need to be relevant, they need to be pleasing to the eye. Researchers at Carleton University in Ottowa found that people can judge websites as being easy-on-the-eye or notably-jarring within 50 milliseconds.

Keep images and layout clean, and your Google searchers are much more likely to stay on your page.

Setting the Tone

Are you all about having fun or is professionalism your thing? With a wealth of stock images out there to cater to almost every need, it can be hard to choose the right one for the job.

Say you have a law firm, you clearly deal with private information and potentially delicate situations. The imagery you use wants to convey this.

Here’s two examples of law-themed images, but with different sentiments:

The first image uses exaggerated perspective to give a playful/humorous feel, not something you want for a law firm.

The second image, however, has muted tones so it’s not brash and in-your-face. This, combined with all elements in proportion, leads to a professional appearance – perfect for the case in hand.

Clarendon, Gingham, or Moon?

With the rise of social media and their ever-increasing supply of filters to improve our phonography for public viewing, you could be left wondering which one to use. It all depends on where your initial image has come from. Is it a stock photo, a professional shot, or has it been taken on your phone?

If it’s a stock image or professional photo, the chances are they will have been treated already and have a ‘look’ that doesn’t require an additional filter.

However, if you’ve just snapped something quickly on your phone that’s relative to your audience, you might want to add a filter to make it a bit more interesting. If you do decide to use filters, make sure the final result isn’t a million miles away from other images you may have uploaded from other sources.

Try and limit yourself to three filters. Some work better for light situations over others, so having a few for different lighting is useful. Adding a dash of black and white every now and then doesn’t hurt either.

Consistency is Key

Once you’ve decided on a style for your brand, stick with it.

The last thing you want to do is mix and match styles of images across your website, social media, and any printed media. Your brand should be recognisable across all channels.

A good example of consistency is Mr Porter. They use muted tones throughout their site and marketing material.

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