Worth a Thousand Words

(Derived from Michigan Creative in Ann Arbor)

Our photographs, the most emotionally resonant component of our visual style, are the embodiment of our brand personality. Good photography captures the prestigious nature of the university; it should communicate our creativity, diversity, and commitment to learning, research, and civic engagement on a global scale. Basically, great pictures tell great stories.

Refer to UM-Flint's Digital Asset Manager (DAM)—our online photo, graphics, and testimonial library—for all pre-approved images.

For UM-Flint Quality Photos:

  • Strive for action-oriented photos (of engaged learning, "academics in action")
  • Have your camera (phone) ready; you know when you and/or your students will be doing something interesting ("engaging"), capture it and share it.
  • Utilize the UM-Flint tested and approved photographers listed in the sidebar of this page
  • Consider dynamic angles and surprising vantage points (stand on a chair, get down on your knees, hand the camera to a child, etc.)
  • Use high-resolution photographs for all print materials (300+ pixels per inch (ppi))
  • When traveling abroad, bring a UM-Flint shirt/flag; have someone take your picture on top of that mountain (not a picture of that mountain taken by you)
  • Have your entire department take advantage of the free, professional photo shoots offered by University Relations. All stakeholders—especially students—appreciate seeing the faces of the real people who make this university what it is. A 20-year-old photo of you taken with a dispossable camera at your aunt's birthday party may be flattering of you, but not of this university. Please use professoinal images.
  • Stay abreast of specific recommendations for how to bring UM-Flint's brand standards to life with your website, your emails, events, social media, brochures, and more.
  • Never take images off the Internet to reuse for your website or print materials. Not only will the size and quality be subpar; without the proper copyright/license, it is illegal.
  • Do not stretch, distort, or overstylize images on your website or in print. UM-Flint's visual identity has been carefully crafted by professional graphic designers and branding experts. If you need assistance creating print or digitial communications that adhere to these standards, please contact University Relations.
  • Photos of speakers, meetings, and luncheons are boring no matter who is speaking, meeting, or eating. Use an image that speaks to the content or subject of the event—not of the actual event itself.
  • Don't recreate the wheel. Individual events do not need their own "look" or "brand—neither do individual academic units. Let your unit and everything it does drive and embody the overall University of Michigan-Flint brand. That identity, and its benefit to every UM-Flint unit, is stronger when it is consistent and undiluted, with everyone's message and momentum moving in the same direction.