Art Direction

UCLA undergrads walking on campus
A UCLA student and professor working together in the lab

Imagery should capture UCLA’s unique personality, conveying warmth, energy and the feeling that anything is possible. To that end, photos and videos should feel bright and inspirational, with light playing a central role. The sky and the sun represent the brand’s themes as well as the characteristic weather, light and location of campus. Natural light is essential, and plentiful sunshine, natural washouts and sun flares are welcome.

Campus and Los Angeles

UCLA undergrads walking on campus
A view of the front of Saxon Suites

The sky plays a key role in UCLA’s imagery — it conveys a feeling of possibility and opportunity. When taking photos of campus and Los Angeles, keep as much sky present in the photo as possible. Photos may also be taken from directly below to create dramatic crops of campus and Los Angeles, but this should be used sparingly. Nighttime imagery should be kept to a minimum, but when necessary, lights (city lights, street lights, etc.) should be prominent.

People: Undergraduates

A UCLA undergraduate laughing
Two medical students working together

Images of undergraduates should be captured in a photojournalistic style, capturing natural smiles and real interactions. Imagery will vary depending on audience, but in general, undergraduate images should take on a more youthful and vibrant style — aspirational, boundless and open to what’s possible. When shooting indoors, the subject should be well lit, and always avoid using a heavy flash.

People: Graduates / Professionals / Alumni

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Associate Dean, Luskin School of Public Affairs
Abel Valenzuela Jr., Professor, Chicana/o Studies and Urban Planning

For professional or institutional audiences, photos and videos should feel bold and bright, but take on a more sophisticated style. Staged portraiture should feel refined and graceful, not aggressive or provocative. Sun and natural light should feel present at all times, but not as directly as in undergraduate images.

Historical Photographs

Historical image
Historical image

The use of black and white and historical photos — whether it’s alumni, campus or key moments in UCLA history — is encouraged. Obviously, different guidelines apply to the use images than contemporary images. Whether an image dates back to 1919 or 1979, embrace the visual look and feel of the era. UCLA has accomplished a lot in our first 100 years, and these images help provide a sense of our rich history.

Do Not

A zoomed-in photo of a building

Do not focus too heavily on buildings.

Cropped image of an undergraduate

Do not crop an image so severely that the subject and emotion are compromised.

A photo of a man using a dark blue colored filter

Do not use colorizing or other dramatic filters.

A photo of a faculty member using flash lighting

Do not use flash photography to supplement or replace natural light.

A faculty member photo staged in a studio

Do not stage portraits in a studio. Capture your subject in his or her natural surroundings.

Nine undergrads posing and smiling together

Do not use overly staged photography.

Image Library

The UCLA Image Library is available for marketing, communications and development professionals across campus. Once you’ve registered, you may download any images that you wish, but be sure to check the “Rights/Usage” information. Images are for business use only.

The UCLA Daily Bruin is an excellent source for photos of campus events. A licensing fee is charged. See Daily Bruin Spectrum and the Daily Bruin Contact Us page.

ASUCLA Photography is also an extensive resource for historical photos.

Photo and Video Shoot Permits

If you are shooting outside your own department, you need a permit from the Events Office. Request a permit via UCLA Events here. See Section B. parts 1 & 2 of Policy 863.

If you hire an outside photographer or videographer, you need to work with purchasing to ensure the individual has appropriate liability insurance. You should engage the photographer on a work-for-hire basis, or obtain a written agreement that UCLA will have unlimited usage rights to the photography or videography.

Photo and Video Specs

Alt Text

Image alt text (alternative text) is used within HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a web page. Alt text is a central principle of web accessibility. Visually impaired people using screen readers read alt text to better understand the image, and it also provides context to search engines, helping them to index an image properly. When writing alt text, describe the image as specifically as possible, but keep it short — the most popular screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters.

File Sizes and Specs

Print images:
CMYK color format, TIFF, PSD, or JPEG at 300 dpi
Web/digital images:
RGB Color format, JPEG or PNG ranging from 72 dpi to 300 dpi