How we structure and present the content on our website is just as important as the content itself. For our website to truly live up to its full potential it needs to be a living, breathing venue for stories; patient stories, faculty stories, staff stories, and community stories. To that end, a consistent style, message, and strategy for all of the content we publish to our site is vital.

The University of Michigan style guide is your resource for logo guidelines, design principles and editorial (spellings, abbreviations, capitalizations, word usages, etc.)

"Digital Communication: Tips for the Web" - This presentation from Christopher Billick, Director of Digital Media, is a great starting point for anyone looking to improve the content they want published on our website.

In addition to the text we write, great photos are integral to an excellent website and the makings of a great photo start well before the shutter button is pressed. It’s not always possible or necessary to hire a photographer, so below are some guidelines to help you get the most out of whatever camera you have handy.
There is a lot that can be done in Photoshop to fix a picture, but there’s nothing that can fix an out of focus picture.

  • Stand still and hold your camera or phone with two hands and rest your elbows on the side of your chest.
  • Try not to hold the camera up for too long
  • Relax when you push the shutter button.
  • Set your camera’s picture size (resolution) to its highest setting. Low-resolution photos are not usable for print publications and some Web use.Lighting
  • Use natural lighting whenever possible. Outdoor light is the best, but indirect window light inside is almost as good. Try to avoid shadows and dark interior locations. Try not to use your flash if you don’t have to.

Keep the background simple. For staff photos, find a plain, un-texured wall, preferably white or off white. No logos or designs. Be aware of anything that might be going on in the background that does not conform to UM Guidelines. Check the background for distractions. Keep messes out of the frame of the picture.
For staff photos ave your subject wear neutral-colored clothing and solids rather than prints and stripes if possible. No logos or pictures on the clothing.

Other Hints:

  • Have the subject stand on a taped X on the floor for all shots
  • Take your photos at the same time of day to avoid changes in natural lighting
  • Use a tripod and set it up at the same location for every photograph
  • Take many photos. It's okay to take 25 pictures just to get one perfect picture
  • Keep in mind our site’s heavy horizontal orientation.
  • Point-and-shoot cameras are not ideal for photographing people in motion, e.g., clapping hands, shaking hands, presenting awards. You are better off taking shots where the subjects are standing still
  • Try to limit group photos to three to five people

Other University of Michigan Photo Resources

Health System Photos

The UMHS Media Bank catalog offers high resolution photos of people, buildings and notable moments from across the Health System.

Photos of patients/families require a signed release form be kept on file for each person in the photograph/video. All release forms must be sent to Christy Barnes in the Department of Communication, 2901 Hubbard, Suite 2400, Box 2435.

University of Michigan Campus and Health System (including Medical School) Photos

Michigan Photography provides professional photo services for the U-M community including the Health System, the media and the general public. Their services include event and location shooting, portraiture, group photography, digital processing, studio photography and passport photos. They also maintain a large digital photography archive of images that are available for purchase. To view their portfolio and archive, visit their website or contact them at 734-764-9217 or

The Bentley Historical Library houses the Michigan Historical Collections which documents the history of the state of Michigan and the activities of its people and organizations. The Michigan Historical Collections is composed of more than 6,500 archival collections, 65,000 printed works, over 10,000 maps, nearly 1.5 million visual images (including photographs, negatives, films, and videotapes), and over 700 collections of digital materials. Contact them via phone at 734-764-3482 or email

Images of Medical School students, faculty or researchers using technology are available from Medical School Information Services (MSIS). All images are released. Questions? Contact Susan Topol, 734-998-0218. 

Use of these images requires a credit statement. See examples below:
(1. Example where a specific photographer is referenced)
Image by Aki Yao, Medical School Information Services - CC: BY
(2. Example where just our organization is referenced)
Image courtesy of Medical School Information Services - CC: BY