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Duotone images and photography

Duotone is a technique where two colours are used to create a single image. Duotone images make communications more appealing for the reader, without distracting the reader from important information.


Preferably we use genuine pictures created by (professional) photographers at EJC events, alternatively we use as a resource for images, it allows us to use images without worrying about copyright or licensing fees. In other situations, when the colours of the original picture are important to the content. It is important to use the true colours of an image rather than creating graphics in duotone.

When creating or choosing pictures

Creating or choosing genuine pictures that don't feel like stock images is important for conveying authenticity and connecting with your audience. Here are some basic tips to help you achieve this:

  • Capture/choose real moments: Authenticity often comes from capturing candid, unscripted moments. Whether you're taking photos yourself or selecting them, look for images that tell a story or convey genuine emotions.
  • Avoid stereotypes: Stock photos often rely on clichés and stereotypes. Try to break away from these and showcase diversity, uniqueness, and real-life situations that resonate with our audience.
  • Natural lighting: Use natural light whenever possible. It creates a softer, more genuine look compared to harsh artificial lighting.
  • Storytelling: Your pictures should tell a story or convey a message. This helps viewers connect with the image on a deeper level.


When do we use duotone images?

When using pictures it is recommended to convert them in duotone when the image is a background image or not an integral part to understand the content.

We use duotone for:

  • Hero image,
  • Supporting images,
  • Graphical elements

We do not use duotone:

  • With graphs or other elements that should be readable,
  • Headshot images,
  • Pictures that are important to the content

These are the basic steps to create duotone colours:

  • Select an Image: Choose an image that you want to apply the duotone effect. It is best to choose an image that has a high contrast.
  • Convert the Image to Grayscale, this allows you to focus on two different values rather than the colours.
  • Apply the Duotone effect in a photo retouching application like Photoshop, go to Image → Mode → Duotone. In the Duotone dialogue box, choose the two contrasting colours you want to use for the effect. The contrasting colour codes are available above.
  • Alternatively use
  • Once you have created your Duotone image, you can use it in your design.
Duotone Example
Duotone image build-up
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