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Keywords Can Help Your Designer Choose the Perfect Imagery

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 by Masha

When a marketing manager works with a designer, great communication is essential. Many of your designer’s questions are automatically answered if your company has clear branding guidelines—including logo, templates, and color schemes. But there’s always room for design creativity, and that often involves choosing the right imagery to tell your story.

Let your designer know: Do you already have a visual concept in mind? Will you supply imagery? If you want us to search for images, does your company have a photo archive to draw from, or can we purchase imagery from a public image library? (In either case, professional photography at the correct resolution is a must for a polished final product.)

Keywords can give us strong clues about what the imagery should express. For example, I recently worked on creating a series of templates for a health and public services group (disclosure: not a Content Bureau client, but a valued client nonetheless). The client provided keywords such as “transformative, commitment, passionate people, proven solutions, driving value.” Words like this help me think of fresh ways to convey those concepts, and guide us away from overused metaphors like the tragically ubiquitous handshake.

I presented several different approaches for the client to choose from:

For another project (ditto on the disclosure), the client suggested “navigating the road ahead” as a theme, but I steered the imagery away from roads and driving and tried out some alternate routes:

Whether the chosen imagery conveys abstract values or depicts straightforward business—such as activity at a worksite—presenting several options helps client and designer compare choices, narrow down the vision, and decide on an approach.

It’s all about communication. Give your design team clear, focused direction on the messages you want to emphasize with imagery—and prepare to be blown away by a collateral piece with striking impact.

is a member of the Content Bureau design team.

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