Photography Guidelines

Because a picture is sometimes indeed worth a thousand words, it is very important to carefully consider the messages that photographs convey in campus communications. The campus’s 2003 Strategic Communications Plan suggests that to support the marketing goals of the campus, photography used in communications must convey the following:

  • the intensity of working groups
  • the advantages of architectural and natural settings for inquiry and inspiration
  • the engaged interaction of students with faculty, staff, and others integral to their education

To achieve the best results reproducing photographs in print, adhere to the following minimum technical requirements:


Minimum resolution for printing. The rule-of-thumb minimum for high-quality printing is 300dpi at final reproduction size.

Color conversion for printing. Convert RGB images to CMYK (i.e., the four process colors used in color printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). Convert using Image/Mode/Convert to Profile in Adobe Photoshop. For sheetfed color printing on coated paper, convert to "U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2". For web color printing on coated paper, convert to "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2".

Scanning film vs. scanning a print. Direct scanning of film (e.g., a 35mm "slide" or film negative) often results in higher reproduction quality than scanning a print. A film scanner (which directly scans negative or positive film) will generally produce a higher-quality digital image than a flatbed scanner equipped with a transparency adaptor. If you don't have a scanner, don't worry; many retail film processors now provide scans of your developed film on CD that can be of quality sufficient for reproduction (always ask for reproduction-quality scans if your plan is to reproduce your photos in print)