MSU BRAND TOOLKIT
Photography is one of the most vital elements of the MSU brand. It evokes emotion and connects people to the institution, maximizing their investment in MSU.
Just as important, the photography has a point of view. It says that Michigan State University is unique, that Spartans think differently. Of course, we want to present beautiful photography. But we also want that photography to convey the epic quality of the institution and the iconic, unconventional nature of its success.
Note: Communications and Brand Strategy has professional, in-house photographers and videographers who understand MSU’s brand and can help you plan and execute photo and/or video shoots at a reasonable cost. Visit our photography and videography section for more information.
The hero/subject of the photograph always should be the main focus. Heroes/subjects should be placed in the foreground so that the viewer’s eye is drawn straight to them. In addition, heroes should be photographed at an angle to give them a larger-than-life aura. The hero should appear hardworking and humble, yet accomplished and heroic.
Used to highlight a specific research initiative, discovery, or opportunity at Michigan State University, still-life photographs should be shot in the same fashion as hero photos. The still-life photos can be composed against a clean background or within a natural environment. In addition, the composition of the photograph must provide room for headlines and other typography.
Landscapes, both as background for hero shots and on their own, should be expansive, awe-inspiring, and epic.
Often the brand will require supporting photos for various materials. In cases where the brand does not use a singular hero, still-life, or landscape photograph, then the photographic style should be photojournalistic. This documentary style should maintain a high standard of production quality and a clear, thought-provoking point of view.