Humans are visual beings; we are moved faster by site than by words. Putting this in another way, the old saying is very true; a picture is worth more than a thousand words. When building your website, everything created on it such as your content, design, theme, and images should aim at driving home your point on what your business and services are all about. They should also buttress how you aim to benefit would-be clients.
By the end of this read, you should be extensively informed on the importance of a brand style guide as well as how and why you need guidelines for imagery and iconography style, simple as it may seem.
Why Choosing the Right Website Images and Icons are Important
Using Icons and images on your website is an interesting and engaging way to visually portray information to readers and website visitors. A good point to note is that icons and images are used for more than just website beautification, so you would need to pay a good amount of attention to it.
Here are some things to know:
Brand consistency can improve your company’s revenue growth by 23% on average. As a brand, when you have a well-defined set of icons and images that are personalized to you, it uniformly aligns your business across all platforms (website, social media, emails, blogs, and advertising). This consistency amongst others builds a bond of trust between you and your customers.
With every passing era, people are more accustomed to doing everything possible to save time. So many things now compete for your client’s attention and concentration with different distracting causatives. Icons are a way to pass across several lines of time-consuming text in simple graphical languages. And images can be used to tell a customer what a blog is about or build brand personality.
The result of all these should be for your images and icons to be able to increase client interest retention on your website, to spark client curiosity in your product or services, to direct them to what you want them to do or see (sort of a subtle call to action), to increase conversion rate, and help the website as a whole increase its search engine ranking.
How to Start
The first place to start is to decide upon the theme of all icons and imagery to be used on your website. Random icons with unaligned colors, shapes, or forms do not speak the best about your website in terms of professionalism.
When trying to map out the best tone of imagery style to use on your website, here are some of the right questions you need to answer:
Brand Personality – What is your brand all about? What don’t you want others to say about your business? What do you want others to say about your services? What makes you different and better than your competitors?
Before choosing, make sure you know exactly how you want your brand to look, feel, and be represented. Think and write down your brand values, mission, story, and any adjectives that you feel describe your brand.
Target Audience – Who are the people that would be interested in your product or service? (Their age, gender, educational level, profession, location, financial status, marital status, etc)
Research – Analyze your competitors’ websites and major on their minor. (Is there anything you like or don’t like about their images/icons, is there an opportunity to be different, is there anything those competitors are doing poorly?)
How to Choose the Right Website Images
Quality over quantity: This phrase is as simple as can be, it is better to invest time and effort in a few images. Make them high quality, unique, and brand edifying than using up too many random or low-quality images.
Relevance: Images should be used only when needed and you should use images that are relevant to your business and brand. After all, it is a website and not a collage.
Call to action: If necessary, an image can include a brief, short, and descriptive text to further drive your message. One image done correctly can be self-narrative and still have a call to action. Such images tend to instigate the best response and help a would-be client make up their mind within a short time.
Self-descriptive: To build an image that is so self-explanatory that you would not have any need to ask further questions.
Attractive: The image should be eye-catching enough to pique a clients imagination and instigate their curiosity.
Emotional: A photo can create an emotional response from customers such as photos of products/services, your team, or other clients.
So when building imagery guidelines think about type of images (black&white, people focused, location based, photography, drawings etc.) and size. Write down the size of images for different scenarios such as website pages, social media, blogs, handouts, etc.,.
How to Choose the Right Icons
A very overlooked visual language are icons. Believe it or not, images cannot perfectly serve the same purpose as icons. For one thing, the information an icon can represent is usually a lot briefer than that of an image. They are straight to the point and exact. For example the (@) icon, no image can replace that.
Some things to note when picking your icons are:
- Choose a set of icons that are relevant to your website and can uniformly represent its uniqueness.
- It’s advisable to pick a particular theme or format for your icons. There are hand-drawn icons, vector icons, modern flat icons, vintage vector/hand drawn icons, etc. So, whichever you decide to use, its best to stick with it throughout your website, ads, handouts, social media channels, etc.,.
Therefore, list out each icon with a description of what they represent such as a phone icon means “contact us.”
Now that you know how to decide, you should create a style guide. A brand style guide is a reference tool or simply a set of rules that content creators and team members must follow in order to accurately represent a company’s brand.
Here is an extensive article you need to digest on: How to Create A Style Guide
You might be wondering why all these precautions need to be put into a style guide, well you can’t just pick any type of icon or image because you feel they look good, this and more goes into maintaining your brand integrity, helping with your brand recognition, assisting with your overall website quality and its reputation.
For instance, if one person is using black and white photography and another is using colorful, abstract photography, it is going to confuse potential customers about your brand.
SunCity Digital Marketing Services
Now, these might be a whole lot to take in and you might be feeling overwhelmed with all the information and work that needs to be done. But, there are digital marketing service companies available that cover these types of services, and we: SunCity Advertising have you covered.
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So yes, we do wish you the best as you create a name for yourself in your niche and we are also stretching out a helping hand. Contact us and let’s get started!
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