Consumer Brand Style Guide

The Photography


Aspiration and authenticity are not mutually exclusive. When it comes to Garmin brand photography, we need to have both. The images that represent our brand and, specifically, our customer experience should be of the highest quality, because they are indicative of the quality of our products.

Garmin photography is emotional. It’s not just about showing the product. It’s about showing the person who uses that product. In casting, we seek authentic athletes and expert users. The elicited response from the consumer upon seeing this visual communication should be, “I want to be that person. I want to have that product.”

Subject Matter

We have three types of photos we use to tell stories about our brand. Action, nonaction (including everyday lifestyle) and product in environment. For our lifestyle photography, we want our imagery to be “in the moment” and authentic. In some cases, it is more powerful or emotionally charged to show the subject in a stationary pose, before or after the activity is completed.


Garmin photography is not literal or “see and say.” In other words, we don’t always need to see a person pressing a button on his/her wearable device. Each image should be natural, romanticizing the moment and the scenario being captured.

Garmin Photography is emotional and aspirational.

Shot Selection

Every product that requires a photoshoot will be limited to a specific number of shots. These shots will represent the product at every touch point and build a familiar connection with the consumer through repetition. The more the consumer sees the same image in several executions (from campaign to purchase), the better the opportunity to tell that story and retain a message of quality and emotion through consistency. Predetermined shots will be sketched out before every production. Shots will be sorted into “heroes” and “supporting.”

Campaign photography may deviate from these guidelines in order to creatively fulfill a specific concept.

The lust to logic spectrum is used to show the relationship of emotion to information consumers need to make purchases on their journeys through our brand.

Emotion is associated with the lust side, and information is associated with the logic side.


Hero Shot

For every product, one to three hero images should be shot and used across all top-funnel mediums in all markets. These images are shot wide to capture the scene and convey a broad sense of emotion. We want viewers to see this image and envision themselves in that environment.

A hero shot is a wide, emotional/aspirational shot where the subject is surrounded by his/her environment and makes a human connection with the audience. It tells a story. A hero shot should be used in most applications.

Supporting Shot

For every product, five to 15 supporting shots (volume will depend on product, launch level and budget) will be provided to complement the hero shots. These images can be used in down-funnel executions such as family landing pages, blog posts, PR efforts and social media content.

A supporting shot is a closer shot that is more descriptive and can help tell a more product-focused story. It is commonly used to show a specific feature and may require a tighter shot of the device (for example, family pages, emails, product pages).

Quality Over Quantity


When shooting photography, always frame the shot wide, and center the subject horizonally. This will provide flexibility in postproduction and will accommodate use cases in a variety of mediums and formats.


It is OK to crop hero shots or supporting shots to fit a particular placement or usage. In some cases, cropping may be necessary to accommodate a specific ad space. In other cases, cropping may be necessary to accommodate specific market nuances.


Shooting wide with the composition allows it to be used in many applications. Cropping and layout will need the attention of an art director or designer for every execution to ensure it receives the perfect position and adjustments to tell the story.


It is important to be consistent across all the photography. Color is crucial and should help evoke emotion in the scenery and characters we are trying to portray in the composition. The color tones should be sharp and crisp, while the blacks are more crushed and saturated. Try to avoid a vignette around the imagery or any other style that isn’t documented in our guidelines or within the consistency of the brand. Campaign photography may need to step out of the standard spectrum to match the style of other campaign assets.


Avoid visual complexity. Allow the subject in the composition to be the visual focus. Find ways to draw attention to our subject. Look for geometry and visual symmetry, and be respectful of busy backgrounds. Look for ways to declutter, and push for simplicity in every shot. An art director needs to be on every production to ensure the ideal composition is being brought to every shot. Avoid awkward facial expressions that aren’t real or true to the activity (e.g., while most runners may enjoy the activity, they usually aren’t smiling during an 8-mile run).

There will be times when Product-only photography is needed. Garmin uses internally created 3-D product renders in these instances.

There are other instances when close-up shots of product in environment are needed, such as social media, garmin.com or watch-store channel ads. please contact a creative director in the marketing communications department for these specific use cases.