This information is for University staff and students who are producing and publishing images intended for use on the University of St Andrews website, social media channels, or other online sources.
To assure quality, photographs should be taken by professionals with appropriate equipment.
To abide by brand identity, photographs must be relevant to St Andrews. This includes some of the following subjects:
- The town of St Andrews
- University buildings
- The student community
- Work related to the University
For further information on requesting photographic work, please see Print and Design.
Images need to be in focus, well‐lit for the subject matter, and professionally processed, including for colour correction.
Images that are grainy, obviously digitally manipulated, or have been processed incorrectly will not be displayed or be replaced with a suitable replacement by the digital communications team.
Resolution and size
All images uploaded to the University of St Andrews website must be between 72 dpi and 300 dpi.
Image sizes for quick reference
|Image variant||Image size|
|Navbox||360 × 240 pixels|
|Hero banner||1905 × 362 pixels|
|Images used in main body of text||750 × 500 pixels|
All photographs uploaded to content fields of the University of St Andrews website must adopt a 3:2 aspect ratio. This relates to images used in navigation boxes and main bodies of text.
We recommend using photographs that are St Andrews specific.
Therefore, we no longer support or encourage the use of stock images across the University website. Stock images vary in consistency and are not representative of the St Andrews brand.
We currently have an internal repository of approximately 8,000 images that represent many aspects of the University and town. These photographs, which are regularly updated, are taken by our in-house photographer and also by freelance photographers.
Filetypes and image optimisation
Images that include text and the University logo must use the PNG filetype.
Photographs must use the JPEG filetype.
When uploading images to the University website, they must first be optimised for web. This is to reduce the filesize of images and download times for users.
For Windows users, we recommend using RIOT for image optimisation.
For Mac users, we recommend using ImageOptim for image optimisation.
HTML image alt attribute
alt attribute must be included for all images. In the event that a user cannot view the image—perhaps because there is a problem with the image source, or the page is being viewed over a slow connection, or because the user is visually impaired and is visiting the page using a screen reader—the
alt attribute provides alternative content that will be displayed in place of the image.
alt attribute must clearly explain what the image contains. If the image contains information such as a date or time this should also be included.
Where an image requires a caption, the text must be displayed below the image using the
figcaption HTML element. Captions must be kept short.
Copyright policies and permissions
The University of St Andrews, or a specific school or department, must own copyright of images used, and/or have an agreement with the photographer that allows use of the image on their site.
Images from books, works of art, footage and stills from websites are generally not copyright-free. Everything must be checked or the University may be fined for breach of copyright. It may possible to buy copyright but if the content is of a famous person or owned by a news group it will probably be a long and costly process.
Avoid showing any clear product names or labels in any photographs.
In order to display images on your site, you must have permission from the people who are photographed. Verbal and/or written permission given by the subject at the time of photography is fine, unless the subject requires a signed release form. Release forms are available from Print and Design.
There are guidelines about using images of persons under the age of 18 years – full parental or guardian permission must be obtained. If you are filming children, be aware of guidance about chaperones. Publicly displaying the name of a child on the University website must also have permission from a parent or guardian.
For more information, it is best to contact the local council to the area in which photography occurs as they produce guidelines.