Choosing and using images effectively
Words are powerful … but sometimes it’s the image that truly defines a message. Whether it’s a photograph online or an illustration in print, a carefully chosen image can reinforce messages or simply serve to convey feelings or emotions that words sometimes cannot. Images can also draw people into a story, improve aesthetics of a layout or bring attention to a message’s call to action.The key to using images effectively is to understand what makes an image impactful. Images should be strategically chosen based on how they affect and play off of the text on your website, in a brochure, or wherever your business will be using them.Effective images are also integrated across multiple communications channels and marketing efforts to add consistency and reinforce messaging and brand identity. Images aren’t limited to photographs, either—they can be infographics or logos, too. Try tying your direct mail marketing pieces to the images used elsewhere in your communications efforts. For maximum effectiveness, make sure your business’s images follow the most basic guidelines of photography, including the following:

  • Point of interest
    Every good image has a specific idea, topic or subject to which a viewer’s eyes are attracted. Other elements in the image should support and focus attention on the point of interest.
  • Subject placement
    In photography, the basic rule of subject placement is called the principle of thirds. This rule is based on the fact that the human eye is naturally drawn to a point about two-thirds up a page. Good images include the point of interest located around one of the intersection points, rather than in the center of the image.
  • Perspective
    Perspective is essentially the way real three-dimensional objects are represented in an image that has a two-dimensional plane. Perspective can serve to give viewers a sense of relationship of objects to one another or to a vanishing point or horizon line. Perspective is also used to create the illusion of lines—known as leading lines—that use subjects to draw the eye to the point of interest in an image.
  • Balance
    Balance in image composition is what makes images appear harmonious. Each element of an image has a certain amount of value in respect to all the other elements. For example, objects in the upper part of an image can seem heavier than objects of the same size in the lower part of an image, or intensely interesting objects can seem to have more compositional weight.
  • Contrast
    Contrast of colors, tones and textures in imagery can emphasize certain parts of an image or direct a viewer’s attention to the point of interest.  In black and white images, contrast is considered the difference in subject tones from white to gray to black or from the lightest tone to the darkest tone. In color photography, the use of different colors creates contrast.
  • Framing
    Framing is also a guideline used to direct the viewer’s attention to the primary subject of a picture. Positioned around the subject, a tree or an archway, for example, can create a frame within the picture area. Subjects enclosed by a frame become separated from the rest of the picture and are emphasized.

When looking for images, be sure to check out stock photography sites and creative commons sites. In addition, consider hiring a photographer or take pictures in-house in order to find the image that’s right for your business and its message.

While searching for an effective image, if you find one that is particularly representative of your business or your message, consider using it in multiple marketing efforts. Maybe the image from an advertisement is also used on your business’s website or worked into branded direct mail giveaways, like a Letter Opener or a Magnet. Consider using this image in conjunction with giveaways for the office, like a Picture Frame Clock or a Bookmark.

Collections of professional photography can also be used to create general brand awareness or boost your business’s brand, like this scenic Calendar or the Mini Garden Book.

In understanding what makes a good image, your business or organization is supplied with the knowledge to use images in ways that work the best for your message and your audience.

For more tips on effectively and strategically choosing an image check out our Blue Paper® What’s in an Image?

June
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Adopt a Shelter Cat Month
Cancer From the Sun Month
Child Vision Awareness Months
Effective Communications Month
Dairy Alternative Month
Effective Communication Month
Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month
Fireworks Safety Month
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Dairy Month
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Women’s Golf Month

International Clothesline Week: 5-12
National Headache Awareness Week: 6-12
National Automotive Service Professional Week: 7-13
National Sun Safety Week: 7-12
Superman Week: 10-13
Nursing Assistants Week: 10-17
National Flag Week: 13-19
Men’s Health Week: 14-20
Universal Father’s Week: 14-20
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week: 20-26
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week: 20-27
Watermelon Seed Spitting Week: 25-28
1: National Go Barefoot Day
2 : Leave the Office Early Day
6: National Cancer Survivors Day
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10: Ball Point Pen Day
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12-13: Raggedy Ann & Andy Day
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14: Family History Day
15: Nature Photography Day
16: Fudge Day
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19: Garfield The Cat Day
20: Family Awareness Day
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21: National Daylight Appreciation Day
21: Summer Solstice
23: Public Service Day
23: Let It Go Day
24: International Fairy Day
24: Celebrate the Senses Day
25: Take Your Dog To Work Day
28: Please Take My Children To Work Day
June
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Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days (7/3 to 8/15)
Bereaved Parents Month
Bioterrorism/Disaster Education & Awareness Month
Blueberries Month
Cell Phone Courtesy Month
Dog Days
Family Reunion Month
Family Golf Month
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month
Herbal/Prescription Awareness Month
International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month
Learn Arabic Month
National Baked Bean
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National Recreation and Parks
National Wheelchair Beautification Month
Roots & Branches Month
Skyscraper Month
Smart Irrigation Month
Social Wellness Month
Tour de France Month
Women’s Motorcycle Month

National Unassisted homebirth Week: 1-7
Freedom Week: 4-10
Be Nice to New Jersey Week: 4-10
Nude Recreation Week: 5-11
International Chicken Wing Week: 11-17
Sports Cliché Week: 11-17
National Farriers Week: 11-17
National Parenting Gifted Children Week 12-18
Rabbit Week: 15-21
National Ventriloquism Week: 16-19
Captive Nations Week: 18-24
National Independent Retailers Week: 18-24
Restless Leg Syndrome Education & Awareness Week: 18-25
1:  Canada Day
1:  Second Half of The Year Day
1:  U.S. Postage Stamp Day
1:  Zip Code Day
2:  I Forgot Day
2:  International Chicken Wing Day
3:  Compliment Your Mirror Day
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4:  International Drive Your Studebaker Day
6:  Earth at Aphelion
6:  Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day
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7:  Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day
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8:  SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)
9:  Martyrdom of The Bab
10:  Clerihew Day
10:  Don’t Step On A Bee Day
10:  Hop A Park Day
10:  Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day
11:  Bowdler’s Day
11:  World Population Day
12:  International Town Criers Day
13:  Embrace Your Geekness Day
13:  Gruntled Workers Day
15:  Gummi Worm Day
15:  Get to Know Your Customers Day
16:  Hot Dog Night
17: Wrong Way Corrigan Day
17: Yellow Pig Day
17: Cow Appreciation Day
17: National Hot Dog Day
17: Toss Away the ‘Could Haves’ and ‘Should Haves’ Day
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18: National Ice Cream Day
19: National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
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20: National Lollipop Day
23: Gorgeous Grandma Day
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28: National Milk Chocolate Day
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30: Cheesecake Day
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Black Business Month
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Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7
Exhibitor Appreciation Week: 6-10
National Fraud Awareness Week: 4-10
Psychic Week: 6-10
Don’t Wait! Celebrate!: 6-12
Sturgis Bike Rally: 6-12
Elvis Week: 11-19
Knights of Columbus Family Week: 11-18
National Resurrect Romance Week: 12-18
Thanks for All the Gifts Week: 12-18
Weird Contest Week: 13-17
National Aviation Week: 13-19
Little League Baseball World Series: 17-26
Be Kind to Humankind Week: 25-31
Daniel Boone Days: 8/31-9/2
1: Girlfriend’s Day
1: Lughnasa
1: Respect for Parents
1: Rounds Resounding Day
2: Hypnosis Day
2: Satchmo Day
3: Braham Pie Day
4: Coast Guard Day
4: National Chocolate Chip Day
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15: Best Friends Day
15: Chauvin Day
15: National Relaxation Day
15: World Day of Reiki
16: Joe Miller’s Joke Day
17: Meaning of “Is” Day
17: Men’s Grooming Day
17: Sandcastle Day
18: Bad Poetry Day
18: National Homeless Animals Day
18th-20: National Personal Chef’s Day
19: Aviation Day
19: “Black Cow” Root Beer Float Day
19: Sandcastle & Sculpture Day
22: Southern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day
22: Be an Angel Day
23: Day for the Remembrance of the Slave trade & Its Abolition
23: Valentino Day
24: Vesuvius Day
24: National Waffle Day
25: Kiss and Make Up Day
25: National Second-hand Wardrobe Day
26: National Dog Day
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26: Women’s Equality Day
27: “The Duchess” Who Wasn’t Day
28: Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
28: Crackers Over the Keyboard Day
29: According to Hoyle Day
29: More Herbs, Less Salt Day
30: National Holistic Pet Day
30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day
31: Love Litigating Lawyers Day

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