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The guidelines on this page apply specifically to the main NCI website ( Owners of NCI component sites may wish to consider these for use on their own sites.

Images can be a powerful and direct means of communicating ideas and feelings about an organization and can create a personal connection with an audience. Imagery used for the main NCI website has been selected to give a consistent look throughout the site. Here are some recommended attributes for NCI website imagery.

  • Use realistic or natural portraits of people interacting as everyday individuals; avoid images that look overly staged or set up.
  • Represent NCI’s major audiences: patients, health professionals, and researchers.
  • Be positive and encouraging in tone when possible.
  • Use cropping to focus on the idea or feeling and not specific contents.
  • Use images that are bright and colorful, with a good amount of white or clarity.

Content-Specific Images: Size and Placement

Standard size and placement of images should be used for overall site consistency. The following general guidelines should be observed:

  • The width for a smaller size image is 190 pixels – roughly one-third of the main content area’s total width of 571 pixels. The height should be proportional and complementary to the existing content and layout of the page.
  • When using a larger image, the width should be no more than two-thirds of the main content area width of 571 pixels – roughly 380 pixels. Again, the height of the image should be proportional and complementary.
  • Text in the main content area should wrap around images.
  • Each image should allow for padding on either the left or right, depending on placement within the layout. When text wraps around the image, 20 pixels should be allowed between the image and the text to allow for proper spacing.

Use of Images

NCI Visuals Online contains images from the collections of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison as well as other NCI offices. The images are available for possible reuse according to the noted restrictions. Contents include general biomedical and science-related images, cancer-specific scientific and patient care-related images, and images of people and events significant to NCI. Please note:

  • NCI staff should begin their search by clicking on the “staff” link in the footer of the home page of NCI Visuals Online. NCI staff may access a larger selection of potential images than is otherwise available to the public.
  • The search and browse functions offer a variety of ways to look for images by keywords, topics, and dates. Unless modified by you, search results default to images created in 2000 or later, but older images may also be relevant to you.
  • Be sure to check an image’s details page for reuse restrictions and credit information. Images in the public domain may be freely used. If an image is copyright protected, you will have to contact the indicated rights holder to obtain reuse permission.
  • For more information, see NCI’s “Copyright and Reuse of Graphics and Text” website policy.
  • To contact the NCI Visuals Online staff, please e-mail
  • Updated: September 10, 2013