Volvo Experience & Identity Guideline 

Image tonality

Imagery is one of the strongest and most important assets in our communications. Brand consistency is expressed through the tonality of each image.

 

Image tonality

The key features of our image tonality spring from the very core of our brand. The light, the human presence, and the masterpieces of engineering portrayed, all communicate a strong sense of innovation and care.

Pay attention to all the details when creating an image – make sure the depicted product is placed and used in a realistic way. It conveys quality and safety.

NOTE: Always secure image usage rights, permissions and ensure that photos and video are legally and GDPR compliant.

Our color tone

Warm, earthy color tones accentuate our friendly and humanistic brand personality. The color tone creates an overall visual consistency and works well with our different product images.

Overall tone

Warm grey and brown tones.

 

Whites

White areas (highlights) should be warm rather than neutral and cold.

 

Blacks

Dark areas (shadows) are deeper dark grey, rather than high contrast pitch black.

Storytelling

Seduce the target audience with images that tell a story, highlighting the ultimate customer benefit in a dynamic and emotional way. Compose settings that explain why our customers are passionate about, and proud of, Volvo. When showing the products in action, use dynamic imagery that captures the user experience. 

Basic principles

  • Convey a genuine story, capture a moment in time.
  • Place the product in a setting that creates exciting associations.
  • Settings can be anything from city and urban life to countryside and nature.
  • Capture elements of nature and life, for example the ocean, trees, people and movement.
  • Demonstrate our role in the bigger picture by including passengers or bystanders in the scene as well as.
  • If possible, show Volvo products in collaboration.
  • When portraying scenes that indirectly affect people’s lives, in rural areas and nature imagery, human presence is not necessary.
  • Reflect reality in an authentic and credible way, never greenwash or exaggerate social and safety benefits.

These guidelines are applicable for stock photo purchases as well as when arranging your own photo shoot.

Human presence

Volvo is the “people first” brand. People can be depicted in their work environment, as well as in their everyday life and to demonstrate our role in society we can also include passengers or bystanders in the scene.

Basic principles 

  • Portray colleagues over models (and make sure to secure their consent).
  • Close in on the people portrayed, but still make sure to capture the context and environment.
  • When we portray people looking directly into the camera, we keep it natural and spontaneous to capture the feeling of a “moment in time.”
  • In images of moving products, audiences can still catch a glimpse of the operator or driver.
  • Steer away from busy images/backgrounds to avoid distractions, but never use cut-out images.

Corporate portraits

  • Use natural light, such as windows for soft shadows and natural colors.
  • Use a short depth of field. Consider the angle and shoot straight ahead, not from below or above.
  • Note that these rules do not apply for portraits in for example magazines.

These guidelines are applicable for stock photo purchases as well as when arranging your own photo shoot.

Clear source of light

Light sources reflect our Swedish origin. They also add a sense of optimism and belief in the future, which conveys the care associated with our brand.

Basic principles

  • Depict a clear source of light, preferably capturing “the magic moment” of a day.
  • Take advantage of natural light sources such as windows or use an outdoor setting to catch warm, natural light.
  • A clear source of light isn’t limited to natural daylight. It can come from headlights, street lamps or other adequate sources of light.
  • Shots taken of product interiors should have a warm feel, with an abundance of light.
  • Ensure that the light source adds a warm feeling even in industrial or “grey” environments.

These guidelines are applicable for stock photo purchases as well as when arranging your own photo shoot.

Authenticity

Pay attention to all the details when creating an image – make sure the depicted product is placed and used in a realistic way. A professional who looks at the image will spot even the smallest irregularity.

Basic principles

  • Show the products hard at work in their authentic environments. Products should be clean but when it supports the authenticity,
    it is okay for products to be dirty.
  • Include human presence with people who fit naturally within the setting. They can be operators, drivers, worksite colleagues, passengers or bystanders.
  • Provide a broad perspective – always try to tell a story with the picture.
  • Use clear, warm light and dynamic angles to portray details and features in a premium and contemporary way.
  • Choose images of products in action. Avoid closely cropped product images.
  • Showcase products at their best. Capture the very best angles that highlight unique features and brand-specific details.
  • Simplicity. Choose the right objects to portray visually, and avoid objects that aren’t interesting to look at. Look for simple, strong backgrounds that do not divert attention from the products.

These guidelines are applicable for stock photo purchases as well as when arranging your own photo shoot.

 

Products

Studio shots are an opportunity to show our products in their entirety, without distraction and in the most attractive way. We want the products to shine and reflect the innovation, knowledge and unique design that is built into each one of them.

Product features and detail images have a progressive and premium feel. They capture the beauty of our products; and make even the most sophisticated technologies attractive, exciting and understandable.

Basic principles

Products in studio

  • Use a soft, warm, light that makes materials and textures feel real, authentic and distinctive.
  • Use dynamic angles to emphasize the unique design features, appealing shapes and details.
  • Product shots should include a light drop shadow to prevent the product from "floating".
  • The products are polished and clean to present an air of high quality.

Products – details/features

  • Select features and details that send the strongest innovation message and zero in on unique technological solutions.
  • Highlight the most visually appealing, and brand-distinct, design features.
  • Ensure that the details and features we portray are always clean and in top condition.
  • Consider how human presence can be conveyed in the picture.

These guidelines are applicable for stock photo purchases as well as when arranging your own photo shoot.

 

Do not

Sometimes to explain what we mean, it's easier to show what not to do. Here are some examples.

View Volvo Experience & Identity Guideline