You are likely familiar with the proverb “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Those seven words succinctly convey how powerfully a graphic image enhances our understanding of a concept or idea. Interestingly, the modern use of the proverb is attributed to an article by Fred R. Barnard in an advertising trade journal called Printer’s Ink. In his 1921 article, Barnard promoted the use of images to augment advertisements on streetcars. What was true in 1921 remains true today – graphic images enliven the appearance, impact and reader comprehension of a printed piece.
However, to get the greatest benefit, the images must be of sufficient quality to blend in with the design. Think of the last time you saw a color photograph in a newspaper that was very blurry – the result of the image being out of register. Did you notice the content of the photograph, or just the fact that it was out of register?