Rex Features, Loop Images Update Web Sites

Posted on 10/12/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Two British image companies, Rex Features and Loop Images, launched redesigned Web sites this week.

Rex Features, the U.K.'s leading independent photo agency, which was established in 1954, made over its site completely for more efficient (and interesting) searching and browsing. The London-based agency also added several new features; for example, a new live-feed page supports busy newsdesk clients.

Rex Features has amassed a library of 15 million images, 2.5 million of which are accessible on the Web. Every day, the agency adds 1,500 new images and supplies 15,000 images to media professionals in 42 countries. Larry Lawson, the newly appointed director of sales and marketing, says that showcasing this vast range and depth of picture content was important in the redesign process.

In addition, the company wanted to make the site more interesting. Rex's home page was redesigned in a magazine-like style, with a "cover" image, smaller "stories," and links to a number of other site features and areas.

The small, young, boutique Loop Images took the opposite approach. The Surrey-based stock-image house established in 2004 also wanted to make it easier to access, store, navigate and download imagery. But instead of adding, Loop took away.

Company co-founder and library manager Paul Mortlock thinks that stock-image sites tend to be confusing when trying to present a lot of information on the home page. "What we tried to do was pare this down by making the photography the hero, and providing the essential navigation via a series of pop-ups. [These] are easy to use for first-timers, but [they] don't get in the way for established users, who just want to get into the database as soon as possible," Mortlock adds.

Mortlock and co-founder Steve Whiting previously managed the Britain on View image collection of the U.K. National Tourist Board. The duo established Loop to provide clients with an alternative to large agencies. "We wanted to surprise and delight with our imagery and provide a realistic alternative to the major libraries with the attendant syndicated imagery and bland royalty-free fare," reads Loop's site.

Loop Images also prides itself on relationships. It offers its clients "a level of customer service and attention to detail that only smaller libraries can hope to achieve." From a photographer perspective, the agency says it offers a solution to those who do not want their work and identity lost within the large, homogenized conglomerates.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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