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Photography and Video

York is an inspiring, welcoming and progressive university. One of the best ways to tell our story is through photography, by showing real-life moments as our community members engage in their pursuits, enjoy the collegiality of their classmates and colleagues, and strive for positive change.  


Great photography is a must when it comes to creating compelling creative and is pivotal in capturing a moment when telling a story. This section will provide valuable information on how to utilize great photography. Don't forget about our image collection!

We express our Brand and York with:  

• Unique angles and unexpected cropping to  show there is always another way of looking at things. We celebrate moments of discovery and are always happy to share a smile.  

• Focus on people as a way to tell our story.  This is a visceral and memorable way to inspire sharing, propel curiosity and provide a “picture” of our brand.  

• Capture authentic moments with eyes to the camera or create a sense that the viewer is right  in the middle of a conversation. This is much  more compelling than architectural shots.  

  While it isn’t always easy to avoid using stock photography, please use no more than 20% in your materials. Even with camera phones, it is possible to capture a real moment from your own Faculty or area to help tell your story.  

We have provided sets of original images that reflect our diverse community, academic fields of  study and campus life. These are available for the York University community to use in marketing and communication materials. These are in low resolution but high resolution images are available upon request. 

View the image collection. 

Remember the following when preparing for a photo shoot:  

1. Images should not be clichéd and should be relevant to your subject area.  

2. With the flexibility for Faculties and sub-brands to use a specific coloured window, we also want to ensure the York Red is integrated to reinforce brand awareness. It may be added in typography, or may be reflected as a red element (clothing, backpacks, files, objects) into the photograph. See some of the examples we’ve provided.  

If you need assistance in setting up a photo shoot or need guidance on art direction, contact University Brand & Marketing:  

The York U image style reflects unique aspects of our brand. Photos should reflect realistic situations rather than being staged or posed.  

You should choose images that are high resolution and sized appropriately, while being conscious of the overall tone and composition.  

Please see the examples of off-brand photography to avoid.  

DO NOT include shadows, oversaturated imagery or scenery that is too dark  

DO NOT use images that are low resolution or highlight the backs of people  

DO NOT use images that do not have a strong focal point  

DO NOT use images that showcase a poor angle and are unflattering

DO NOT use images that highlight empty space, feature poor cropping, or include incorrect applications of brand elements  


Video is a key element in telling our great brand story. Using our video elements to support your content will tie it to the larger York brand and demonstrate our values. 

Video that is considered to be supplemental to your primary footage and used to illustrate a point is called B-roll. A shot of people walking down the street is a classic example of B-roll that’s often used in news video. Using actual footage of the campus in your video project will help viewers recognize it as coming from York University and strengthen our visual brand. 

If you are creating a video for external use or to appear on the University’s YouTube channel, your  video bumper should reflect the logo standards.  

Branded Faculty bumpers are available upon request. Contact University Brand & Marketing for assistance and approval of all marketing and communications materials:  

Our guidelines for the “lower thirds” in video content provides details pertaining to the location of the name, title and subject matter while working within the Design System.  

The York watermark is optional and only to be used in paid advertisements, boosted social media, or any video that has the potential of being viewed or shared outside of York University channels (i.e. Markham Campus announcements). The watermark should appear and remain for the duration of the video. For longer videos or those with a multitude of graphics and text, it can be used intermittently at the discretion of the user, in order to minimize distractions.  


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