by Mark DaGrossa, Director of Creative Services
Hello everyone! In this post, I will cover general use images and where we obtain them. As we work on most design projects, there is always a need to find the perfect image to enhance the design of the project. It may be a full page image, an image to use as an icon, or an item collaged into a header. No matter what the use, it is very important to follow the correct procedures for acquiring an image.
For example, did you know you cannot simply use anything you find on the Internet? If you do a Google Image search, many images will pop up. However, that doesn’t mean you have permission to use any of them.
I had no idea! So where can I find the images I need for our project?
If you need a simple image of a pencil, for example, you can probably do that yourself using a smartphone or digital camera. You could try to find free image resources online, though it can be tricky to determine what is actually free to use. For projects that are more specialized, it’s always best to retain the services of a designer. Designers possess the artistic training and access to image resources that will enhance the look and feel of your project far better than if you attempt to do the work yourself.
Many of the images designers use come from photographic stock houses, which offer professionals a huge selection of royalty free images, and are a very helpful resource when you’re trying to find a specific image. Most of these images can be manipulated and used however you need for the final design.
For certain projects, we need one amazing shot of a specific item or place. In that situation, we will often use a photographer based in that region. I recall a project where we were working on a sales incentive program and found this spectacular image of the destination hotel the clients were using. It was taken by a local photographer who only shot fine art images of Florida. A deal was worked out with all parties to use the images and the final product was completed for the client.
When a project requires images from a certain time period or place, then we work with museums or historical societies to source and use images from their collections. For example, if you need a tree from a specific natural park in Indiana, the designer will need to find a source who can verify that this tree is from this forest. You will not be able to just use any tree, especially if the description in the book calls out the tree and forest.
In conclusion, using the services of a designer is cost-effective because a designer will work with you to make sure that your design aesthetic is followed. They will coordinate with the owner of the images to obtain the necessary permissions or will find another reputable source to acquire pictures which suit your project. Working with a designer prevents the problems that can occur when images are obtained without receiving authorization from the artist to whom the work belongs. Resolving these issues can often cause delays that can be costly and time-consuming to fix. If you use a designer from the beginning, the process will go far more smoothly and you’ll end up with a project which is exactly as you envisioned, or even better.
Have a great day!