Typography (the artistic use of letterforms to create an image in ones mind or convey a mood or thought) can often be a better solution than a photograph or illustration, because it allows the audience to create his/her own "picture". The use of realistic imagery requires careful consideration of location, time of day, and lighting (if a place or object), as well as race, gender, and body language (if people). As a professor of Typography Form & Function at the University of Baltimore, Incite Creative's own Dina Wasmer and her team pay careful attention to typographic details that make a great design speak volumes.
As much as we love typography, there are many times when the use of imagery is the better solution. Both photography and illustration can add tremendous value when communicating an idea or message in print collateral, online promotions and/or signage.
The use of stock images (royalty free or rights managed) has made finding the "perfect" image much easier, faster and often less expensive than commissioned work. The trade off, however, is that others may purchase the usage rights of that same image. In other words, the "perfect" shot of an executive for your law firm website could wind up on the front cover of a diabetes brochure for a local hospital.
Although commissioned (or custom) photography and illustration will take longer to create and typically cost more, the image is yours and yours only. You also can incorporate your own employees and your own building and create the personality that is authentic to you and your organization. Photography may be the best choice when you desire a "realistic" approach, whereas illustration may be a great choice for projects that are a bit more conceptual or open to interpretation.
No matter what route you take, our trained eyes can expertly manage and art direct your project to communicate your desired brand positioning. The Incite Creative team has worked with countless photographers and illustrations and has access to talented resources nationwide. Even when stock imagery is required due to timing or budget, there's a science as well as an art to image selection.