Get a handle on graphics: Helpful hints on the use of images within digital media

Looking for a way to spice up your website? Or a way to draw eyes to a particular aspect of your newsletter? Using graphics can be a quick and easy way to achieve these goals.

The Social Science Research Network has reported that 65 per cent of the population rely heavily on visuals in the understanding of information. This means that using not only photographs, but graphs, vector images, illustrations, and even GIFs can be a great asset to your digital platform (be that a newsletter, blog, website, or any other digital media), but it can also be difficult to get right.

Finding images that are the right size, the right style, at the right price point, and available to use on your platform can be more complicated than it seems. This is where we can help out.

It can be difficult and overwhelming with all the graphic available online, as well as all the different methods which can be used. Here we have divided graphics into five helpful categories.

  1. Photographs – An image, which represents real objects or entities, as they exist in life. Note: If you are using an image you have taken yourself, make sure the quality is high, and if there are people in the image, they have given their permission to use their likeness in a public format. If you are using stock images, make sure you have read the copyright information.
  2. Illustrations – Images that represent real life objects or entities in a graphic format (i.e. drawn out)
  3. Callouts – A visual effect used to pull visual attention to a specific aspect of text.
  4. Infographics – A visual representation of information or data that does not use standard graphing techniques.
  5. Data Visualizations – The representation of information and data using standardized techniques, such as charts, diagrams, or any scale or grid.

Once you have decided which types of graphics you want to use (all of which can be mix and matched to your liking), the final piece of the puzzle is to determine exactly how many of these graphics to use. There is no exact ratio to use when determining when and where to place graphics, however there are some locations that can be easily enhanced by incorporating a graphic. Using a graphic at the beginning of new sections or chapters helps draw the readers’ attention and can increase the ease at which readers can skim through a document and find specific information they are interested in.

For short documents two large graphics or four small graphics are the numbers most commonly used. The most important rule, no matter how many graphics you use is that they should always support the text. Whether it is a photo which demonstrates an action being described, or a data visualization (i.e. charts or diagrams), the relevance of the graphic should not need to be explained.  

For more information regarding graphics use, or to learn more about the services DEL Communications Inc. can provide for your company please contact our digital editor, information listed below.

Digital Editor:

Taryn Rittberg