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The right picture can make a huge difference to your design, whether you are creating a logo, a leaflet, or anything else. However, that impact can be good or bad, depending on the image you choose to use. When you are picking the right pictures for any kind of design, there are five important factors to consider to ensure that your images are making the right impression.

1. Content:
The most obvious point to consider is the content of the picture. You don’t have to choose anything too obvious, but the picture should be relevant to your overall message and it should serve a specific purpose rather than just fill space. You might want to choose a picture of a person who reflects your target audience or an image of the kind of place where your products will be used. Photos of happy looking people are often the most effective, but only when they match your message.

2. Mood:
You should also consider any emotions and associations the picture might raise in people’s minds to ensure they also match your intentions. The colour and mood of the picture needs to match the rest of your design. Don’t pick a brightly coloured picture for a design that uses pastel tones everywhere else, or a sombre image to go with a cheerful text. Every element of your design needs to work together to produce a consistent tone and message.

3. Uniqueness:
The image you choose should be reasonably unique, even if you are using a stock photo. You should try to avoid using pictures that are too popular as there is a risk that your competitors will use the same one or that people will have seen it elsewhere. Images of recognisable people, products or places associated with your company can be particularly good if you are looking for something that no one else will use, but you may have to produce some of these yourself.

4. Layout:
Once you have the perfect picture you need to make sure you are using it effectively. The size, shape and position of the image can all be adjusted to ensure it has the greatest impact. The image can also be cropped to get rid of any unnecessary details and to focus the eye on the most important element. Another trick you can use is to position pictures so that they direct attention towards other parts of the design. For example, positioning a picture of a person so that it seems the subject is looking at your text will encourage people to follow their gaze and read it.

5. Quality:
The quality of your pictures is a reflection on the quality of your company and the products or services you sell, so it is important to get it right. If you are producing your own images, it is worth getting a professional designer or photographer to create them for you. If you are using stock images, you need to find pictures that look great and that have the right resolution to continue looking great if you are resizing them.