3M Montage Elements
The 3M montage is a composition of images, graphics and colors layered together to visually tell our unique story of collaborative innovation, showing how one idea leads to another. The focus is on simplicity and a clear hierarchy of information. Click on the links above or scroll down for more information about each of the 3M montage design elements. Adobe® InDesign® is the recommended software for creating 3M montages. Note that the shape and position of the 3M montage varies slightly by application, based on functional and practical considerations.
The strength of the 3M montage relies heavily on a clear hierarchy of images. One image serves as the “hero,” drawing the viewer in to experience the rest of the story. The hero image is generally the largest and is supported by complementary images in sizes and shapes that are different from the hero image and from each other. Use one or two distinguishable images (less is more) separated by, and integrated with, overlapping areas of translucent color or pattern imagery to create a sense of depth. Tip: Avoid placing multiple images right next to each other as the result tends to appear too flat and there is no clear focal point. Experiment with the size and scale of subjects for maximum impact.
You can increase emotional engagement by connecting viewers with images of the people behind the story. If used as the hero image, subjects should have some connection to the 3M global brand or business, preferably using or enjoying the benefits of the technology, product or service. Show subjects in relevant environments engaging with our products or collaborating with others. Images can be cropped to be contained within the 3M montage, or outlined, breaking out into the white space.
If used as the hero image, high-quality product photography may overlay the 3M montage, as an outlined image. When product images serve more of a supporting role, they are typically smaller and contained within the 3M montage field. Choose images that clearly demonstrate the product’s direct benefit to the customer.
Patterns: 3M Technology, Texture, and Light and Energy
There’s noting more authentically and distinctively 3M than dynamic images revealing the ingenuity and science behind 3M technologies. Extreme close-ups or microscopic views of pattern and texture images are used as an engaging background and transition between other images. For non-product focused materials, tightly crop images with interesting lines, shapes, angles or textures to create dynamic patterns.
Handwritten graphics are another way of engaging viewers and communicating 3M’s culture of collaborative innovation. Portions of formulas, diagrams or key words are intentionally cropped to create curiosity, but not distract viewers from the intended message.
NOTE: Handwritten graphics should only be used to augment, never replace, other imagery or messaging in a 3M montage. You are not required to use handwritten graphics on every 3M montage.
Chain Reaction Graphics
Chain reaction graphics are another way of communicating how at 3M, one idea leads to another.
They should serve as a background element in transparent white, black or a complementary color.
NOTE: Chain reaction graphics should only be used to augment, never replace, other imagery or messaging in a 3M montage. You are not required to use chain reaction graphics on every 3M montage.
Montage Messaging Type
Montage messaging type is not simply a headline placed in the middle of the 3M montage field, it is a vital part of the overall composition. It is a succinct, memorable expression of your product’s or brand’s key messages or value proposition. The lines of type are staggered to create movement and can be positioned within, or anchored to the top or bottom edge of, the 3M montage.
Vertical and horizontal axis lines are used to direct the eye around the 3M montage while creating a sense of structure based on the underlying grid. Axis lines are .5pt white rules with opacity of 50% so they engage with the color beneath. They should be part of the background and not conflict with faces, products or other critical imagery.
Square and Radius Corners
Square and radius corners help to create distinctive look of 3M montages. Each 3M montage should use at least one square and one radius corner. Tip: Radius corners can be controlled using the “Corner Options” function in Adobe® InDesign® software.
While there is no defined color palette for 3M communications, you can use vibrant, energetic color combinations that complement your imagery and are appropriate for your value proposition and offering.