If you wish for your web design to build your corporate identity, then it must be unique. It should specifically reflect your brand in content, concept, and imagery, all whilst being unlike any other. Using stock photography and images is an easy way to add instant visual flavour and messaging to your site – but there are some considerations that should be made before diving into the stock image pool.

Choose Stock Images that Support your Corporate Identity

If you’re able to purchase an image, so can others. This means that the stock photography and/or graphics you’ve chosen can pop up in countless other places, reducing the chances that the image will be associated solely with your brand. This muddies your corporate identity and detracts from your corporate brand and USP (unique selling point). It also reduces the memorable qualities of your brand.

Moreover, the same model (photographic subject, human or animal) often appears in multiple stock images, meaning that consumers may run into that face in a number of venues that aren’t hosted by you. This complicates the building of your corporate identity and brand awareness – and can also erode the trust and brand reputation you’ve built.

There are some ways to reduce or eliminate the chances of your web design’s images being viewed elsewhere, and therefore detracting from your corporate identity. Here is what How to Build a Brand suggest:

  • Pay more. If you’re willing to spend more money on expensive stock photos, fewer people will purchase the same shot. Of course, this won’t eliminate duplication, but it will reduce the chances.
  • Customise it. If you choose a stock image and crop it, rotate it, or change other elements, you can at least make it appear to be unique. This isn’t a reliable way to guarantee uniqueness, but it involves no extra cost.
  • Hire a photographer and a model. This will ensure that no one’s site will display your images. Of course, you’ll pay more, but the photos will be unlike any others.


  • Purchase exclusive rights. Some stock images offer the option of paying more for exclusive rights. This means that once you purchase the image, it will be sold to no one else. Of course, you’ll have to choose images that no other brand has used yet. This may mean selecting higher-priced photos and/or graphics.
  • Buy lesser-used images. Some stock photo sites tell users how often each image has been purchased. Stick with the less popular images and you’ll cut your chances of double-viewing.

Using stock images in web design is a simple way to contribute to the building of a unique corporate identity. More specifically, doing it selectively and with branded discrimination can mean the difference between leading your market and following your competitors.

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For further help or advice for building your corporate identity with stock images, please get in touch with us on [email protected] You can also get your daily branding tips at www.facebook.com/BrandExpertTips.

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