Photographic Style

Photographic Style

The visual identity of the University of Chicago is best captured with photography that reflects a documentary or essay approach. Photos should be dynamic in nature and have a sense of immediacy. They should convey a sense of the moment and present scenes that feel natural rather than contrived. Avoid excessively posed or stiff portrait approaches.

It is important to ensure that the imagery reinforces and complements the tone and content of the project. Keep in mind that it should also reflect UChicago’s distinct brand identity and core values.

The following questions should help you determine the quality and relevance of the images you’re selecting for your projects:


  • Do the features in the photo make the setting distinctive when compared to a similar setting at a peer institution?
  • Does the proportion of elements in the photo help guide the viewer’s eye through the story?
  • Does the image capture elegantly simple or highly detailed viewpoints?
  • Does the image tell a story from a visually distinct perspective?


  • Are the subjects engaging with their setting or with each other in a way that helps to convey your message?
  • Is the setting relevant to the story you’re trying to tell?
  • Does the image convey your message in an authentic way?
  • Does the image reflect the University’s distinctive culture?


  • How does the lighting contribute to the image’s overall meaning?
  • Does the image reflect the University’s vibrant character?
  • Does the image convey the University community’s unique personality, energy, and sense of humor?


Connect and collaborate with communicators across the University.

Join the Campus Communicators to share updates and announcements with University colleagues via listhost, Facebook, and at workshops and biannual gatherings.

Find an array of UChicago new media sites, as well as contact information for their owners, in the Social Media Directory.

Create targeted communications campaigns and digital platforms.

Work with UChicago Creative’s team of designers, writers, and producers to develop compelling materials and comprehensive multimedia campaigns.

Enlist University experts to build, design, and support your web applications by partnering with Web Services.

Discover resources to enhance your communications platforms and outreach.

Follow social media and multimedia from across the University at UChicago Social.

Collect and disseminate our latest stories with print-on-demand news.

Capture the images and ideas of the University community.

Enlist UChicago Creative to produce expert videography.

Book the TV studio for broadcast interviews.

Book the sound booth for remote radio interviews.

Align the look and language of your communications with those of the University.

Find best practices for the use of our logo, typeface, color palette, and editorial style within our visual identity.

Build and refine social media sites using our social media guide, and find web writing tips in Web Services’ multimedia content guidelines.

Order print materials created for your audience and customized for your office.

Present a uniform look with University of Chicago business cards and stationery for your department, office, or position.

Purchase maps, calendars, and brochures to welcome your guests and visitors to the University.