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What is Retouching Style Guide and Why Do You Need One

Retouching Style Guide

No matter your field of business, developing and maintaining a distinct brand and its identity is crucial. Visualise McDonald’s, for example, switching its long-standing logo unexpectedly. This would surely baffle their customers who may then fail to identify the brand. In a similar light, refining images for any project or assignment is of equal importance.

When you’re working with images of products, logos, or people – consistency is key. This is why a retouching style guide can be so helpful. Retouching style guides are documents that outline what your organization or brand expects when it comes to how images should look. This could include guidelines for color correction, cropping, and any other modifications or adjustments that may need to be made.

Having a retouching style guide can help ensure that images are consistent and recognizable no matter who is working on them. It also makes it much easier to manage the workflows of different photographers or retouchers, since everyone will know exactly what you expect when it comes to adjusting images for a project.

In this guide, our team of photo editors at Pixel by Hand explore the basics of retouching style guides, and discuss why they’re important. We’ll also provide you with some tips on creating your own guide so that you can ensure consistency with all of your projects and images. With a solid retouching style guide in place, you can achieve a consistent look for all of your images that will build trust with your audience.

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What is a Style Guide?

A style guide is a set of guidelines and instructions for retouching that outlines how images should be treated and processed. It covers everything from color correction to lighting, shadows, and highlights, and provides a roadmap for the retoucher to follow to achieve the desired results. A style guide is essentially a tool that helps maintain consistency and uniformity across all images and ensures the final images reflect the brand’s aesthetic and vision.

For example, a retouching style guide might include details such as:

  • What color profile to use
  • How to adjust the contrast levels
  • How much sharpening should be applied
  • Guidelines for cropping images
  • Tips on how to handle skin tones and blemishes.

Each of these individual steps will help to ensure that all images look the same, making it easy for customers to recognize the brand and trust it.

brand Retouching Style Guide

Why Do You Need a Retouching Style Guide?


Having a retouching style guide in place helps to ensure consistency across all of your images. This is especially important when working with multiple photographers or retouchers, since each individual may have different ideas on how to adjust an image. With a style guide in place, everyone will be able to follow the exact same workflow and guidelines so that all images look the same.

Here are some of the reasons why a retouching style guide is important:

  1. Consistency: The most important reason for having a retouching style guide is to maintain consistency in the images. A style guide ensures that all images are retouched to the same standards, giving them a uniform look and feel, and helping to build brand recognition.
  2. Time-saving: Having a style guide saves time and reduces the guesswork involved in retouching images. The retoucher can simply refer to the guide and follow the instructions, reducing the time and effort required to retouch each image.
  3. Improved communication: A style guide helps to improve communication between the retoucher and the photographer or creative director. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and eliminates any misunderstandings or confusion.
  4. Better Quality: A well-defined style guide can help improve the quality of the images, ensuring that the retoucher focuses on the important aspects of the image and produces the best possible results.

And the list goes on and on! The bottomline is: having a style guide helps to keep your images consistent and recognizable, ensuring that they reflect the brand’s aesthetic and vision.

6 Advantages of High-End Photo Retouching Service (and Grow Your Online Sales!)

n this guide, we’ll explore five reasons you should consider a high-end photo retouching service for your eCommerce website. We’ll also list how a product photo retouching service like Pixel by Hand can help you achieve better online sales.

How Do I Create a Style Guide for Editing?

Creating a style guide for retouching is a straightforward process. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Define the Goals: Start by defining what you want to achieve with your images. This will give you a clear idea of the style and look that you’re aiming for, making it easier to create the guidelines.
  2. Set Parameters: Establish a set of parameters that the retoucher should follow when editing images, such as color correction and lighting adjustments. This will ensure that all images follow the same workflow and process.
  3. Provide Examples: Provide examples of what the finished product should look like to give the retoucher a better idea of the desired outcome.
  4. Test Your Guidelines: Once you’ve established your retouching style guide, have a few images tested to make sure that it’s working as intended. This will help you refine and adjust any guidelines as needed.

With some planning and a bit of testing, you can create an effective style guide that will help produce the best results.

What to Include in Your Retouching Style Guide

  • Color Correction: This includes instructions for adjusting color balance, brightness, contrast, and saturation.
  • Lighting and Shadows: This covers instructions for adjusting the lighting and shadows in the images, including the direction and intensity of the light source.
  • Backgrounds: This section should include instructions for removing or replacing the background, as well as guidelines for choosing the right background color.
  • Product Finishing: This covers instructions for retouching the product itself, including removing blemishes, smoothing out wrinkles, and enhancing product features.
  • Brand Identity: This section should include guidelines for maintaining the brand’s aesthetic and ensuring that the images align with the brand’s values and vision.
  • Skin: This covers instructions for retouching skin, such as smoothing out wrinkles and blemishes, adjusting skin tones, and softening shadows.
  • Garment wrinkles: This covers instructions for removing or reducing garment wrinkles, as well as guidelines for choosing the right fabric texture and color.
  • Shaping: This should define the symmetry and shape that should be maintained when retouching figures and faces.
  • File Type: This should include instructions for the file type that should be used such as .JPG or .PNG. It should also include the color profile to ensure color consistency across different devices.

These are just some of the elements that you can include in your style guide, but you can also add any other instructions or guidelines as needed.

What’s the Best Format for a Style Guide?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a retouching style guide, as it will depend on the brand’s specific needs and requirements. However, it is recommended to use a visual format, such as a PDF or an interactive PDF, to clearly communicate the guidelines and make it easy for the retoucher to refer to. The style guide should also be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it stays current and relevant.

The key here is to make sure that the style guide is comprehensive and easy to understand. This will ensure that the retoucher can quickly follow the guidelines and produce consistent results.

How Does Branding Affect Sales?

Branding can play a significant role in the success of an eCommerce business, as it can directly impact sales and customer loyalty. A strong brand helps to differentiate a business from its competitors and creates a unique identity that customers can easily recognize and remember.

If a company has an attractive and consistent branding style, customers will be more likely to purchase products from that business due to the familiarity and trust associated with the brand. On the contrary, if a company has an inconsistent or unappealing branding style, customers may be less likely to purchase products from them.

Therefore, it is essential for companies to create and maintain a strong brand identity through consistency in their product images and across all of their marketing materials. A retouching style guide helps create consistency in product images, which is key to building a strong brand.

If you have a clear set of guidelines as to how your product images should look, your retouchers will be able to achieve the same look and feel in all of your images. This creates a strong brand identity that customers can easily recognize and trust, which in turn boosts sales.

Furthermore, a retouching style guide also helps businesses save time and money by ensuring that all their images are edited in the same way especially if you choose to outsource your retouching needs.

At Pixel by Hand, we’ve come across clients who need to cut costs and have outsourced retouching services to our team. The very first thing we always request from them is a style guide to ensure that regardless of who the available editor is on our team, we can produce consistent results that meet the client’s quality standards.

Retouching Style Guide for brands

Pixel By Hand Photo Retouching Services

We understand how important your brand is to the success of your business and we are here to help you make sure all of your images look their best. Pixel by Hand’s team of experienced, professional photo retouchers can help you create and maintain a consistent look and feel in all of your images.

Our team is experienced in producing high-quality results that follow the exact specifications outlined in your style guide. We provide a variety of retouching services including color correction, dodging and burning, cloning and healing, object removal, background replacement, and more.

We also offer free consultation services to ensure that all of your photos look their best before they hit the market. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create consistent product images that adhere to your retouching style guide!

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