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Published on May 4th, 2011 | by PrintPlace

5 Photo Quirks that Enhance Print Design

Photos are not only appealing to the eyes, they also communicate well to your audience. But beyond just using photos in your design, you might want to use these five photo quirks that can enhance your overall design’s efficiency.

Appeal to Emotion

In debate, the ad misericordiam or appeal to pity is a fallacy. In print design, however, appealing to emotion is often key to making your design more relatable.


Fiery photos evoke fiery sentiments.

There are many images that can elicit varied emotions. Make sure you use appropriate photos to evoke the right sentiments. The impact of the photos in your design can support your main message, accentuate it, or even play the role of the main medium by which you deliver your message.

Facial Recognition

Pareidolia is the phenomenon of human minds making out faces in pretty much everything they see. Clouds, water, tree barks, you name it. We can discern a human face from it if we look hard enough. For print design, this means you can use human faces to draw attention to elements that require attention.


Facial recognition with heat mapping.

Most brands take this a step further by using faces of extremely well known figures and celebrities. But beware such popular faces, they can draw away all the attention and leave nothing for the element of your design that needs it.

Face to Body Ratio

Using photos of the human body entail some considerations, like using only the face or the full body.


In the case of perfumes and scents, a body-shot of the model is appropriate.

When choosing to go with a face or body shot, keep in mind that when a human face takes the majority of an image frame your audience will focus on the intellectual and personality traits of the face they’re seeing. When a human body takes up more of the frame, the focus shifts to sensual and physical attributes of that body.

Baby Bias

The features of a baby‘s face are honest, naïve, soft, and kind. These traits elicit empathy and engender trust. So if you want to communicate these concepts to your audience, you can use babies and baby faces (or baby-faced models) in your photos.


Cute, isn’t he? The effect is natural and almost automatic.

This concept is in action in the VW Beetle’s design that features huge headlights, mimicking an infant’s large eyes.

Contagious Curiosity

We tend to get curious about something when people around us are curious about that same thing. More to the point, we look towards something that other people are looking at to find out what it is they’re seeing. An advert with people or crowds drawn to a particular element in the design would have that same contagious subliminal influence.


What’s the baby looking at?

More than an interesting collection of psychological effects of photos, these quirks can help your design become more communicative, and thus more effective.


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3 Responses to 5 Photo Quirks that Enhance Print Design

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