Building and landmarks images cover a staple topic in human life: shelter, and orientation in a geographic space. As such, they have many subcategories, and an equal number of possible uses in creative and marketing-oriented visuals.
With such a large variety of building and landmark images available in multiple depositories around the web, it can be tricky to know which styles and types of photos are the best to use for any given project.
Today, we’ll give you a hand with quick tips to select compelling images of buildings, and landmarks.
Buildings and Landmarks Differences
Before we dive into the best images in this category, let’s quickly review the distinctions and similarities that make them relevant for visual narratives and marketing.
Buildings are man-made structures designed to provide us shelter from the elements. In our modern days, there are many different types of buildings according to space, purpose, budget, lifestyle, geographic conditions, availability of materials. Plus, architecture is a form of art, and so you can now find a myriad of design styles that turn buildings into artistic statements and even situate them in certain periods of time and certain cultures.
Houses, apartment buildings, workshops, warehouses, shops, galleries, factories, cabins… as different as they are from one another, they’re all buildings. A gothic house and a neo-minimalist apartment look nothing alike, but they both serve the same purpose (a home, a living space). That’s how varied they are.
They're linked to interior design and interiors images, which focus on the inside spaces within buildings.
Landmarks, on the other hand, is the name given to objects or features of a landscape that are easily seen and recognizable, thus making them useful for establishing location. Landmarks can be natural, like the Niagara falls or the Great Canyon in North America –which also fall within the nature images category–, or man-made such as the Arc de Triomphe or the Big Ben in Europe.
And yes: buildings can sometimes be landmarks.
Now that’s cleared, let’s have a look at some of the most popular and compelling images in this category!
Famous Modern Structures
Built to showcase the greatness of a city, a nation or a people, some extraordinary buildings have became worldwide famous tourist attractions and synonyms of the place in which they’re set. There are also others that due to its characteristic design and urban-life relevance have also achieved this status.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty in New York City, USA. The Sydney Opera House building in Sydney, Australia. The Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, USA. Just to name a few prominent examples.
This doesn’t mean you can only use images of these specific places. A modern skyscraper or the interesting skyline of Manhattan can be as compelling as a picture of the Empire State, an overview of London’s city center can be as interesting as a picture of the London Eye, if you use them wisely!
Note: Did you know some famous landmark buildings are protected by property rights? It’s true. The Eiffel Tower, in fact, is considered private property and you are required to have permission from the French administration to use images of the tower or its night lights on, commercially. Editorial use –for illustrative purposes only– is often ok.
Wonders from the Old Days
In the same fashion, there are some much older monuments and constructions that continue to wow and inspire us today.
The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum of Rome, Italy, the Taj Mahal in India, the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France. Are just some of many such buildings.
If you can get a hold of stock images of these places, or constructions with a similar style and vibe, they’re great visual resources.
The touristic value of these places makes them all the more relevant, visually, after the last year and a half in which –due to the pandemic– people were banned from international traveling and touristic activities. So these images have the added boost of speaking to people’s desire for seeing the world.
How to Use Building and Landmark Photos Effectively
Buildings and landmark images are a very good match for designs that need a wide and artistic visual component: wallpapers, posters, etc. As the details in the structures are better appreciated when the image is decently sized, it’s also in these wide displays that they have a greater visual impact.
In terms of industries, they obviously work well for tourism and travel companies, architecture, design, arts, history.
However, stock images are very versatile and you can always come up with creative twists to use them in a new, original way. Here you can learn it all about what are stock images and their many uses!
Where to Buy Cool Buildings and Landmarks Imagery
This is our recommended list of stock photo sites to download professional and trustworthy, royalty free images for this category.
Photocase – Cool and Unique Photos
Photocase is a German stock photo agency specialized in unique, artistic images. Here you can find a lot of great images of landmarks and famous buildings from all over the world, but they excel in European photos, including images of iconic Berlin landmarks such as the TV Tower, and more.
Stock Photo Secrets Shop – Budget-Friendly Images
Our Stock Photo Secrets Shop is a service designed for small and medium-sized businesses and their visual needs. In our library you will find lots of high-quality images of beautiful buildings and famous landmarks, at super affordable prices.
Shutterstock – Commercial-Ready Pictures
Shutterstock is dubbed the titan of stock photos, thanks to their massive catalog with over 300 million images. Among them, millions of photos and illustrations of landmarks and buildings, ready to download and use!
iStock – Exclusive Stock Photos
iStock is a renowned stock photo site that is famous for their highly curated catalog divided into two main collections, one budget-oriented and one exclusive and high-value. In both, you will find millions of photos of landmarks and buildings to meet your creative needs.
Adobe Stock – Trendy Stock Images
Adobe Stock is Adobe’s very own stock image service, and it’s fully integrated into Creative Cloud for a breezy workflow experience. In their library you can unearth lots of awesome and very trendy images of buildings, and landmarks too, to complete your visual projects.
Header image: Copyright LeSteffen/Photocase.com, steffne/Photocase.com, pyrogenum/Photocase.com, Paddi/Photocase.com, all rights reserved.