Turning Standard Stock Images into Commercial Art


Editorial and Commercial art made affordable within any budget. As prefab, turn key and template driven solutions eclipse the landscape, unique creative design is getting left behind in the name of convenience and restrictive budgets. Stock art and photography are the most visible examples. You don’t have to look far to see the same images splashed across billboards, print and websites. Who among us hasn’t seen and recognized “head-set girl”? A woman clearly of superhuman powers able to answer phones across the country if not the continent… but at the end of the day, who does she work for?  These images become almost iconic but for what? The products, services and organizations themselves becoming lost in a sea of fragmented recollections. If marketing and advertising efforts are to achieve a measure of success it’s understood in general terms that the foundation required is usually based in a marketable awareness campaign, that is to say that your brand IS your colours, your fonts, and most importantly your imagery. If your chosen “stock art” spokesperson wears too many hats, answers too many phones, provides too many services… what have you actually achieved?

Likewise in editorial art. Imagery to set the mood, support the content or drive the message needs to be dramatic and unique to your storyline alone. Back to budgets, the battle over the bottom line is fierce, originality and distinction are the first to fall in the struggle. Once again “stock art” to the rescue. However who or what is actually being saved when the reader recognizes the imagery as not so original, as not so unique? Attention diverts to “where have I seen this before?”… and the message is lost…

Now, for the point, I am a HUGE proponent for stock art and particularly stock photography, the variety, the convenience and of course the savings. My apologies to all my photographer friends and associates for my blatant confession… Our specialty however is in our understanding of the clients needs and vision. Our ability to create “original” art from stock images is the singular effort that brings “distinction” back into commercial art, advertising, branding and awareness while maintaing the bottom line, and adhering to otherwise restrictive budgets.

The above example is editorial art created for an essay titled “Love’s Torment”.  Five stock photo images were sourced, through artistic vision, concept development and exchange with the author, a steady hand in Photoshop, and six hours…  a completely “original” powerful image was created and in the end with respect to the bottom line, budgets were celebrated not jeered. The art created was recognized with not only supporting, but creating measurable success and recognition for the essay.