Our primary photography is black and white with a photojournalistic style. These images are to be used as the dominant images within most brand applications.

Primary: black and white

These brand images should portray unique projects, learning opportunities, and experiences that SFU students, faculty, and researchers are involved in, with an emphasis on the impact they have on the world and each other. They should feel candid and authentic, with people as the prominent subject. To achieve this, it is important to photograph people who are engaging in real activities.

These primary images should have dynamic compositions taken from interesting angles. They should also feel somewhat simple, without too much visual noise. Quiet space in the composition allows headlines and titles to be easily placed over them. The blacks within these images should feel deep and rich, without losing too much tonal variation.

The brand images should portray unique projects, learning opportunities and experiences that SFU students and faculty are creating for real impact in the world.
The composition should be dynamic, with space allowed for headlines and titles placement. The black tones should be deep and rich.
The images should focus on people engaging in real activities.They should feel candid and authentic.

Secondary: colour

We use colour photography in a secondary role to support specific content in news stories, announcements, publications and some institutional communications that speak directly to influencers. This imagery is also used when colour is crucial to understanding the content. Use colour in print publications where we need to show potential students, specific campus buildings and surrounding geography.

Because these images are often used with our strong SFU reds, it is important that the colours within them don’t clash.

Secondary imagery should be simple and clean, without too much visual noise or contrasting colours. Images with neutral lighting and a cool temperature will create a nice contrast and complement nicely with our reds. The coloration can be altered by imperceptibly reducing the cyan or blue in Photoshop if necessary. This treatment does not apply to all imagery and should be used with discretion.

Images to support content, such as news stories
Campus photos


Photography should bleed off one or more edges of a composition. When multiple photos are incorporated into a spread, consider positioning them so they create a dynamic composition by balancing scale, placement and negative space.

Transit shelter ad
Viewbook cover and spreads

Combining black and white with colour

When using primary and secondary photography together, the black and white images should appear at a larger scale than the colour ones. The examples below demonstrate this principle.

Viewbook spreads