shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Graphics Guidelines

Page address:

Minnesota State Mankato Logo treatment

All University logos on web pages should adhere to the guidelines published in the most recent edition of the University's Graphics Standards. In addition to that printed resource, this on-line standards manual is intended to answer general logo application questions. For questions not addressed in either source, contact the Web Development Team.

  • University logos should be on white, black or neutral-hue backgrounds. Backgrounds are to be solid rather than textured.
  • No MSU logo should be consolidated into another graphic; MSU logos should be discrete files.

Web developers can find approved University logo graphics online. logoGraphics files <img>

In general, graphics on your web pages are valuable additions to your content, adding a visual element to illustrate things that can't be presented any other way: logos, artwork, charts, and photographs of people, places or things that are central to the message being presented. In order to avoid some of the pitfalls of graphic extravagance, here are some principles to consider:

  • Avoid graphics that are unnecessarily large. No image should be larger than 500x400 pixels unless you're showing a map—but even that could be designed to use thumbnails for navigation and link to a specific portion as requested by the user.
  • Be careful when using graphics for page decoration purposes. These are features than can get busy and offer users no benefit.

Alternate text tags <img alt>

All graphics must be coded with alternate ("alt") text. The description of the graphic is inserted in the image placement window when the image is uploaded to the page. It should be as brief as possible and must include all text shown in the image, if the graphic displays any words. Certain kinds of images require special "alt" text:

  • Spaceholder images should have " " as the "alt" text.
  • Images serving as buttons should have "alt" text that emphasizes the action performed.
  • Images used as bullets should have "*" as the "alt" text.

Text should be text rather than graphics

Use of an image to present text is not recommended on web pages. The reasons include:

  • Headlines and subheads that are presented as graphics lose some key benefits of search engine indexing, which makes your pages harder to find in a search results page; and
  • Graphics take longer to download than text.

If you choose to render text in the <img> format on your web page, please note:

  • Requirements for text in graphics: <img alt> tag must indicate text image presence. (See Section 508: Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards.)