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Photography and imagery

Photography and imagery provide instant visual recognition of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and how we represent ourselves. They also serve as a powerful stimulus for developing a richer emotional attachment to the benefits of research and innovation.  

UKRI uses high quality photography shows the breadth and depth of the research and innovation we support and can also reveal the far-reaching improvement to human life made possible from the discovery and opportunity new knowledge gives.

‘Research’ and ‘innovation’ suggest a forward-looking and optimistic outlook and our imagery supports this concept.

Guiding principles

There are five guiding principles to consider when commissioning photography or selecting photographs or imagery.

  1. Our images are authentic. We use real, credible or true-to-life images that support the idea of the rigour and integrity of UK Research and Innovation research and show that we spend public money wisely. We try to avoid staged or cliched images.
  2. We strive for a documentary feel that incites interest and curiosity about what is going on in the image and draws in the viewer with the promise of a story waiting to be told. We aim for factual, interesting images that are relevant and add to the overall message being communicated.                                   
  3. We use abstract or pattern-based images, rather than emblems or icons, to avoid being drawn into discipline-specific imagery. Consistency across subjects helps bring togetherness and a sense that the nine Councils share the same goals.
  4. A dynamic and optimistic feel showing movement, change and positivity, or innovation is preferable to a static image. This can be achieved through composition, use of colour and camera angles.
  5. We prefer light, bright images with a contemporary look and feel, and are comfortable with plenty of white space. We avoid images that are gloomy or untidy. This style of image supports the straightforward, uncluttered UKRI brand and works well across the variety of subjects.

The following examples illustrate the guiding principles.


examples of images


examples of images

Abstract or patterned

examples of images


examples of images

Light, bright and white

examples of images

Equality, diversity and inclusion

UKRI photography reflects the diversity of its people, stakeholders and audiences, and promotes equality of access to our funding.

We are careful to ensure images are representative through the characteristics of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, and marital and civil partnership status.

We strive to avoid clichés as well as racial and gender stereotyping, and we aim to ensure content will not cause offence.

Read more about equality, diversity and inclusion.