Cost-Effective Imagery to Build Your Brand

How to create quality photos, videos, infographics, and illustrations on a tight budget.

Wendy Ruyle 7.9.24


It’s been said over and over: a picture is worth a thousand words. And it’s true. It can be difficult to spend money on quality images when you are on a tight budget, but here are a few tips for investing wisely.

Photography and video

Photography and video are a great way to convey what your organization does. If you do it right, capturing your team in action can show what you do and the results for your customers or the larger community. If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer/videographer, make sure the staff member assigned brushes up on photography and video basics and has a good phone camera. If you do have some budget, hire an outside source to come in for a day or two and get headshots and action shots all in one go. It will save you, in the long run, to have them create photos or videos in batches rather than one at a time.

Focus on emotions

Human faces help people connect with your content. Capture individuals’ expressions or a crowd’s enthusiasm during events or activities to convey emotions that will motivate your audience to act.

Get the details

Sometimes the details can tell a greater story than a wide shot. Two people engaged in conversation, or a supportive smile can engage your audience. By not being too specific, the photo will connect the viewer to those details in their own life. The last time they were in a similar situation will come to mind.


We’re in the information age and we all want to share the results of our efforts. Infographics have become a standard way to communicate complex sets of information. These types of illustrations can range from a simple factoid with an icon to a poster-sized graphic that takes an hour to absorb. Choose the right level for the subject matter, the audience, and your level of expertise.

Start simple, then add depth

Infographics require hierarchy to make a point. Select the most important stats and make them the largest. Then go deeper and explain why those facts matter or offer up how your organization can change today’s reality.

Allow your audience to connect with the data

Numbers and facts can be overwhelming to a reader. Make sure you include ways for your audience to connect to those stats. What do they mean to their individual goals or the larger community? How do they affect the reader? Can you offer up realistic action items?

Illustrations and graphic elements

A series of illustrations or graphic elements like patterns can give your organization’s brand a unique look without costing a lot. Hiring a professional will give you high-quality pieces to work with, but you can also do it on your own. Look at your logo. Is there a shape that can be pulled out of it and repeated in a pattern? Does your organization work with any iconic objects? Simplified graphics of the items you sell could become a pattern.

Build a library

Collect and store images that can be reused. You can update them by using different colors from your organization's palette or by resizing them for various purposes. A library of illustrations will help save costs and create consistency in your branding.

Be consistent

Consistency is key to brand recognition. Use the same color palette and maintain a uniform illustration style across all your materials. This will help create a cohesive and professional image for your organization.

Use these techniques to get the most out of the imagery you use for your organization. Just think of how much less you’ll need to write!

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