Images used on a companies websites, social media, and print publications need to match the overall branding of the company. Above on the left you can see an image that would be very appropriate for any publication produced by a Mexican restaurant. The food is the central focus, but the photo itself is stylized to match the theme and brand of the restaurant. The choice of a red margarita, red placemat, and red cloth tie in with the red salsa. Additionally, red connects with the green cilantro, limes, and white tablecloth to create the colors of the Mexican flag.
In the photo on the right, I changed the color of the placemat to blue. The color of a placemat may seem like a small detail, but changing the color of one item weakens the image and its value to the branding of the restaurant. Imagine you follow a restaurant on Facebook and their logo is red, white, and green. If every photo they post includes blues, yellows, and shades of orange, the overall message reaching you (the consumer) doesn’t seem as unified, weakening the restaurants message. To ensure a consistent message is sent to consumers, many companies have branding guides that include specific colors, fonts, and design elements to be used whenever new content is made. This helps guarantee that branding put out to consumers is consistent, strong, and in line with the companies overall message. Every company should have a branding guide, no matter how big or small, to communicate effectively to their consumers.