Why you may rethink your product preview pictures

Why you may rethink your product preview pictures main article image
Posted on February 4, 2021 by Giada Buccarella

The Internet is an amazing place: huge, boundless, fast, and most of all, creative. Part of this creativity is due thanks to those like many of us, creative people. We are the content creators, the makers, the crafters, the writers, the video editors, the younger, the sellers. We make a huge part in the whole game of making the internet so interesting. What’s you own contribution? Are you a seller of digital or physical goods? Do you provide a service? Or maybe you’re a musician or a podcaster?

What kind of service you provide or even what you sell, if you sell digitals or physical goods,  does not make any difference, one thing is for sure: you need great pictures. In this article, we will try to find out what are the most common mistakes that we should avoid when creating our preview or presentation pictures. We will also find out what we can do to improve our ability in assembling pictures but most importantly we will understand what really happens in our brain when we look at pictures and how can we use these information at our advantage to (hopefully) sell more or being noticed in the whole crowd.

Visual impact is important

We should start from a monolithic certainty: the web is a combination of text and images. Most of the time, we are drawn to direct our attention towards images first, and secondarily to the text.
This should be enough already to let us understand how important it is to have a great visual impact on the audience. But what makes a picture a good picture? Let’s find out!


The meaning of colors

Colors are the very first thing we usually remember about an item, followed by other information like graphics, numbers, and, texts if that is present. They can convey a message and they can do it easily. It’s true however that color’s meaning may be different and are used differently among cultures. Just think about the difference we can find between India’s flamboyant bright, rich, and opulent colors often found in traditional festivities or dresses and traditional outfits, in contrast to the more neutral, pale and whiter shades we would find in a Nordic environment. It’s amazing how colors are influenced by cultures and the more you research on this topic the more you will find out on how people around the world use colors in different ways. But since we are here to have an overview of what’s the possible and average meaning of colors let’s understand how colors can communicate and what kind of message they instantly drive to the eye.

Brief description for each color and word association

WHITEpurity, absence, distance, innocence, peace, precision, cleanliness.

White can convey a message of pure, clean, and pristine inclination. It’s the color you would probably find in a medical center, or at your dentist’s office. You would also find it on the packaging of many cleaning products.

And what about Apple’s white packaging for basically all of their products, sending a direct message of precision, punctuality, and modernity?

BLACKwealth, darkness, elegance, sophisticated, elitist, formal.

Black can be different from culture to culture, from a marketing perspective we can easily say that black is often linked with elegance, wealth, and prosperity. Some examples of this may be displayed in phrases like “black-tie event” or being the color of choice for some credit cards.

YELLOWhappiness, illness, hazard, sunshine, joy.

Yellow is often linked to joy, happiness, and it usually has a very stimulating effect on the viewer, and since it’s also perceived brighter than white to the human eye and the brain is usually used by brands for capturing attention.

GREENeco-friendly, richness, youth, nature, sickness, luck.

Green is one of the most mutable colors. It can change dramatically depending on what hue is used, alone or in combination with other colors. It usually conveys a sense of richness, especially when used in dark tones, or as relaxing and calming.

RED: sensuality, strength, courage, power, risk, action.

Red has been for ages one of the most used color in marketing and advertising. It’s linked with power and physical strength, and it’s often used by energetic drink and beverage brands.

BLUEstability, technology, security, sadness, depression, trust.

Just as green, blue can be very mutable depending on some factors such as saturation and brightness. More in general we would say blue is generally used by the tech industry and is associated with trust and security, and we could think about social media like Facebook and Twitter choosing blue for their logos as to convey an idea of relaxation and trustiness.

These are some of the most common colors we can use but of course, there are many more; we should use this to our advantage and make it work for us when we think about setting up our pictures, designing a logo, or choosing a background. Some color background can kill our chance to rise above the crowd when showing our products, especially when there is the use of inconsiderate text.

Let’s see some pictures here:

Most common mistakes - example 1

Most common mistakes - example 2

In both pictures, we can notice a few mistakes. First of all color combinations: we see a white text on a light pink background, with a bouncy and playful font, very hard to read especially if the viewer will happen to see this together with a bunch of other results while browsing for items. In the second picture, we see a bold blue background with a graffiti-like font spread all over the picture.

Disposition of elements: F pattern & Z pattern

When placing text over your pictures, always remember it should never outshine your item, it should always be placed in a way that does not impede a full and complete view of the object or the item you are presenting, and it should be easily readable. Usually, the human eye follows what it’s called the “F” pattern or even a “Z” pattern, so this means that when looking on a web page the eye is naturally prone to follow a F or Z pattern to find information more quickly. How can we use this on our advantage? Let’s try some examples:

Standard F pattern

Standard Z Pattern

In the first picture, we can see the classic F pattern: object is placed on the left side and big enough to be seen regardless of the text, the first line of text (PRINTED MUG) which is also the crucial and important information for the buyer is on the right and bigger than other text; any additional text is smaller and placed perfectly underneath the fist line of text. Also, a clear, thin, sans serif and capital font has been used together with a neutral grayish background to enhance the white mug pop out.

Let’s move to the second example. Here we see the Z pattern: first important information is bigger on the left (PRINTED MUG) for the user to be read quickly and easily, then we have the item on the right side, in a bigger size (does not matter if the mug is partially cut out as long as we can see the most of it), and less important information on the left but perfectly under the fist line.

Please note: A warmer and softer pinkish background has been added, which looks even brighter than the grey used in the previous picture.

More in general we should affirm that disposition of elements in pictures is something we cannot ignore when we wrap pictures. See the example here below:

blocks of informations

You can see here how the cover image for this product has 3 different blocks of information:

  1. A clear and catchy picture (red)
  2. Main information or title ( green)
  3. Additional information (blue)
  4. A neutral background has been used so to not interfere with what’s important here (pictures and text)

Just in general the most common mistakes when dealing with preview pictures are the following:

  • Text and Background color combinations that clash together (white on yellow, red on green, orange on purple and so on..)
  • Extravagant font or script font especially when it comes to the first crucial information of the product
  • Font overlapping picture/product or font being too small
  • Distorted aspect ratio so that the picture looks stretched or compressed 
  • Overload of information on the fist cover image 

Always keep in mind that viewer’s attention is very low when searching online and when online, decisions are made within a range of 3-7 seconds. This is the average timing in which someone will decide if they want to click on your listing or not. So, the first image should be as clear and appealing as possible. After the cover image, you should always include as many as you can. We want people to look at our products and spend time on our page so this will possibly increase our ranking inside a platform.

Ideal picture presentation

A possible batch of ideal picture presentation may be as follows:

  • If it’s a physical product, show the object alone maybe even using a neutral background or natural source of light if you can access that or use a ring light. You can also take photos using your iPhone as long as you won’t get too many shadows. Shadows are our enemy!
  • If it’s a digital product, show every single one of the file included and protect your files with a watermark with low opacity
  • Show the customers how they can use your product! If it’s a physical object, like a t-shirt, use a model; if it’s a digital product use a mock-up!
  • If you can show additional attributes of your item: for a clothing element like a t-shirt it may be a close-up of stitches on a sleeve or a close-up of the printed sublimation graphic design on it. If it’s a digital file show a picture where the design can be seen in full detail.

This here below is how you can create a full carousel of pictures for your item: 

1-COVER IMAGE cover image

2- OVERVIEW OF THE PRODUCT IN GENERAL – in this case, it’s a set of png


3- MOCK-UP OF OBJECT IN USE like here below, printed on a journal object in use



5- POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL CREATIVE USE OF YOUR ITEM, in this case, printed on an iPhone case

object in use

And this was a general overview on how you can create attractive photos of your pictures, but there’s so much more to discover about!

If you wish to know more about you can find more information about all this by reading “Web of Influence – The psychology of persuasion” by Nathalie Nahai!

All designs used to create this article are designed and sold by TheGGshop at the following link www.creativefabrica.com/designer/theggshop

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Trina Flynn

February 14, 2021

Thank you for the information it is very helpful!

TheGGShop's profile picture

February 26, 2021


Thank you!

Martine Van Hal

February 7, 2021

Very helpfull.

Sue Coles

February 7, 2021

Thank you - this was extremely informative. I love F and Z pattern - I never realised it until I read it.


February 6, 2021

Thanks! The F or Z pattern is awesome and very true!

TheGGShop's profile picture

February 6, 2021



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