The power of words with images

Words are of course powerful on their own on a website for lots of reasons. But an image can often help to communicate information with more impact, capture people’s attention or put across complex topics.

I love articles that combine artistic, interesting photos with simple text to put across complicated ideas, such as technology. I saw a great example today on the MIT’s technology review website, covering solar power plants in Spain.

The pictures caught my eye and I went on to read the clear captions below each photo. Beautiful imagery combined with plain English!

The new Gemasolar solar plant in Seville, Spain (Photo: MIT Technology Review)

Another reason to combine images and text is to put across a feeling, a tone of voice, a sense of character

Looking through a Webdesigner Depot post on websites driven by powerful photography, it’s clear that many of them just wouldn’t work if either the words or the image existed on their own.

While a great photographer and a brilliant copywriter can create equally striking pieces of work, they’re often at their best when combined.

Combine words and images to get a feeling across (Photo: Webdesigner Depot)

As the post says, ‘photography instantly communicates information…sets a mood…tell[s] a story’. But the words are essential to help ‘set the stage [and] the context for the photograph’, so that readers understand its purpose.

While the copy on the image above is brief and to the point, I also like the wording used on the website below. It ties in with the great background photo and says volumes about the company: ‘we know what we’re talking about because we do it too; we’re just like you’.

Tie a strong image in with great copy (Photo: Webdesigner Depot)

So if you’ve got a message that’s tricky to explain, or something that you can’t quite get across with words only, think about adding an image. And if you already have lots of pictures, can you use them to better effect?

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