Photos have always been an important part of design, be it websites, visuals…
When you're starting a creative project, whether it's a website, a poster, or posts on social networks, of course it is best to use original photos or illustrations. However, this is not always feasible.
When to use stock photos
Whether it is due to remote location or lack of time or money it is inevitable to use "stock". Stock they can be photos, videos, graphics or illustrations and in this text we will explain when and how they should be used.
It should start from the fact that almost every image on the Internet, especially on pages intended for download stock materials, there are licenses, i.e. copyrights, which determine the conditions under which it is possible to use some material.
So the time when you can safely "download" images from the Internet and use them has long passed, unless you use them for private purposes.
The most popular stock sites
When it comes to images used for promotion, according to research, it is still the most popular to download from free stock sites, such as for example Pexels or Unsplash. The problem with these photos is that they are frequently used, so it is easy to recognize that they have already been used for some of the other brands.
That's why brands generally opt for images that are purposefully photographed or designed."en casa". Amateur photos taken with a mobile phone are also often used.
Only at the end are brands ready to pay stock photos from sites like Shutterstock, iStock or Getty Images.
Advantages and disadvantages of using stock photos
Benefits of use stock photo is a large selection of high-quality photos from different authors, saving time and money, as well as the availability of photos of specific locations or industries. In particular, it should be noted that such photos or vectors are easily adapted to any brand, especially when they are mockup- these in question.
Still a choice stock the material also has its drawbacks.
The biggest disadvantage is certainly unoriginality, what would be said in the marketing world, your brand will lack personality. You are much more likely to fit in, rather than stand out from the competition, which is the primary goal. That's why you should avoid using it stock vector for logo design for example.
On the other hand, one of the big disadvantages stock image is that they do not convey the message to users completely. This is especially true for industries that do not have a large selection of adequate images.
Users are simply less responsive to stock rather than the original photos. Such an effect arises from the fact that photographs often look monotonous, especially if they are with free stock sites.
Choose your photos carefully
However, all these disadvantages can be avoided by stock use photos only as a basic resource that you will enhance by designing or combining more than one image.
It is also important to choose images so that they instill confidence in the user, i.e. leave the impression that you personally experienced and photographed it. Try to use photos that don't look too "stocky” (placed and mounted).
Finally, one of the main advantages of using stock material is that you are not limited by the number of images and the databases on professional websites are constantly replenished, so it is possible to create a stock that you will use as a reference marketing material.
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Made by Sava Spasic - Senior Graphic Designer @Digitizer