The average person is bombarded with thousands of messages a day across multiple mediums. Photographs and imagery not only help to attract the reader’s attention but also actively work to convey your message pictorially and emotionally. The photography and/or imagery should enhance and strengthen your message not detract from it. Together with the other visual brand elements, it establishes what the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) is all about.
Per our mission statement, the CCIU is focused on enhancing the lives of students and members of the community. As such, the photography utilized in marketing materials should emanate a feeling of promise, achievement, commitment, confidence and an overall sense of positivity. Although your photography selections will be determined by the needs of the individual project, generally we recommend photography, whether our own or purchased stock photography, to be lifestyle based. Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography which mainly aims to capture beauty in the everyday. It works to tell stories about people in real-life events or milestones. It tends to be more candid rather than staged or posed which allows viewers to feel a more raw connection to the subjects. Abstract photography has a time and place but is not a desired style for the IU.
- Photography that has been captured by any representative of the IU should never be used without expressed written consent of the subject, or subject’s parent or legal guardian. Please utilize the following model release form (click here for Spanish version) to obtain the appropriate permissions that can then be kept on file for future use. Keep in mind that in a group shot, permission must be obtained for every individual in the shot.
- The CCIU serves a very diverse audience and photography should be selected to be representative of the many ethnicities, genders, etc. that we serve.
- Effort should be made to try and reduce the amount of distractions in the background. When possible photography should be shot against solid or simple, clean backgrounds versus multi-patterned or overly crowded locations.
- In marketing materials, avoid group shots that do not focus on a single subject. When possible, take the photograph or crop post-shoot to focus the group image around a specific individual. Exceptions are made for more portrait-style photography that may look to capture a graduating class or participant group shot.
- For greater impact and more of a connection with any individual subject, look to crop photos to highlight the individual, but don’t over crop to where you might cut off the subject’s head or create an extreme close-up.
- Photography should be shot at the highest resolution to allow for broad use in marketing and communications.
We strongly encourage divisions, whenever possible, to utilize the help of the CCIU’s Communications Specialists to capture photography for use in printed materials to ensure quality and best practice in design and positioning.
While the IU’s brand benefits from having photography play the lead role in the majority of materials, graphic imagery in the form of graphic art, icons or infographics can play an important supporting role. The appropriate use of imagery can have the benefit of helping viewers comprehend more in-depth information at a quick glance.
As you consider the inclusion of imagery, please keep in mind the following:
- The CCIU style is to lead with photography whenever possible and to keep graphic imagery secondary. If photography is not available or is unable to accurately convey the core content of a piece, graphic artwork may take the primary focus.
- Utilize design elements in a way that helps focus the viewer on a specific concept. Graphics, icons, or infographics with too broad of a scope or too many elements may keep a viewer guessing as to the real message and takeaway.
- Along similar lines, ensure icons are relevant to the context and have a specific purpose. The purpose may be to call attention to a specific piece of information or help viewers follow a specific order, but in all cases, the inclusion of icons should help guide the viewer, not distract the viewer.
- Icons should not be utilized as logos.