Our photography style

Our photography helps tell the Essex story – to showcase our diverse global community, creative research and iconic buildings.

Our photography style helps us express our University identity and is built around our Essex personality attributes:

  • the Essex Spirit
  • community of members
  • global outlook, partnership and impact
  • research mindset and skills

How to use photography

How best to use photography in your marketing and communications materials:

  • our photography must be strong enough to tell the Essex story. It should be as evocative as it is illustrative, provoking an emotions, a question or an action
  • our photography style guide (.pdf) is built around the four pillars of our distinctive brand
  • it showcases our diverse community, creative research and iconic buildings
  • we only use Essex students and staff in our photography where possible - stock photography may be used in certain situations, eg. sensitive campaigns where it would be inappropriate to use Essex students or staff, or where suitable images are unavailable
  • both colour and black and white images can be used - black and white images work particularly well with tinted overlays
  • avoid using staged shots of people and forced framing - people should look natural, not posed-looking
  • when there is more than one person in the shot, there should be interaction with each other
  • do not use images that have been manipulated or specifically created
  • use any cut-outs with caution - they should look natural not obvious
  • be thoughtful about whether any props in your shot positively reflect all our collective efforts in declaring a Climate Emergency, eg. feature reusable coffee cups and glass bottles over single-use items

Our image library

We have a user-friendly image library. This resource functions as a central hub where we can all share our high-quality images. This helps us to save money, avoid duplication of effort and give us all access to the very best images.

To search our image directory, you can access our online database: Filecamp image library.

Our Marketing team manage our image library and ensure all our photography used for marketing and recruitment follows our visual style.

For further information on how to access, search and download images for use in marketing materials, please contact marketing-photos@essex.ac.uk

Choosing an image

Examples of suitable imagery


A key part of our visual identity is the use of texture as a background. To prevent overuse, textures should only be used to add value to a design and must complement any overlaid text.

Textures in our built environment are authentically Essex. Take care to ensure the texture complements any overlaid text.

Unsuitable images

There are many styles of images which should not be used. Here are some examples:

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Contact us
Brand management team Contact us for advice and guidance on expressing our University identity.