We all know that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” However, knowing how to use pictures or images effectively isn’t always as easy as it seems. Here, we hope to improve your ability to use visuals to support and enhance your communications—to make them clearer, more concise, and consistent.
Most people respond well to visual aspects of a presentation, whether they’re looking at a brochure or Web site or listening to a presentation via poster or PowerPoint. Your audience is more likely to remember your message if you present it with a powerful and appropriate image.
Here we offer resources to help you use images more effectively in your presentations, Web sites, brochures, posters, and other communications materials.
General Tips on Using Images and Graphics Effectively
- Use good quality images. If the image you choose is blurry, lacks a focal point, is poorly lit, or is otherwise of poor quality, it will distract from your message and do more harm than good.
- Match the size and quality of the image to your application. If you want to use an image on a 40” x 80” poster, you need an image that is 300 dpi or larger. If you’re using an image on a Web site, 72 dpi is fine.
- Avoid too much of a good thing. One or two well-placed, good quality images can enhance your message; several images may detract from your message and confuse your audience.
- Think abstractly and metaphorically as well as concretely. For example, if you’re looking for an image to support your message about confusion in Alzheimer’s disease, an image of a puzzle or a maze might work as well as a photo of an older adult.
- Credit your source. Unless the photo is your own, you must credit your source. See Borrowing Images from the Web: A FAQ from TechSoup for more information.