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Questions to ask when using images Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Questions to ask when using images

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


We all know that a picture paints a thousand words, but few people really stop and think what those words are really saying when selecting an image for their marketing materials.

Using unchanged stock photog­raphy is usually a no go. By all means use it to be inspired or to bang up on a blog post, but these days, everyone’s got access to stock shots and you really don’t want to look like everyone else, so consider chaning it up a little. You might crop the shot, change the colour or add a layer, maybe even turn a couple of photos into a photo montage.

Using a good designer might cost you a little more, but your materials will then jump out from the sea of sameness. There are lots of people who know how to use design software (and call themselves a designer), but lots fewer understand design elements and the power of design as a commun­ication tool. Ask to see examples of their work and have them talk to you about why they chose to use the elements or colour they did – you’ll see who knows their stuff pretty quickly.

Regardless of whether you’re using stock shots, your own photog­raphy, sketches, etc or images that have been especially created for you, ask yourself these questions before using or posting your next image to make sure you’re using the right ones that deliver the right 1000 words./

Which Image


1. What message are we trying to send with this piece of marketing material?
2. What message does this photo/­image convey?
3. Do 1 & 2 match?
4. Would a cartoon, graph, real-life custom­er/­use­r/i­nsert image of something else grab our customer’s attention better?
5. Are the concepts behind the materials and photo in keeping with each other or do they fight each other?
6. What’s the hero (or centre of attention) in the shot?
7. Is this image about us or our customers – rememb­ering the WIIFM principle is the most powerful of all
8. Does it really reflect our brand?
9. Have we deface­d/o­bsured or in any other way altered our brand?
10 .Does the image fit with our brand essence and values?
11. If it has a caption, does it deliver the same message as the shot?
12. Is it in any way divisive or offensive?
13. Does its use send a profes­sional message?
14. Is this image so popular, our clients will have seen it on every other site
15. Have we infringed someone else’s rights (copyr­ight) by using it?
16. If it’s a creative commons image, have we given it due credit?
17. Have we used the image at the correct resolution for how we’re reprod­ucing it?