I listened to an interesting discussion about using Clip Art, Illustrations or Photographs in business the other day. It was interesting to hear the very strong views being voiced. Interestingly the main protagonists were a graphic designer and a photographer. They both fell into the trap of “fighting their own corner” without any thought of the “customer perspective” or a having a balanced view. Naturally the photographer really pitched in hard that photographs trumped clip art or illustrations very time because of the reality they portrayed. She also said that “people doodling with crayons tended to make things look Mickey Mouse-like”. She felt that many people saw illustrations as “clip art trash” or “cartoons” with no style. The graphic designer countered that a photograph often lacked character and it was easy to “point and click” and get a static image that did not get the full message across.
This got me to thinking about the subject a bit more rationally. I did a bit of research and it became apparent that there is not a lot of research on this type of subject – just loads of self-opinionated logic that just seemed to justify the writer’s standpoint. The more I thought about the subject, the more I realised that there is a balanced point of view. The answer lies somewhere in the middle of the extreme views – I guess just like a lot of things in life. So here are my thoughts on this subject.
Factors that may affect your choice
It seems to me that there are a few issues to think about when making a choice between using clip art, illustrations or photographs:
And the winner is…
The more I have looked into this, the more I realised there is no winner or loser. What was more important was to make sure you understand the function of imagery and to consider whether a photograph or illustration. We have all become used to emoticons, but they are often poorly used in business communication and look really out of place. So I feel that there are situations where photographs have more impact while at other times a graphic is better.
I feel that if I see a photograph of a car, then people are more likely to relate to it more than they would do to a drawing of a car. It feels more real to the viewer because it allows me to relate new information to the existing knowledge that they have about cars. Again, if I am trying to get some ideas across about using a car, then a diagram may be better – so in the Highway Code there are more drawings because it is the concept that is more important.
It may also be that the use of illustration versus photography may depend upon the culture of the target audience you are trying to communicate with. Interestingly quite a few British people view some photography and images found on Stock Image websites as being “too American looking”. In some cultures this might even be seen as offensive.
As I previously stated, many corporate clients seem to prefer photographs but it should be remembered that they can become dated more quickly than an illustration. Illustrations or simple drawings contain less specific characteristics and can be easier to communicate better across different geographical regions.
So the conclusion is to use “horses for courses”. If you decide that photographs are going to be the best way of communicating your message with a professional photographer then contact Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now for stunning photographs to complement your marketing words.
Written by Martin Neeves – Commercial Portrait Photographer Leicester
A good business portrait is part of your company’s branding. It can communicate with a potential customer very quickly. Being too casual might make a consultant look a bit light weight. Whereas in some industries being too formal will be at turn off. The way you dress, and therefore photograph, is an important part of your communication of your business values and brand.
All sorts of factors are important when choosing what to wear for a business portrait. The Managing Director of a Stock Broking company is going to have more gravitas if they wear a 3 piece suit, because that is almost what customers expect. Your image may need to project an air of formality, knowledge and trustworthiness. The Managing Director of a creative company may choose to dress a little more casually, if they are looking to portray a more edgy approach. If you need to make your company look more approachable and friendly, then you may choose to dress a little more informally and “hip”.
This article seeks to give you some food for thought you to prepare for that important business portrait.
Contact Martin Neeves if you want to have some great, professional portrait photographs to promote you and your business more effectively. Call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now.
Written by Martin Neeves – Portrait Photographer Leicestershire
As Christmas comes we are all thinking of sending our gifts and Christmas cards. Sometimes it can be difficult to work out what to get everyone. Maybe you look at the commercially produced Christmas cards and think they are very much of a muchness. You’ve seen the politicians sending out family photograph Christmas Cards, some a bit “cheesy” and some quite tasteful. You think that would be nice but also are not sure if it is appropriate for “us”. Many will have noted the Kardashians various efforts at the portrait style of Christmas Cards. I previous years they have had people like top-photographer David LaChapelle do the job for an eye watering $250,000 – click to take a look at some of their efforts and see what you think.
Well let’s get it straight, the politicians and celebrities do it for publicity or brand awareness. They want to keep there persona in the mind of voters etc.
So why would a “normal family” want to do it?
So what can you do about it?
What sort of photograph should it be?
It is best if the shot is relaxed and only semi-formal. If it looks too posed and stiff it may feel less fun. It needs to be something that makes a great keepsake that can be treasured as a lifelong memory. Sometimes people dress up in costumes, this can work but it can also look ridiculous if the costume is outrageous. It can also look very contrived and pretentious if not thought through correctly. If you are looking for a Christmas theme then the photographer may be able to help you portray that holiday feeling.
Many great family portraits are produced in casual (but not too casual) clothes that bring through the family’s personality. It may be that an opportunity occurs during a special event, maybe a birthday, a celebration or a trip out that allows a great photo opportunity.
If you are looking for a highly experienced portrait photographer who is going to capture your family portrait with great feeling and in a complementary manner, then why not call Martin Neeves on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME .