Yesterday I went to a restaurant to try their food and looked up at the menu board in sheer horror! There’s nothing worse than seeing a great graphic design with the watermark ‘Shutterstock‘ over a visual component. The possibility exists that this could have been an FPO (For Position Only) that the graphic designer failed to replace before print.

An accurate re-enactment of my horror

As a designer, it is your biggest responsibility to your paying client to ensure you thoroughly review your work to eliminate errors so they get the best product attainable. If you want really good images, consider the following options:

  1. Paying for it via Shuttershock, Getty Images or iStockphoto
  2. Searching using Google Images
  3. Visit free photo sites like Flickr, Death to the Stock Photo and Stockvault
  4. Taking your own images based on your client’s needs

The latter isn’t such a bad thing, especially when you’ve just created original material.

Food photography of a delicious cheese hamburger Credit: Tyllie Barbosa Photography

Food photography of a delicious cheese hamburger
Credit: Tyllie Barbosa Photography

If you choose to go that route, there are plenty tips and tricks on photography and with smartphones only getting better and better, you don’t need to have an expensive digital SLR camera to capture great images.

So just to recap, do not, under any circumstances whatsoever, use stock images with a watermark over it! It’s in bad taste and cheapens the overall look of your work. If you’re aiming to be a professional then try to be better than that mediocre, be great!

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