Product Images


    When to use product images

    Basically use a product image whenever a product should be visualized. If a new product is imagined and a photoshoot takes place, follow this specific set of rules. All product images are consistent and integrate well with the already existing image pool.

    When to consider an alternative

    If a product series or a product application should be pictured, use an application image or a key visual instead. These types of images follow their own set of rules that should be applied if they include product artworks.

    Brand core Key visuals Application images

    In general

    Let's get started with the basics. What is product photography and why is it essential to use high-quality product images?

    In general, product photography showcases a product consistently and attractively. Keep in mind a product image has to transfer the best impression possible, even before it can be touched or used by the customer. It intends to increase the chance customers buy a specific product and consider it demanded. In fact, the quickest way of gathering information and creating the first impression of basically anything like trust, quality, emotions, volume, scale and haptics is an image. The human brain does astonishingly well, reading, decoding and connecting visuals to emotions in a blink of an eye. 90% of information transmitted to our brain is visual. 93% of customers consider images essential in their buying decision. So, considering all circumstances, a well-presented product is a key to every brand.


    There are a bunch of typical product visuals with different domains. Not all visuals have to be used in every field of application. The goal is not to overload the buyer's brain and distract him with lots of information, only to present him as much as he feels confident of buying the product.

    I. Product only

    These images include only the featured product on a clean background. Clean has to be considered as white all the time. It makes the product pop, is more versatile, is easier to edit. There may be exceptions, for example, if the product itself is mainly white and contrast would be a problem. Out-and-out white backgrounds are the best foundation to go further and iterate. Please remove additional wrapper materials like a banderole or specific, regional iterations with time-restricted hangtags beforehand. The product image is used for its whole product live-time cycle and has to work even if the special offer or variation gets cancelled. If the banderole is a persistent product variation, it can stay on the product, but please create an additional image with the banderole removed.

    II.Product in-context

    In context means the product is presented in the intended environment or enhanced by an emotional-additive, embedded in a marketing campaign background or visual. The in-context image showing an application process has to be treated as an "application image" and follows its own rules (guideline). These images are always additional and should not be used in a clean shop environment as the main packshot. Product images containing a campaign background can only appear on the campaign advert (landing page, social media, print adverts) but not as the main packshot, too.

    III. Product equipment

    Equipment shots contain product-specific tools necessary or advised to use alongside the product to get the best result possible. It is essential to show the desired equipment in combination with the product, so the customer knows what he buys and what he has to order separately. All over, this has been a big issue in marketing since its beginning. Showing an image that leads to a conclusion getting more for your money than intended works well, but it is a trap. SONAX has no interest in delivering false promises, be careful and foresightful.

    IV. Product groups

    Group images rarely appear if a product bundle gets offered. The group visual does not include special equipment enclosed and necessary to use a product or product variations. A product group shot has to be composed of different products. Group images follow the same rules as product-only shots.

    Cut and Fill

    Composing a product image seems to be simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Arranging a product shot includes using an appropriate amount of negative space. These images will be used in a wide range of marketing materials, including different kinds of cropping and margin around their product presentations. Take care of the image arranging with enough space for breathing but not getting too small if no image-cropping occurs. Keep in mind, a general approach to present products is in a square format. Take care of the vertical spacing as well.

    If a series of images gets produced, all products of the same volume and scale should take the same amount of room in every visual.

    Position and Stacking

    In general, centring product and equipment in the frame is a good approach. If possible, keep it slightly to the right side to make the shot more interesting. To keep it simple SONAX products are photographed with the label facing the camera. A slight Angle would be okay and helps to break artificiality. Strong lens-distortion bottom-up as bottom-down are not favoured. Strange angles, for example, caused by bulky equipment have to be avoided. Please make use of putty, tape or supportive gear to position even misshaped equipment and produce a clean, axis-aligned product presentation.

    Don't stack products on the vertical axis – try a horizontal layout instead. Going wide might be the better solution. Multiple products are allowed to overlap but make sure they read as separate products.

    Lightning and Colour

    The preferred lighting setup for a product shot is studio lightning, meaning a controlled set of artificial lights. A three-point-light composition, including a softbox, is prefered and the most basic setup. The setup can be achieved by anyone, even in an amateur photoshoot session. Make sure the product has at least one intense highlight and is lit from all sides. A natural contact shadow with the floor is prefered and grounds the product – it will feel more lifelike. It is always easier to remove the shadow than faking a realistic ground shadow afterwards. Exaggeration in the context of popping colours and increased contrast are a valid approach but keep it controlled. The product has to look as exciting as possible but not like its cartoon version.

    In conclusion, the product should appear new, modern and vivid. Referring to the brand essentials, SONAX is a company that delivers high-quality products, so they should look like it, too.

    Post Production

    Make sure every image contains at least a basic amount of post-production love. Contrast and colours can always be increased, the background cleaned, the cropping tweaked or optimized.

    Please make sure to include a clipping path of the product in every file. A clipped product with a transparent background is needed frequently in print as in online appearances.

    Asset download

    All SONAX product images have to be delivered in a RAW uncompressed format. All SONAX product images have to be delivered in a RAW uncompressed format. This Format can be a TIFF-File in at least 150dpi or a high-resolution PNG-File. Keep in mind images will be used in print and a digital manner simultaneously. Include and edit separate files containing CMYK and sRGB content if control of the delivered assets is something you prefer.

    All images created will be located in the SONAX-Marketing-Centre/SONAX-Media-World. If access is needed, reach out to your local contact person.