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Images and graphics

 student with laptop

Always include a photo caption. There is a set style in Cascade called "caption".

About photos

A good website photo will support the content on the page and help the user place the information in context.

Copyright considerations

Ensure your department has permission to use any photos which appear on your site. Downloading images for use on your site from other sites without permission or compensation is illegal.

Feature photo best practices

  • The photo should be well-lit and have a sharp focus.
  • It should support the page content.
  • Photos should show West Coast scenes or the campus as often as possible. Exceptions might be indoor shots due to bad weather or researchers shown inside labs.
  • Change the photos on a regular basis. Users like to see fresh content.
  • Insert captions under the photos. They should be styled using the CSS "caption" style.
  • Overlaid text on the image is not recommended. If it is used, though, be sure to use the font Myriad Pro Condensed (UVic’s typeface). Contact the web coordinator if you don't have this font.
  • It's important to put descriptive text in the alt tag field for users with visual impairments.
  • Need a photographer? Contact Photo Services, or University Communications (UCOM) has a list of professional photographers.
  • The template comes with a set of stock images. If you'd like to use images you’ve seen on a UCOM site or in a UCOM publication, contact the web coordinator.

What to avoid

  • Don't use purchased stock photos of people. All subjects should be UVic community members.
  • Large groups (more than 5-8 people) don't work well as feature photos.
  • If the image does not support the page content, leave it out.
  • Text-heavy pages should not contain a feature image.
  • Avoid overlaying text on the image.

Icon photos

IconPart of UVic’s brand strategy is using photographic "icons" -- a photo of an object that illustrates a concept. For example, the UVic site uses a piggy bank to illustrate "finance." These have been used throughout the main UVic website to support content.

  • The suggested size for icons is 50 pixels x 50 pixels.
  • Icon photos should have a white background.
  • A good site to search for, and purchase icons is iStockphoto.
  • If you see an icon on a UVic website that you'd like to use, contact the web coordinator.


  • For help creating creating buttons, please contact the web coordinator.
  • Use restraint when deciding what to make into a button. Would a text link be more appropriate?

General image guidelines

  • Avoid animated gifs and "clip art" on your website.
  • Don't modify or replace the background image files associated with your template.
  • Don't use auto-playing video or audio.
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