Using Right Imagery in Web Design

No matter how cliché the saying “a picture is worth more than a thousand words” goes, it still holds true today. The use of beautiful, sleek images still remains relevant, especially in web design. Image usage determines the overall look of your website, what kind of message you want to relay, and what kind of emotion you want to invoke when someone visits your page. There are diverse ways you can play with images in web design. Various concepts can be applied to create the right amount of buzz your website needs.


If you’re in the middle of looking for just the right image to use for your web design, below are some pointers to consider.



Did you know that it’s easier to recognize a poor quality image rather than a high-quality image? Page visitors will ALWAYS link the quality of your content to the quality of your product and service. A person doesn’t have to be an expert to know if an image is of poor quality. One look and if they think it isn’t up to par, they’ll let you know by leaving the website or scrolling past any content that is unclear, pixelated, and all sorts of low-quality. Be careful with choosing your images, since these can reflect the professionalism of your brand.


You must have room in your budget to spend on professional photography, or even on high-quality stock images and professionally-made illustration for your website. Remember that great imagery can help build trust between the brand and the customer almost instantly.


Unique, non-‘stocky’ images

When talking about quality, it’s not just about the resolution. The quality of your images can also show through how the concept or subject is presented. Instead of going with run-of-the-mill, clichéd postcard or stock images, show something unusual through changes in perspective and shots. Take a look at Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 page. The breathtaking, high-quality photos do their best at transporting the reader to the destination, complementing the content and the energy the website wants to impart to its readers.


Stock images offer the convenience of instantly available photos and illustrations that are professionally created. Turning away from ‘stocky’ images doesn’t mean to stop using stock images ultimately; but try to dig dipper to find the ones that are not so commonly used and the ones that look more natural or candid, especially when you’re looking for images with people as the subject. You can also look for other alternatives to using stock photos.



Images have a purpose—they draw attention and should fit the context of the content on the web page. There should be a reason for images to be where they are and shouldn’t just be added to fill in spaces. Just like how white spaces have their specific purpose, the images you use should have their own purpose as well, and shouldn’t be chosen at random.


Don’t use an image that only vaguely fits what the brand, page, or design is about. If you think your page lacks content, start with the copy, then, later add in images you think will fit your vision. If you have photos of products or something that’s directly related to your brand and business, use them instead.


Relating to feelings and emotions

Help your audience connect more with your brand through images that include people and that capture emotion. Along with an effective copy and description of what exactly you have to offer, the image you feature will perfectly show how you want your brand to be received and will make your target audience feel and relate more to the brand more. Your image should be unforgettable, and one way to achieve this is through a memorable image that elicits a positive emotional response.


People easily relate to emotion and respond well to emotional connection. Choose images that convey the right feeling. A way to gain the target audience’s trust is through their hearts. For example, a positive emotional response can be received from photos and images that show security, trust, and confidence, while the opposite can be expected from unfeeling images that just scream work, power, and money.


People as subjects

There have been researches that state how the human face, when shown in images, help in drastically improving the trustworthiness of websites and brands and boosting conversion rates. Pages with images that include facial characteristics are also more positively received by users, with a significant effect on the first impression of the online vendor. Take advantage of the potential boost photos of people have to the conversion rate of your website. Images should be chosen with a lot of careful creative consideration since they directly translate and can directly impact performance. Think of images as the gate that opens your brand to new opportunities and the connection between your brand and your target audience.


According to a compiled data on stock photography and their popularity, some of the preferences include single shots over group shots; candid shots with subjects looking away from the camera sold more than posed shots; while tasteful blurry and unidentified subjects that are generally out of focus, no close-ups and no harsh lighting also seem to be more popular.


Conceptual images

Along with images that show people, consider creative conceptual images. Conceptual images capture and represent an idea through photography or illustration, and are perfect for brands that want a more contemporary take on marketing and graphics. Conceptual imagery is a visual communication tool that is often seen in both advertising and web due to their nature to make a headline or a catchphrase even more effective, and their innate ability to help the brand stand out from the crowd. The image concept is both preconceived or predetermined and should be fully understandable through the completed image. Together with the emergence of stock photos, more conceptual photos are being produced according to current trends and are then offered through stock photography sites.


Brand guidelines

The images used for web design should be aligned with the brand guidelines. Everything should be cohesive, together with the color and tone. The overall feel of the image used in the design should have the same overall feel as the other parts of the brand.


Actionable imagery

Good imagery should make the target audience think, feel, and also make them act based on a need. Just like a good CTA copy that says “Sign up now!” or “Buy now before it’s all gone!” The images used in web design should be good enough to evoke a reaction followed by an action. If your image is effective, it should play a tangible role in your design and doesn’t just provide or improve the visuals.