Hero image is a term used in web design for a specific type of web banner, which is usually large, displayed on the front or center of a page and is very visual.
The hero image presents an overview of the website’s most important content, consists of both text and images and can be both static or dynamic. Generate stunning hero images using one of these customizable mockups and scene generators.
Table of Contents:
- Creative Hero Image and Scene Generators
- Why Images Are Important for Blog Posts and Content
- How to Properly Use Instagram and Pinterest For Your Company
Creative Hero Image and Scene Generators
With these 25 creative hero images and scenes generators you can quickly create beautiful and diverse HD resolution scenes for your mockups, websites, prints, banners and more!
In this list you will find some great generators for various types of websites, from design and office to even food and drink websites. Here they are:
RS Desk Mockup Scene Creator allows you to create a hero image or a header for website using a work desk scene as a background. This generator comes in high resolution and allows you to print your work on billboards.
Looking to use a beer or bar related hero image, background or header? Then the Beer & Bar Mockup & Hero Images Scenes Generator will be an excellent choice for you. Included are 150+ isolated images, 12 premade scenes – print ready high resolution 4500×2500px, 300dpi, 15 prepared and changeable textures and backgrounds and much more.
This generator includes 109 isolated images, 10 scenes (with PSD files) and 9 typographic elements. The elements are print-ready at 3500×2500px resolution and 300 DPI.
This Hero Image Scene Generator includes 100 isolated objects, 12 wall backgrounds and more. The set comes in 6000×3700px and 300dpi, making it
This massive toolkit contains a total of 140+ food-related elements, including fruits, vegetables, cooking staff and more. All placeholders are editable via Smart Object.
If you’ve got a wedding-related project, then this scene creator will be of huge help. Included are 3 PSD Files, 3 Premade Scenes, 34 Isolated Objects, 8 Mock Ups and of course everything is in high resolution (4000×3000) with 300 DPI RGB.
This generator includes a total of 120+ isolated images, 14 print-ready pre-made scenes, 11 changeable textures and backgrounds, 6 photographic color presets and more.
The scene generator includes 117 isolated objects, 6 scenes with PSD files, 11 backgrounds, 6 typgraphic elements and comes in 3500x2500px (11in x 8 in), 300 DPI resolution.
This mockup includes a total of over 70 objects and can be used for header, presentations, website mock ups, gallery presentations and more. This mockup was created for web designers to preview their designs and websites in a professional and photo realistic way.
This massive mockup kit includes over 200 unique items, 10 ready made scenes, 10 background textures and comes in very high resolution.
This scene creator is perfect for you if you’ve got a summer-related project you’re working on. It comes in 6000×4000px resolution and includes 70+ objects, 8 table textures, 6 backgrounds and more.
This mock-up creator includes a total of 80 isolated objects & 3 Ready Scenes, plus 25 smart objects and comes in 6000×3750px resolution.
This hero images creator includes 100+ different items, 5 ready made scenes and more. All objects are editable via smart objects. All objects and shadows are separated. This set also comes in high resolution of 5000x3500px and 300 DPI.
Fight Hero Image Generator comes with 30 high resolution, isolated objects, 3 custom scenes, 5 logo badges in Smart Objects and more.
The Hero Header Scene Generator includes more than 30 Mock-ups & 60 isolated objects, as well as 7 Pre-Made Scenes. All the mock-ups are created with smart object layers and everything is in high resolution.
Flatland comes with 85+ elements, 5 PSD files, 4 pre-made scenes, Photoshop vectors and more. This set is very easy to customize.
This mockup creator is perfect if you’ve got a photography-related project you’re working on. 11 professional scene elements, 14 mock ups, 3 pre-made scenes and 3 wedding badges.
The Hero Banner Maker contains a PSD with more than 300 images. It also includes backgrounds and effects, allowing you to create the perfect banner in minutes.
If you’ve got a car-related project, the Automotive Hero Image and Header Mockup is an excellent choice for you. This mockup has fully layered elements with optional and modifiable drop shadow.
This mock-up creator comes with a total of 290+ high resolution, isolated items and 15+ custom made wall textures.
This mockup include a total of 3 mockups in 300 DPI and 1500x100px resolution. It also comes with 3 pre-made scenes, 3 different paper textures and more.
This toolkit consists of 80+ elements, 15 background textures, 25 pre- made scenes and 25 ready text placeholders (all editable via Smart Object).
This scene creator comes with 1 PSD file that contains 30 items. It also includes 6 desk backgrounds and textures and is high resolution and print ready (300 DPI).
This generator comes with 3 pre-made scenes and 26 items with organized layers.
This hero image generator consists of 45+ objects in high resolution, 7 pre-made scenes and a total of 8 PSD and 1 RTF file. PSD files are 4500×3000, containing all isolated objects, backgrounds, smart objects, canvas, art materials, sample mockups and more.
Iggy is a designer who writes for 2 popular web design blogs: Line25 and Web Design Dev. He loves creating various design-related articles that include design inspiration, designer freebie roundups, Photoshop tutorials and more.
We have seen the hero images generators, and now, we are going to take a look at why images are important in general.
Why Images Are Important for Blog Posts and Content
Remember how much you would have rather read a book with lots of pictures versus one with only text when you were a kid? The same applies, even now. A picture speaks a thousand words, and when it comes to your content, that cannot be truer if your image is relevant. Images add richness to your content, and make readers more willing to read a long article. And they have great SEO value too!
Best Images for Content
The following are the types of images you can use to add an extra bit of pizazz to any blog post, article, or other piece of online content.
Eye Catching Photography
That photo grabbed your attention, right? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been lured into reading a post simply because it had an eye-catching photo attached to it. The key is to find something that either relates to your content or proves your point. In this case, my point was to catch your eye. Some examples include:
- An article on how to calm the mind including photos of peaceful gardens or open meadows.
- An article on how to build a treehouse including photos of awesome treehouse designs.
- An article on the perfect cupcake recipe including photos of the ingredients and the finished product.
Relevant photos can help the audience really feel the point you are trying to make with your content as well as breaking up the text making the story seem like less of a daunting read.
Have you ever noticed that you tend to trust a Twitter user or Facebook friend more if they have a photo of themselves as opposed to a cartoon, logo, or other non-personal bio image?
The same goes with content. Readers love to see the face behind whatever topic is being covered in a piece of content. This includes:
- Author bio photos for blog posts and articles.
- Photos of a person who authored a book or an eBook that you are reviewing.
- Photos of people included in a list, such as the top designer bloggers on Twitter.
Including people photos will increase the reader’s engagement and trust with your content as it lets them know that there is a real person on the other side of the screen creating the content.
Screenshots, in my opinion, are essential when it comes to two particular types of content – how to articles and lists.
You can write the greatest tutorial on how to use a piece of software, but if it doesn’t include screenshots, it will make the reader still feel that the software may be to complicated for them to understand. For example, I could say that, when editing photos in Gimp, you should scale the image to the appropriate size to fit the article, such as I did with the above photo in this post to make it 570px wide. Or I could say that and then include the following:
Including the screenshot directs readers to the right menu option to correspond with my instructions, helping readers get to know the software before they get to it and give them a reference point if they get stuck.
List Post Screenshots
Have you ever seen a piece of content such as the top 25 ___ websites? Have you noticed that some lists go viral while others are just blah. The difference is generally in whether the post has included screenshots of the websites in question.
A good example of this is how Dainis listed 33 blogs to make you a social media and marketing guru with screenshots of each site.
So the next time you do a list of your favorite people on Twitter, include a screenshot of their Twitter profile. Or if you do a list of your favorite brand’s Facebook pages, include a screenshot of their fan pages. This will make readers love your list even more and share it with their audience!
How to Get Images for Your Content
So now that you have some good ideas of what kind of images to include in your content, here are some tools and resources to get those images.
Eye Catching Photography
The following are great sources for eye-catching photography.
- Creative Commons Images – My favorite resource is Flickr’s Advanced Search to find eye-catching photography. Be sure to check the box to Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content and include a photo credit with the image you use.
- Royalty-Free Stock Photos – If you can’t find what you are looking for through Creative Commons, your next best bet is sites like iStockphoto that allows you to buy a photo for use in your website content and designs.
There are tons of other resources – simply search for creative commons images or stock photography on Google to find them, but the above are a great place to start. Also, if you find a photo you want to use but it isn’t creative commons licensed, all hope is not lost. Just email the owner of the photo / photographer and let them know what you had in mind. You might get a great response!
Whenever I need to grab a photo of a person, I tend to go with their Twitter profile photo as it is one they have chosen to represent themselves online. Other places to grab a photo include:
- A person’s Gravatar (if they have commented on your blog).
- The author bio page on their blog.
- The photo on their corporate bio page.
Or, if you prefer, you can contact the person and ask them to send you a photo of their choosing for an upcoming piece of content you are working on. Generally, if you let them know you are including them on a list or a positive review, they will be happy to oblige!
If you don’t have a program like Snagit or similar to get screen captures, then you have some free options to work with.
- Screenshots on Windows Based PCs – I tend to rely on the Print Screen (Prt Scr) button on my keyboard to do a screen capture, then resize and crop it in Gimp, a free image editor.
- Screenshots on Mac OS Machines – If you’re running a Mac, you can use shortcuts such as Command-Shift-3 to take a screenshot and save it on your desktop, Command-Control-Shift-3 to take a screenshot and save it to your clipboard, or use other shortcuts listed here. Gimp also works on Mac for editing your screenshots.
- Website Previews – If you use Safari and need an image of a website, then you’ll be happy to know that Safari actually takes screenshots of websites in .png and .jpg format. In Windows 7, you can find these previews under C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\Safari\Webpage Previews. You can then edit the website’s capture in Gimp to fit your post.
Windows 7 also has a Snipping Tool that allows you to grab screenshots easily, but I have found those captures are very low quality, so depending on your needs, you might want to use one of the above options instead.
Your Thoughts on Images for Content
Now it’s your turn. How do you use images in your content? Please share your strategies and resources with us in the comments!
As we talk about images, we can’t go out without mention Pinterest and Instagram.
How to Properly Use Instagram and Pinterest For Your Company
After the first two Etiquette Guides for Facebook and Twitter, I’ve decided to also tell you something about two other services which, although popular, are quite new to the market: Instagram and Pinterest. If you find them difficult to use in such a way that your company will benefit, this article will most likely answer your questions and help you make better use of these two underdogs.
You’ve probably heard about Facebook buying Instagram for a billion dollars some months ago, news that was a hit in the stands for many weeks. With more than 15 million users signing up in the past year and more than 400 million photos uploaded, Instagram might have been able to put a dent in Facebook’s hopes of internet domination. So Zuckerberg decided to buy the small company with only 13 employees. It was not the features of the app, but the database of people Facebook bought that defends this astounding price. Instagram might have become more than just a photo sharing app with a reported number of 26 new pictures uploaded every second and with a new user signing up every second.
Apparently, Facebook bought Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million in shares. And with the updated stock values, Instagram is somehow short of $300 million.
Basically what Instagram does is simple: it allows you to take photos with your smartphone, apply filters and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other networks. Basically it does nothing more than you could do with other apps – so again, its power is translated by the number of registered users.
Who uses it?
Instagram is used by a number of companies, news channels, sports teams and so on. Almost everybody with an iPhone or an Android-based device uses Facebook’s app.
What companies like is that for every time you check-in on Facebook, you advertise them. Every time you write something about them on Twitter, you advertise them. And every time you take a photo of a product and share it with Instagram, you advertise them yet again. This is the way people tell stories nowadays. It is much easier to post a picture of a product than trying to describe it. And this is why Instagram is so powerful. And when you will go by a Starbucks and will see a Cafe Latte in the window, you will remember the picture posted by your friend on Instagram and might go in to try it yourself. And you know what the funny part is? You might post a picture of the same Latte again.
Other big companies use Instagram to run contests of submitted consumer images, such as General Electric. Thousands of people submitted their picture and hoped to win. And all of this just to win a trip to Wales where you had to take pictures of an aviation facility. The results of the #GEInspiredMe campaign were incredible compared to the prize.
Some other companies use Instagram to tell consumers more about their inside workings or to introduce new products. Engaging customers is probably the best bet a company has with Instagram.
What about you?
Now you could say that other companies were successful in using Instagram because they already have a huge database of followers. And I have to agree. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. Some tips for you? Sure, here they are:
- Decide on what you want to do. By just starting and posting random pictures of random things won’t make you successful. You need to know from the beginning what it is you want to do and ONLY do that thing. Have a plan. It can be showing the world how you design a website and the whole process behind it; it can be showing how you relax on your lunch breaks; it can be how your small company employees have fun on their breaks; it can be literally anything. But let it be something interesting, something part of a routine, something you will be able to share about in the following days.
- Establish a posting routine. When you own a blog, it is a good idea to get your readers used to a posting pattern. If you post daily for two weeks in row, then for the following two you post three times, this inconsistency might not please your readers. They usually expect something from you. They don’t know exactly when it’s coming, but they know it’s close. It is important to have consistency in posting, so keep this in mind when you make your plan.
- Get your followers involved. If you really want to engage customers, Instagram is one of the best ways of doing it. This is the way to ensure followers will participate and they will continue to follow you. Ask them to post pictures of your product and see what the results are.
- Follow uploads. While it can be very funny to ask customers to post images of their new sun glasses that your company makes, it can also be quite damaging if they get shipped the wrong product or a product in a bad shape. It is important to keep an eye on what people upload to assure that you protect your brand. If bad uploads are found, then always respond in a calm and helpful way and correct any misunderstanding. Do not EVER get into a war.
- Take quality pictures. You might not be a professional photographer, but keep in mind that picture quality is an important element of a good brand. If you are not good at taking pictures yourself, let someone else do it for you, or read some tips and tricks that can improve your skills.
- Connect and share. Integrating Instagram with other networks is crucial. I would immediately start with Facebook, Twitter, maybe Flickr and Foursquare. This way you can take images and share them using hashtags on other networks. Proper SEO will bring in many views.
The concept behind Pinterest might be a bit more complicated than Instagram’s. The basic idea is that you have a digital bulletin board and post everything you find interesting there . You basically have the option of creating and managing theme-based image collections (events, hobbies, interests and others) and you can like or re-pin other user’s content. The idea behind Pinterest is to connect everyone through the things they are interested in using the tool.
Pinterest is, just like Instagram, one of the fastest growing social services in the world and can be considered a mix between Facebook and Twitter, which allows you to have lots of followers to whom you can share your interests. Although not as effective as Instagram, Pinterest has some advantages of its own.
- Spend the time. There is no social media network where you will be popular right from signing up. You need to spend time on all of them. You need to prove your followers and readers you are an important and credible source of information. It takes months for even the biggest companies in the world to reach a high number of followers – and they will never reach all of their customers on social media for various reasons. Keep in mind that spending time to build a profile is important. On Pinterest you can get recognized as a profile that only posts valuable pins. If you own one of those profiles, it will be easier for you to move the relationship on another media and make the best out of it.
- Promote others. The first temptation for a new Pinterest profile owner would be to only post products he/she sells. But this is entirely wrong. Many successful Pinterest users declared that in order for a profile to become popular, you also need to pin tips, products from other companies and interesting news. If you only post your own products, Pinterest users will spot that sooner or later and might not be interested in your updates anymore.
- Learn from the elite. It is a good idea to follow big hitters on Pinterest and see what they are doing. If a huge company does something a specific way, there is definitely a reason behind it. Try to catch up on that and do the same if the strategy fits your target customers.
- Connect online with offline. Remember to always draw a connecting line between the online profile and the offline location. If you have a store, include some ads on the walls for your Pinterest profile (and other social media networks for that matter). And if you have something like it (and you should), then advertise all your Pinterest promotions there as well. Combining the offline with the online is a good recipe for success.
- Do you fit in? It is an important questions to ask when you sign up on Pinterest. Is your company really fit to use this particular social media tool? There are companies out there who are simply not a good fit for Pinterest because their target audience is not present on Pinterest. If you think the ones you want to do business with are there, then use Pinterest, otherwise try to avoid spending time on it and focus on something else.
Online success can be achieved with Facebook and Twitter – and it would be enough. But if you are good enough and interested in adding different networks, your audience can get much larger and you might get clients and contacts you’ve never dreamt of. Instagram and Pinterest are two of those underdogs who offer the goods only to people who want to spend time and learn how to use them. If you are one of these people, I hope this article inspired you to go out there and experiment a brand behaviour on two of the hottest social media networks out there.
So, let’s see, do you use Instagram or Pinterest? Is it for personal use or for a company? And how did you find these two in the first weeks when using them?