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The EOC image bank

A company collection of photos and corporate identity elements—to be used on website, social media and printed matter—can quickly grow out of control. Where at first a single folder on the computer sufficed to manage everything, suddenly you can’t see the forest for the trees. Mutual insurer EOC recognized this growing pain and asked Vuurwerk to develop a solution: the image bank.

We sit down to talk about it with Ferdy Hoekman, Manager Marketing Communication and Advice at EOC.

Ferdy, what was the need EOC felt to have an image bank developed?

“We have tons of images and every time we wanted to use something, it was a disaster. Things would be scattered across twenty different folders. We would have an article that needed a picture of a sailboat, well, try finding a sailboat amongst hundreds of photos. With an image bank, you can find it right away.”

So, you’re happy with the search function?

“It’s ideal. It works with tags, based on any photographic detail we want: the type of boat, whether or not it features our flag, etcetera. You can filter by tag, which makes it intuitive to search with. That way, we keep huge amounts of images manageable. Plus, it ensures that the images can be used commercially. It relieves our employees of the stress of chasing after rights.”

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Is it a lot of work, adding those tags?

“You have to add them picture by picture, but it’s easy enough. It’s a process of refinement. You may start with the tag ‘speedboat’, but soon you’ll have three pages worth of them. Then you may refine it by type, environment, our flag… It’s incredibly useful that you can always add tags, even later on, without needing to uproot your whole folder structure. It takes a small effort to set up, but the better you maintain it, the more powerful this tool becomes.”

When images are uploaded to the bank, are they screened for quality?

“Yes. One of our staff will evaluate them and add tags right away. The fun thing is that we actually get a lot of pictures sent to us by our members. As soon as we post a call, targeting our leisure audience for instance, our image bank gets flushed with beautiful snapshots. I don’t even want to think about how that would have been a mountain of emails in the past.”

How are personal data and consent organized?

“As regards the [Dutch] AVG law, it’s completely airtight. The user supplies the necessary data and a signature. If at any point in the future they want to revoke their permission, that’s easily done as well. Another great boon of working flexibly with tags.”

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What do you think of the development process?

“It was wonderfully clear. We discussed our needs and wishes beforehand, after which Vuurwerk went to work. In between they measured whether the product still met with our expectations. How does it look? Is this the way you like it? That way it was developed fluently and quickly, without burdening us as client at all. A delight.”

Were you keen from the outset to have Vuurwerk develop the image bank?

“At the start we wondered whether it might be more prudent to purchase a standard solution, a database already on the market. In hindsight, I am really happy we had it developed by Vuurwerk. We control and manage the system now, which adds a level of safety and futureproofing. And it really wasn’t that huge an investment.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“My favorite thing about the image bank is its simplicity. It is an elegant solution that does what it needs to do: help us find great quality images really quickly. It’s usually the case that the more complicated you make something, stuffed with options, the trickier it gets to change things afterwards. This is lean and mean.”