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Choosing the right brand imagery and layout treatments for your brand is an important aspect of a corporate identity.

Together with your brands colour palette, typography and font usage – layout guidelines and imagery are part of creating your brands overall image. It is there to connect to your consumers, and collectively express the values and characteristics of your business/brand.

How to create the best imagery for your brand

To create the best imagery for your brand, you first need to understand your brand. You do this by exploring and defining your brand values, vision, mission, purpose and positioning. This is part of defining your brand strategy, long before you define the brand look. Once you have a good idea of who you are, choosing the right brand imagery and layout treatments for your brand should be explored in your visual identity concept phase. Because imagery often is such an important part of a visual identity, it is important to define and explain the parameters of image usage and treatments in your brand guidelines.

There are different options to consider, all of which should be explored in your branding exploration phase. Many brands will use photography as their main imagery, but there are also brands that only use illustration or typography.

Some options to consider:

Style of photography

The style of photography is usually the first imagery guideline to be considered. What should the photographic style look like, and what should be avoided.

brand imagery photography layout treatment

Photography treatments

In some instances a photographic treatment can help ‘brand’ and take ownership of images. These could be a colour overlay, a gradient, black and white, filters, monotone or duotone treatments.

Illustration styles

Illustration has become a popular option in branding. Both Headspace and Mailchimp for instance use illustration in their brand imagery. Custom illustration is an effective way of building a consistent image and strong brand identity. Illustration styles can cover character-based scenes, patterns, infographics and iconography.

brand imagery illustration layout treatment

Layout treatments and guidelines

Specific layout treatments can be used as part of a brands visual identity. This can be done by using specific grids or graphic devices and specifying typographic treatments to ensure flexibility and consistency.

What to consider when working on your brand imagery

There are a couple of things to consider when working on your brand imagery:



Understand what type of illustration or photography is needed and how it will be used.


Discuss budgets; can it be custom illustration or stock? Is there budget for a photoshoot?


Set aside time for research. Create moodboards and look at what type of imagery can suit the brand.

Want to learn more about branding? Check out our article about corporate identity, why colour is important in branding, or our full branding process. If you are looking to create a corporate identity or rebranding a product or service, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to chat through our different options and processes.