How to Give Your Images More Impact

An image, whether it’s an illustration or photo, adds a lot of value to any creative. If used correctly, an image could be the winning component that moves someone to take an action. The trick to making this happen is to add CONTEXT to your image.

But first, let’s see how valuable CONTEXT is for an image. Can you guess what the illustration below represents?

Stumped? That’s because the CONTEXT is missing. Would it help if I told you this illustration was used as a logo on the most popular website on the Internet? Now you have some context. But maybe not enough. What you may need is to see the webpage where the logo was placed. Then you wouldn’t think twice what the logo was for. (Read on to learn whose logo this is.)

Now, let’s look at this image:

A pot of stew on a stovetop. Pretty basic. Do you even say yum? Not very impactful. But we can change that by adding some CONTEXT. Look below: I juxtaposed an image of someone wearing a heavy coat and holding a cup next to the stew. Now, we react with a shiver as we look at those cold fingers and think how warming that stew would be! Much more impactful, right?

The more information you supply with an image, the easier it is to relay your message. When you are choosing your photos consider using images that contain these 3 CONTEXT elements:

  • Environment
  • Action
  • Lifestyle.

Now let’s look at the photo below.

Powerful. This photo contains all three context elements.

  • Environment – standing in front of a cloudy sky
  • Action – the child’s fist is hitting the sky
  • Lifestyle – notice the black plastic bag.

All you need to do now is to complement it with a strong headline and call to action and you have a winning creative!

Now back to the first illustration. It’s the logo Google used on their website on Father’s Day. Notice the colors and the height of the hands?

So, the next time you are choosing images, consider one with CONTEXT, to create much more impact.
Photo credits from top: Stew:, Annie Spratt, Porapak Apichodilok