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eBay Voice + Design

Guidelines 2008
eBay Brand Guidelines 2008/ 2008eBay, Inc. / All rights reserved/ Not for unapproved external distribution Page 01 of 28
eBay Brand Guidelines Table of Contents
01 / Brand Basics
Brand Overview 04
Whats New 05
Top 5 eBay Brand Tips 06
03 / Design Basics
Color Palette 16
Typeface 19
Logo 21
Product Photography 23
People Photography 25
Grid 27
02 / Voice Basics
Whos Talking 08
A Voice Snapshot 09
Voice Attributes 10
How to Talk the Talk 11
Applying the Voice 12
Voice Levels 13
When Its Working 14
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eBay Brand Guidelines
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01 / Brand Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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01 / Brand Basics
Brand Basics /
Whats a brand, anyway? Its how we refect the essential promise of our company to the world.
To build a strong brand we have to keep it consistent, which means communicating with one
recognizable look and language across all customer experiences. Read on and get to know our
brand guidelines.
p.s.: For eBay brand principles in even more exhilarating detail, you can visit the Brand Exchange
on iWeb. Just type BCX into your browser. See you there.
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Brand Overview /
eBay is unlike any retailer out there: a vast global marketplace with virtually infnite selection and
unique deals for shoppers of all stripes. The eBay brand is a refection of this dynamic, people-
powered environment. With all that excitement going on, our core brand seeks to bring a fun yet
organized feel to eBay communications and to create a consistent voice, look and feel that sets
us apart.
01 / Brand Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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01 / Brand Basics
Whats New:
Heres a snapshot of what defnes eBay today.
Consider these the key elements that guide all
expressions of the eBay brand.
DOs:
A human, conversational approach to communications across all our
customer touch-points helps welcome and engage our users
A streamlined, grown-up look and feel makes us a credible destination for a
whole world of shoppers.
A focus on dynamic selection and value helps our customers fnd great deals
on the stuff they love.
Our commitment to improved safety builds the trust of our users and makes
eBay a place people want to come back to time and again.
DONTs:
An emphasis on the emotional elements of winning. Because eBay isnt a
gamble.
A focus on personal connections and social networking. Its about the fnds,
not the buying process.
An overly quirky voice that undermines trust for our users.
Graffti or carton-style hand-drawn illustrations in our design.
eBay Brand Guidelines
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01 / Brand Basics
Top 5 eBay Brand Tips /
01 / Our voice is human and conversational at all times
02 / Our personality is that of a helpful, smart pal you can trust
03 / Our look is bold and primary, but not comical or kitschy
04 / We use grid to bring a clean, organized look to our design language
05 / Our style of photography is candid and realistic, never corporate or canned
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02 / Voice Basics
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02 / Voice Basics
Whos Talking?
The eBay voice is a refection of the best members of the eBay community: smart, helpful,
good eggs invested in smooth transactions. Our voice is built around the persona of a helpful
ally who can guide you through all the aspects of the eBay experience, from fnding exactly what
you want to resolving any problems you might encounter along the way. Think of the personality
behind the eBay voice as a smart pal you can trust. We call this voice the Wingman for short.
Its main feature is a warm, conversational, and (when appropriate) playful tone modeled on
real people talking to each other. This means no market-speak, no aggressive imperatives, no
awkward puns. Instead, the eBay voice is all about everyday human communication.
eBay Brand Guidelines
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A Voice Snapshot /
What we dont sound like: canned, corporate-speaky, tech platform-y, sales-y
What we do sound like: conversational, familiar, a smart pal you can trust
02 / Voice Basics
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02 / Voice Basics
Voice Attributes /
As you apply the eBay voice across communications,
its useful to remember the key attributes of our
guiding persona, the wingman or smart pal you
can trust.
DOs:
A friendly, conversational style of speaking that sounds human at all times
Asking questions instead of giving orders
Speaking like a familiar guide
Using contractions like in everyday language
Calm, casual delivery, with playfulness when appropriate.
DONTs:
Aggressive promotional language
Business jargon or robotic market-speak
Shouting and exclamation points
Cutesy puns
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02 / Voice Basics
How to Talk the Talk /
01 / Use a frst-person voice based on the persona of a helpful wingmansomeone who gives
it to you straight.
02 / Ask questions instead of shouting imperatives. Theyre helpful ways of guiding behavior.
03 / Avoid robotic market-speak. Aim for a peer-based, active voice that guides and inspires
through honest, conversational talk.
04 / Use contractions. Its usually what we do in everyday speech.
05 / Dont use exclamation points. They convey fake enthusiasm and make us look
unprofessional.
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Applying the Voice /
The eBay voice can be broken out into three levels that cover the range of typical interactions
with our users. In each case the smart pal persona is speaking, so the voice remains consistent.
The tone simply shifts according to the context. Think of it as a person modulating their tone to
suit the situationa party versus a business meeting, for example.
02 / Voice Basics
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eBay Brand Guidelines 02 / Voice Basics
01 / Inspirational (To Inspire or Invite)
eBay speaks directly to people like a familiar
pal. This is a key way of humanizing our brand:
by speaking conversationally in an open,
accessible manner. Instead of market-speak,
we sound like regular humans do. In inspirational
contexts we can even be playful like you would
be with someone you know well. Examples
include high-level communications such as
onsite merchandising, direct mail, catalogs and
promotional advertising.
DO: Check out this deal.
DONT: Just for you!
DO: Got cool stuff you dont want anymore?
Give it a home on eBay.
DONT: Be green, make some green!
DO: Plenty of great fnds left.
DONT: Dont just shop. Win!
03 / Technical (To Enforce or Reassure)
Theres a lot of technical information we often
have to convey, for example in all kinds of trust
and safety communications. Even so, remember
that the Wingman is still speaking and that
theres always a human on the other end of the
communication. Preface or bracket technical info
with the helpful wingman voice. Itll soften things
that are otherwise dry and robotic.
DO: Here come the legal bits: All contestants of
the eBay Seller Sweepstakes are subject to the
laws of their home state.
DONT: The following conditions apply: All
contestants of the eBay Seller Sweepstakes are
subject to the laws of their home state.
DO: Weve cancelled the following listings to
protect your account and the eBay site.
Unfortunately, we cant automatically re-list the
items for you.
DONT:We have cancelled the following listings
to maintain the integrity of your account and the
eBay site. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to
automatically re-list the items for you.
02 / Informational (To Guide or Inform)
The brand speaks like a helpful wingman
guiding users through the eBay experience.
Again, we stay conversational and avoid robotic
directions and aggressive market-speak. Examples
include site instructions, calls to action, buttons,
way-fnding cues, promotional information, trust
and safety communications.
DO: Nice job, Jane. You won the auction. Dont
forget to pay your seller.
DONT: Your transaction is complete. Please pay
NOW!
DO: Heads up, everybody. Amounts shown
in italics are foreign currency listings with
approximate conversions. Be sure to do the math.
DONT: Amounts shown in italicized text are for
items listed in currency other than U.S. dollars and
are approximate conversions.
DO: New to eBay? Create an account. Its free.
DONT: If you are not currently an eBay member,
register now!
eBay Brand Guidelines
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02 / Voice Basics
How to Tell When its Working /
A good test when creating eBay communications is to ask if you would say it in real everyday
speech. If not, its probably not in the eBay voice. When in doubt, speak like a great eBay user.
You can draw inspiration from the millions on site any time.
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03 / Design Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Color Palette /
We focus on the four core colors weve used since the very beginning. Bright, vivid, super-
saturated, and bold, theyre a great tool for conveying excitement and playfulness. Plus, they
look great with photography and really catch your eye in any medium.
Weve also added a secondary set of colors that play well with our core colors. As youll see on
the next page, the primary colors should be given signifcantly greater prominence than the
secondary colors. Since our primary colors are one of our strongest signalers of brand, they
should be given 3x the real estate of our secondary (or accent) colors.
03 / Design Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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03 / Design Basics
Some rules of thumb:
01 / Lead with the primaries. To keep things simple
and focused, stick to the primary colors frst, then
mix in secondary colors for emphasis. Aim for a
75% to 25% ratio of primary to secondary colors
in most creative executions. Bottom line: while all
of our colors feel eBay, our primary colors are our
strongest calling card.
02 / Keep it simple. Avoid using more than two of
the primary colors at once and use complementary
colors for emphasis only where it makes sense. Our
red and our yellow look great together. So do our
blue and green. But blue, green and red together can
be overwhelming.
03 / Be bold. Our colors are so strong and so
rich, they cry out to be used in big, fat swathes.
Experiment with heavy blocks of solid color
especially next to full-color photography or as a way
to highlight illustration.
04 / Avoid overlap colors. The colors from the
overlap of the letters in the logo are fne in the
context of the logo and the boundless thread but
avoid them on their own.
05 / Use the boundless thread sparingly. To
add a simple graphical element that quickly says
eBay, use the horizontal (platform) version of the
boundless thread (as seen on the global header of
the eBay site. It should never be used twice in any
layout and it should, wherever possible, be oriented
to bleed horizontally.
See the next page for more detail about how to use
the boundless thread.
Primary Yellow
Pantone 130 C
C: 0 M: 27 Y: 100 K: 0
R: 255 G: 204 B: 0
FF CC 00
Primary Blue
Pantone 286 C
C: 100 M: 60 Y: 0 K: 6
R: 0 G: 0 B: 153
00 00 99
Primary Red
Pantone 185 C
C: 0 M: 91 Y: 76 K: 0
R: 255 G: 0 B: 0
FF 00 00
Secondary Pink
Process Magenta C
C: 0 M: 100 Y: 0 K: 0
R: 255 G: 51 B: 153
FF 33 99
Secondary Orange
Pantone Orange 21 C
C: 0 M: 53 Y: 100 K: 0
R: 255 G: 153 B: 0
FF 99 00
Secondary Blue
Process Cyan C
C: 100 M: 0 Y: 0 K: 0
R: 51 G: 204 B: 255
33 CC FF
Secondary Green
Pantone 381 C
C: 20 M: 0 Y: 91 K: 0
R: 204 G: 255 B: 51
CC FF 33
Primary Green
Pantone 376 C
C: 56 M: 0 Y: 100 K: 0
R: 153 G: 204 B: 0
99 CC 00
75%
25%
75%
25%
75%
25%
75%
25%
eBay Brand Guidelines
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03 / Design Basics
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Using the Boundless Thread:
01 / Dont overuse it: The Thread should not be
used on every layout. Because its a simple signifer
of brand (and a nice way of suggesting plenitude),
its best used in situations that require a simple
design solution. Its also good for layouts with a large
amount of necessary text or when the composition
of a photograph is complex.
02 / Keep it thin: Again, the Thread should never
cover a large portion of any layout. On average,
roughly 4% of the shorter side of your layout is a
good rule of thumb. Think accent, not motif.
03 / Keep it boundless: Wherever possible, the
Thread should bleed. It never ends or starts in the
middle of a layout, and it always extends for at least
the whole length of any layout.
04 / Dont mess with it: The Thread should never
be used as an illustration or as an illustrative element
that adorns objects or people.
And remember, you can always refer back to
how the thread is used in the global header on
our site for a quick reminder of the principles at
work here.
DO:
Keep it thin.
DONT:
Start in the middle.
DONT:
Overuse it.
DONT:
Use it as illustration.
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Typeface /
Our primary typeface is Omnes. Not only does it have a range of weights (18 total), but each
weight has a slightly different personality. On the thinner end, its elegant and precise ( just the
thing for subheads and bullet points) and on the thicker end, its friendly and playful (perfect for
attention-grabbing headlines). The regular weights are well-balanced without being stuffy.
Our secondary typeface is Helvetica Neue. Use it in offine print when there is extensive body
copy content. Arial is the non-print equivalent of Helvetica, so its our default font for HTML. Use
it online to keep our typeface looking consistent across print and online media.
DO: Use the italic weights for both subheads and headlines.
DONT: Use the ultra thin weightsHairline, Hairline Italic, and Black and Black Italicat all. All
four are off-limits as theyre generally tough on the eye, especially small.
Lastly, heres an added type-geek bonus. Omnes means Everybody or Mankind in Latinso
choosing the face in your type menu is a little reminder of our drive to humanize the brand.
Cool, huh?
03 / Design Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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03 / Design Basics
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Some rules of the road:
01 / Be bold. One of the great things about Omnes
is the myriad weights it comes in. Omnes Bold
Italic is amazing for headlines and almost anything,
really. Use it when you really want to get someones
attention.
02 / Balance your type weights. Keeping a
hierarchy of type sizes and weights is going to be
increasingly important as we continue to evolve
the brand. Go big and Bold with headlines, slightly
smaller or Semibold with subheads, smaller still and
Medium to Regular with body copy, and save Extra
Light or Thin for captions or quotes.
03 / Use italics for emphasis. Nothing says: Hey,
look over here like a headline in Omnes Semibold
Italic. Its emphatic and fun. Choose something
else for body copy but its perfect for short blocks
of type meant to convey information quickly and
ardently.
04 / Stick to our typeface. Used in tandem with our
color palette and our style of photography, Omnes
is the perfect proxy for the Wingman. Its calm but
friendly. Think of it as the thread that ties everything
together and youll keep our look consistent.
As a secondary typeface for HTML and large
amounts of print body copy, use Arial/Helvetica

-

~
This is Omnes Extra Light
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Extra Light Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Light
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.

This is Omnes Light Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Regular
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Regular Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Medium
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Medium Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Semibold
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Semibold Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Bold
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Omnes Bold Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
For Offine body copy:
This is Helvetica Neue Regular
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Helvetica Neue Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Helvetica Neue Bold
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
This is Helvetica Neue Bold Italic
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890!@#$%^&*()?/:;.
Here is body copy set in Omnes Regular.
It looks pretty great and its totally legible,
even at small sizes. For instance, this is 8
point typepretty much the smallest youd
want to go with body type.
Heres how a body copy subhead could
look when set in Omnes Medium.
Or you could always get bolder too,
setting subheads in Omnes Semibold.

- And heres how a bullet point could look
- The bullet is Omnes Semibold Italic
- And the copy is in Omnes Regular Italic.
See how the bullets feel both a bit more
playful and more urgent than your usual
bullet points? Just a little added bonus.
Notice what we did just there? Popped a
little bit of Omnes Bold into regular body
copy. Consider that an easy way to add a

bit of oomph to the big ideas you want to
draw attention to here and there.
Bottom line: There are a wealth of options
available to you when typesetting in
Omnes. Choose both your point size and
weight wisely.
Helvetica Neue: Here is body copy
set in Helvetica Neue. Use it in offine
print when ther is extensive body copy
content. Use Arial/Helv for HTML
This Is an Excellent Headline Set in Omnes Semibold Italic
And this is its perfect subhead counterpart in Omnes Regular Italic
This is Omnes Hairline
This is Omnes HairlineItalic
This is Omnes Black
This is Omnes Black Italic
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Logo /
Our logo is the single strongest signifer of eBays festive DIY spirit. Bold and colorful, it refects
the playful familiarity of the brand.
03 / Design Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Here are some things to consider:
01 / Clearspace. Give the logo some space to
breathe. As a rule, the logo should always have a
buffer around it to make sure it gets along with the
stuff around it. Our rule of thumb: half the height of
the y in eBay all the way around.
02 / Color. Wherever possible, do your best to
ensure that the logo lives on a white background.
For obvious reasons, our logo doesnt work when
its positioned on solid felds of any of our primary
colorsplace the logo on a red background, for
instance, and watch the e disappear entirely. In
those cases, be sure to use the eBay logo with the
white glow around the edges, to separate it from
the background.
03 / Scale. Give the logo appropriate heft in
proportion to other visual elements in a layout.
Not only is it a good way to create consistency (by
ensuring that the logo is applied in a similar fashion
across print and interactive communications), its a
great way to simplify the design process. We gauge
the scale of the logo based on the height of the
Y in the logo and have broken down some simple
guidelines around scale below:
US Letter 48 pt
Postcard 32 pt
CD Cover 32 pt
Banner Ad 468x60 30 px
Banner Ad 120x600 34 px
Banner Ad 150x200 24 px
Web Page Top Nav 54 px
Email Header 600 wide 30 px
03 / Design Basics
Minimum Clear Space / Try to maintain a buffer around
the logo that is half the height of the Y on all sides.
01 / Clearspace
Measuring Y Space / Y space is the height of the letter
Y in the eBay logo, and therefore it is proportional to the
height of the logo.
01 / Clearspace cont.
Y Space
eBay Brand Guidelines
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Product Photography /
The eBay style of photography should be candid, realistic and minimally staged. We aim to
show product in the context of its environment. The inspiration for our product photography
is the warm, documentary approach our best users bring to their own items every day. To that
end, we should avoid super-stylized, overly art-directed compositions that lack candidness
and authenticity.
03 / Design Basics
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03 / Design Basics
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Things to look for:
01 / Flat focal plane. Avoid shallow depth of feld,
especially if its too noticeable or too pronounced.
Instead, think of the kind of point-and-shoot
photography that real people shoot for the site all
the time. Were trying to showcase actual stuff in
actual environments in a not-too-stylized fashion.
02 / Objects in context. Overall, we aim to show
product in the context of its environment. But there
will be instances where it makes sensein design
or technology circumstancesto show product
on solid color or white backgrounds. This is fne.
Whenever possible, aim for a style of photography
that is candid, realistic and minimally staged.
03 / Simple composition. Avoid overly
sophisticated crops or super-dynamic
compositions. Keep it basic and clear instead.
Everything here should be easy on the eye and
simple but not plain. Injecting a little va-va-voom
through bold, saturated color is A-OK.
04 / Minimal kitsch factor. Steer clear of visual
puns or super-ironic, super-retro images. Our brand
is smart and playful, not a junk shop thats comical
to look at.
Flat Focal Plane
Super-Ironic
Simple
In Context
In Context
Selective Focus
Minimally Staged
Staged
White Background
Basic
Solid Background
Super-Kitschy
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03 / Design Basics
People Photography /
Just like our photography of products shot in context, images of people in our visual language
should be candid, imperfect and realistic. Ideally, every photograph of a person we use
should signal the fact that theres another person on the other side of the camera capturing
a moment. Avoid stock clichs such as models giving you the thumbs up while talking on cell
phones or pretending to type on laptops. Instead, aim for real people photographed amidst
the day-to-day stuff of their life.
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Here are some pointers:
01 / Use stock sparingly. Wherever possible, steer
clear of staged stock photography of people in
marketing communications. Instead, use images
of actual eBay users shot with their stuff. The idea
is to humanize this aspect of our brand by keeping
people photography looking candid and natural.
When appropriate, call out the actual user to make it
clear that these are real people with real stories to tell
about the stuff that they love.
02 / Keep it real. If you have to use stock, try to show
people doing realistic things in their element. Avoid
white seamless backgrounds, staged events, props
and clichd poses like chins on elbows. Instead,
strive to represent folks doing believable things in
the moment. We want to keep our photography
composition simple and free of stereotypes.
03 / Stay candid. Embrace shots that feel a bit
point-and-shoot, fashbulbs and all. They look urgent,
imperfect and genuine. Think about how real folks
shoot real stuff on the site and how theyd likely snap
pics of their pals. Nothing says candid snapshot like
the kind of fash burst that your average stock photo
shooter would clone out in Photoshop.
04 / Avoid retouching. eBay is all about being
genuine and nothing says too good to be true
than an overly doctored photo. Stay away from
images that have been obviously airbrushed, color-
corrected, doctored, or otherwise tweaked in
Photoshop. Again, think snapshot and youre in good
shape.
06 / Avoid computer shots. Sure, its tempting to
show people on eBay on their computers, but theres
nothing as staged as looking at someone looking at a
monitor. Its generic, boring and impossible to own.
Avoid these kinds of shots at all cost.
03 / Design Basics
eBay User
Simple
Forced
Candid
Staged
Warm
Generic
Snapshot
Imperfect
Computer Shot
In the Moment
eBay Seller
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eBay Brand Guidelines
Page 27 of 28
Grid /
A key component to our design system is using grid as a stabilizing visual element. It works best
with imagesespecially contextualized product photographyand looks great next to solid
felds of color or full-bleed hero shots. Much in the same way that the style of photography riffs
on the way real people photograph their stuff on the site, image grids tie back to the way that
product is displayed on the site.
How do you do it? Start by setting a standard clearspace dimension for the top, bottom, left,
and right edges of your page (on a standard A4, .25 will do nicely). Then, divide the horizontal
space left over by the number of images you want to showcase horizontally. Do the same
vertically. Then subtract a set number for the space in between images (.0625 or .125 work
swell). And voila, youve got your set image size.
03 / Design Basics
eBay Brand Guidelines
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03 / Design Basics
Page 28of 28
When its working:
01 / Its organized. The more stuff you put on a
page, the tougher it is to keep things organized and
looking good. Thats where grid comes in. Its a nice
way of giving things clear structure and keeping
them in tidy order. Also, with appropriate and equal
clearspace, images stay nicely buffered and easy on
the eye.
02 / Its harmonious. Ideally, every image grid
should be assembled with an eye toward visual
harmony. Pairing cooler (bluer) and warmer (redder)
images, and wider shots with close-ups is a nice way
to create both visual interest and a deeper sense of
balance.
03 / Its a mirror to the site. Much in the same way
that our style of photography parallels how things
are photographed by users on the site, our use of
grid in offine communications is a nice tie-back to
how its used online currently. Not only is it a great
way to suggest selection and breadth of offering, its
a great way to create greater consistency in the print
and interactive worlds.