Materials Development Tip #6: The Power of an Image

Posted on June 08, 2012

Through our field-testing, focus groups, and needs assessment results, we are constantly reminded of the power and importance of images when developing educational materials. We have heard the target audience express the need for more images or images that show the effects of tobacco on the body.

When developing your tobacco education materials, keep in mind some of the following guidelines:

  • Limit the number of images you put on a page; too many on one page can be overwhelming.
  • Use images that are appropriate for the target audience.
  • Display images in context so your audience can relate to them.
  • Make sure images are not too abstract or difficult to understand.
  • Consider using captions to explain the images and how they relate to the materials being presented.
  • Use images that are positive, showing a behavior you want to achieve (such as not smoking) versus a negative behavior (showing a person smoking).
  • When developing tobacco educational materials, remember to consider cultural issues, norms, beliefs, values and practices of your target audience. Using specific colors, fonts, images and photos of group members conveys appropriateness for the target audience. Always present culture in a positive way.
  • Involve your target audience in the development process of your material, including your choice of images, by getting their feedback so that you will create a product that is relevant to that community.

TEAM Lab did a Google search of interesting anti-tobacco campaigns and we came across this website This site has 50 of the most creative anti-smoking advertisements. These advertisements show the power of an image and in most of the ads, the image is strong enough to sell the message. We hope that this site can illustrate the power and importance of images in the materials you develop.

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