Blog » Adding More Graphics/Images the Easy Way

Adding More Graphics/Images the Easy Way

One of the first things that is taught in publishing is the importance of white space and visuals. Too much text can be off-putting to a reader, particularly with modern "I want it now" attitudes. A simple picture depicting the main concept that a page wishes to convey could help to not only convey that concept, but also make the page visually more appealing, and thus, more likely to be read. Likewise, having sufficient white space (or blank space if the background is a different colour) ensures that the page does not look crowded.

Ensuring adequate white space is fairly easy; a good template should take care of this. However, as someone who is not a graphic-designer or artist, creating artwork for this website is not easy. Sure, given enough time I could create stunning visuals; unfortunately there are so many other things to be done. Thus, an easy source of pictures would be a great aid. For some pages, the topic itself makes this task easy. For example, since  this page discusses the first milestone in the RadeonHD for Amiga OS 4.x projec, a photo showing the first successful screen opened by the test program is an appropriate visual. There are, however, many other pages for which photos/pictures are not immediately available.

Fortunately, there are a myriad of sites containing royalty free (sometimes entirely free) photos/pictures that could be used. In particular, icons can often make effective symbolic images that match a page's key ideas (at least for technical websites such as this one). The website containing PNG icons that I have started using recently is iconspedia. So far, this has provided suitable imagery for a number of pages. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when using other people's ready-made imagery:

  • Check and obey the license,
  • An image processing program such as Photoshop or GIMP (an open-source alternative) is still useful to customize images to better suit a page,
  • Using icons/imagery from multiple sites/collections can result in an inconsistent look and feel. Try to choose images that complement the general look of the website,
  • Any major featuring photos/images should be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the source, and
  • Consider giving a donation to an artist whose work you use often.
One last item worth noting is the placement of graphics. This particular website has been designed such that the home page lists the ten most recently updated pages. The first paragraph of each of these pages is provided as a summary/introduction to the page. Thus, any image that is attached to that first paragraph will also feature on the home page, providing a more appealing summary. Images in and around the first paragraph are also amongst the first things that a reader will see. First impressions count. Thus, it is worth attaching an image to the first paragraph of a page. 

Blog » Adding More Graphics/Images the Easy Way

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Blog » Adding More Graphics/Images the Easy Way