Images are a key part of the central government visual identity. They help avoid the use of unnecessary form elements. Use images to link form to content.
The rules for the use of images
- The rules for the use of images apply to emblematic images for a given communication product, such cover photos for a book or magazine, or the pictures on a website’s landing page.
- Content is always key. With this in mind, you should ensure that the image explains, supplements or supports the underlying message.
- Images used on central government publications should portray Dutch society in a realistic way. When it comes to photography (portraiture, reportage and illustrative photography), audiovisual productions, infographics and illustrations, you should let yourself be guided by the principles of credibility and familiarity.
Working on a human scale
Central government works for society, in service of the common good. This is why photos, videos and animations for central government should be on a human scale. This means that the images you use should be centred on people in their environment. Try to pick images that show people. If this is not possible, you can include the human element indirectly, by showing things that demonstrate the influence of people.
Be very careful when it comes to image manipulation. A manipulated image should never distort reality. Black and white images (with the exception of archival images) or obviously manipulated images (photo effects, collages or an image that has been cut out from its background) distort reality and should therefore not be used.
The four essential qualities of an image
Show exactly what you want to tell. The image should reinforce the message you are trying to convey.
An image tells a clear story. You should leave out as many unnecessary elements as possible. If this rule means that you can’t get your message across in one image, it’s more effective to use multiple images.
Images should be realistic and not obviously staged. Show people as they really are. Use a normal perspective. Images should be in full colour.
If you are writing about the Netherlands, use Dutch images. Keep in mind that we live in a diverse society.
When it comes to international topics, try to show the ‘Dutch angle’ whenever possible.
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