Some of the best parts of graphic design come from creating a cohesive brand at every level of design. I love thinking up logos, deciding which fonts to use, and then tying it all together with images. What happens when there are no images, or not enough?
I love using free image resources like Pexels and Unsplash to curate wonderful edits of media perfect for any type of brand. I've made many collections in the past of amazing free videos and photos for particular types of projects. But because these sites are user-managed, it is down to uploader to tag the images appropriately. This makes finding more "aesthetic" images pretty difficult.
For today's blog post, I've thought up some classic businesses and put together photo collections for each on Unsplash. Each one has 30 images that can be used in different designs. These images are not necessarily all associated directly with the products offered—for example, the 'skincare' collection has almost nothing to do with moisturizer or serums. Instead, I've tried to cultivate a feel for the brands represented. I'll go through each below to explain more.
Travel photography has come such a long way, since hopping on a plane or in a car to travel somewhere magnificent has never been easier (current COVID situation excluded, of course). I've put together a collection for the modern luxury travel company that assembles trips around the globe. The images are bright and have high contrast to draw in clicks on social media, and the rich colors highlight all the ways our planet is beautiful. The aim is to make travel an aspiration to those who look at these photos. Where would you go first?!
baking / bakery
Obviously someone who bakes for a blog or for a living is going to have wonderfully delicious images to market their business. But for bloggers who are just starting out, or businesses who need filler images, this collection is perfect. I featured quite a few neutral images of the basics of baking so that anyone can use them in some capacity. The feel is light and airy, with a modern take on classic British baking imagery (like porcelain and copper vessels). I for one can't wait to get baking!
health / wellness
For this business, I was envisioning someone who works on mental health and maybe nutrition. The 'wellness' tag on Unsplash is particularly unhelpful, as it is a lot of stacked rocks and yoga poses. These are fine, but not really what I was going for. I wanted calm, serene images that signaled tranquility and relaxation. Soft images with soothing colors makes this collection perfect for a variety of wellness businesses.
cooking / restaurant
Same as the baking collection, people who do a cooking blog or own a restaurant are not going to rely on these images alone. Nonetheless, I really love this combination of images. I tried to mix fresh, modern cooking with more rustic imagery like wooden tables and vintage flatware. There are also a lot of vegetables, signaling all natural or fresh ingredients. Perfect for any farm to table locally owned restaurant!
This collection is the most out there, and focuses on an image rather than featuring a product itself. It was actually really difficult to find skincare inspired images on Unsplash because all of the products are already branded. So I tried to communicate the feel of using a hip, trendy skincare brand that is just as good for your skin as it is sleek and stylish. I'm calling it "if Glossier wasn't so minimalist."
gardening / floral
Finally, I have this collection for anyone who grows things. My parents grow and sell organic garlic, so I was aiming this a little bit at their food-centered small business, but also at someone who could be growing and selling flowers or plants. The feel is modern nostalgic, meaning that the images are crisp and clear but with some rustic grit to them. The textures in this collection are some of my favorites.
Coffee spots are so hard to brand because they can range from super grungy wood and plants to full industrial metal and concrete to sleek and modern with marble countertops and teal cups. I went somewhere more toward the modern farmhouse side with rustic and industrial touches. This would be great for local coffeeshops who source ethical coffee beans and cater to a more refined crowd. The roasted bean images are my favorite—I can see them used so many ways in social media design!
I've mentioned this collection before when I published this blog post about branding the Best Books blog. This project is really what started the collection idea in the first place! Though the blog reviews contemporary books, I wanted the imagery to be more aged—antique books, yellowing pages, worn leather covers. There are some more colorful images, but for the most part, everything is pretty monotone, subdued, and cozy.
I can also see this being super useful for independent consulting firms, fitness instructors/personal trainers, and a variety of other small businesses. How have you used free images in the past? Which business types would you like me to brand next?
Be sure to check out my Instagram for more content, and tag me @mugglehugstudio with any of your creations using these collections! Thanks for reading!