Contributing to Teche? Here are a few ways you can get the best out of using images in your posts, and some pitfalls to avoid.
Why are images important to use when writing articles?
Images attract attention – why else would advertisers spend endless amounts on billboards and banner ads? They contribute to meaning in messages, and help and the platforms these messages are on to look more visually appealing and professional.
Images can also help to help inform and strengthen text-based content; they can break down wordy concepts, or support key messages. It’s good accessibility practice to provide visual alternatives to text if and when appropriate (and even more important vice versa!)
That’s not to say you should overload your post with images; use them sparingly and with an appropriate context.
What image formats should I use?
For photographs use jpg/jpeg only.
For vector graphics (charts, logos, infographics) use png or gif.
This is important to note for all digital uses of images – including within iLearn!
Animated GIFs were popular in the 90s and are making a resurgence thanks to their inclusion in social media and messaging apps. Use these sparingly in a professional environment, or use bespoke GIFs that are specific to your content and provide value.
How to use images in Teche posts
The cover image
In WordPress it’s titled the “Featured Image” and on Teche it appears at the top of each article, as well as a thumbnail size in the article lists. For this image:
- Resize and crop the photo to the dimensions 1800×1200 pixels in landscape format. WordPress will do the rest for the thumbnail images. View this tutorial on resizing and cropping images.
- Try to find neat and uncluttered images that are relevant to the article/post topic
- Photographs work well for this part of the blog
- View the WordPress documentation for using featured images
- Avoid using busy images, especially with text on them
- Don’t leave large files unedited – make sure you resize them.
- Do not use logos or branding of organisations, events, systems and software related to the post
Body copy images
When using images within the main body copy of the article/post, take into account the following:
- Get creative: if appropriate, try to find images that are metaphorically relevant
- Use relevant graphics to illustrate and enrich the text content
- Make sure to use Alt tags for each image, it is essential under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- View the WordPress documentation on using images in blog posts
- Do not stretch an image out of it’s original proportions
- Avoid using memes unless relevant
- Avoid using 1990’s style clip-art or logos unless absolutely necessary for the subject matter of the article/post
- Avoid using large file sizes and file dimensions.
- Avoid using overly complex graphics with tiny text
Tip: These do’s and don’ts are not only applicable to blog posts, these are useful for online learning content within iLearn and other websites.
Where do I find images to use?
You can find royalty free images at the following websites (these are resources the TECHE team use and recommend.)
Need some MQ-specific images?
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact the Educational Media team at the LIH to discuss your bespoke photography needs.