It’s all about having

the right proportions!


If a picture is worth a thousand words, you need to make sure that every image you use in your marketing looks right. Because let’s face it a badly formatted, or resized image, will ruin your layout ensuring people remember your brand for all the wrong reasons.

What not to do

When working with images, you should as a first step make sure they are not badly composed, poorly shot, or low-resolution pictures. However, equally as important is to avoid the temptations to stretch, squeeze or badly crop them. We’ve all seen wrongly proportioned images at their worst, namely a portrait picture stretched to fill a landscape space, or people with missing heads or limbs!

You may think an image is  ‘perfect’ for your design, but if you need to distort it or crop it badly then it’s not, and it’ll ruin your layout

Don’t let technology take over

Modern software is great. You can resize an image in seconds, you can also edit it as quickly too. But we might suggest some caution here. Because there is good editing and bad editing.

When working with an image, you always need to bear in mind that it needs to portray someone or something in a positive, purposeful and enticing manner. If you find yourself choosing to do something because “it looks fun/weird/different,” you maybe be better off just keeping the image in its original form.

Relying on your own opinion might not be enough in certain situations, so if you’re unsure, ask a friend or colleague for their input. Often someone else’s take on an image might provide a much-needed different point of view on its use.

Our top tips for sizing

If you’re still not sure what to do, then read our top tips for successful image placement. They will help to ensure your pictures are effective, relevant, always tell a good story and don’t seek to confuse, alienate or anger your audience.

Select carefully. It might sound too simplistic, but if you start with the right image, you won’t go too far wrong. Ideally one that's the right size and exactly fits your layout without breaking any grids or guidelines. This means when searching for images you need to consider more than just the content, you need to make sure the proportions are ok as well.

Crop it. If it needs to be cropped, ensure you’ve selected an image where cropping does not compromise the content. Sometimes cropping a picture can enhance a design, because it allows you to focus in on one interesting aspect. But missing heads or other oddly cropped images will always look terrible.

Modify the design. If needed – and you can do so without harming the balance of the page – alter the layout slightly to accommodate your favourite picture choice.

‘Photoshop’ it. If you have the software (and the skills) you may be able to ‘extend’ some aspect of the picture (e.g., add more sky etc) so that the image fits the proportions of the space better. Be careful though, badly photoshopped images tend to look unprofessional.

Abandon it. If none of the above works, then select a different image. You may think the one you’ve chosen is ‘perfect’ to use in your design, but if you need to distort it or crop it badly then it’s not and it’ll ruin your layout.

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