Image Guidelines

The following guidelines, some of which can be found in our brand guide, pertain to images used on all Michigan Tech websites and publications.

Compositon

What makes a Michigan Tech photo? 

  • Our shots are honest examples of who our students, faculty, and alumni are and what they do
  • Our photos show students and faculty doing real work—in the lab, in the field, on campus, and abroad. We work hard and play hard in all types of environments.  
  • We avoid unnatural filters, gels, and lights.
  • We capture images from eye level—our subjects are not always smiling at the camera.

Photos should highlight our natural environment. It is OK to show extreme adventure or conditions.

Diversity

Our photos should depict a equitable representation of students, faculty and staff along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and physical abilities. It is important for our photos to be real.

The Michigan Tech website viewed in its entirety, should depict the diversity that exists on campus. Not every image will embody all aspects of diversity, and that’s OK.

Safety

All subjects within photos must comply with safety guidelines as outlined by the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Services

As an example, if a photo represents a subject performing an experiment and they would normally wear safety gloves and goggles during that experiment, they must where that safety equipment during the photoshoot.

If you aren't sure if your photo passes a safety check, you can run it by Joanne Pozlein, Executive Director, Compliance, Integrity, and Safety.

Quality

Photos should be of good quality. This includes using a photo that is large enough and has enough pixels for the space you wish it to fill. It also means having good lighting and composition. Using iPhone photos may be OK in some situations. 

If you have any questions about photo quality, you can contact Sarah Bird, University Photographer. If you have questions about using photos in the Content Management System (CMS), you can contact Joel Vertin, Digital Services Manager.

For the Web

When considering photos for the web, remember that most users access websites through a horizontal viewing space such as a desktop monitor or on a smartphone with limited screen space. Because of this, it is best to use horizontally cropped images.

The Image Editor within the CMS automatically converts files to the JPG format. Please refer to our blog post for preferred image sizes, common Image Editor errors, and how to convert your images to RGB format if needed. 

Accessibility

We strive to create websites that meet Level AA and/or AAA conformance for as many of our standardized web elements as possible. A big part of this involves making sure that our online images are accessible.

Follow these guidelines when placing photos on the web to help create a usable experience for everyone:

  • If your image is a "filler" image that does not add meaning to the webpage, such as a decorative banner, leave the alt field blank. This will ensure that a screen reader does not spell out the image URL or speak unnecessary information.
  • If your image does add meaning, such as a photo of students sharing lunch on the campus mall, fill out the alt field—being as specific as possible. Simply entering "Students" will not tell the user what is going on in the photo.
  • Do not include any text in your images. Text may not scale well on small screens and cannot be detected by screen readers. If text in an image is unavoidable, make sure the font is large and that the text is fully represented in the alt field.