Standard: Graphic Selection and Screen Layout
On this page
A graphic is an image, including photos, logos, banners, icons, maps, and other images.
- Choose graphics that provide information, navigation, or visual organization, or serve some other obvious purpose.
- Use small graphics sparingly to add visual appeal, but choose images that are relevant to the page. Avoid adding pictures just because they look pretty.
- Don't create graphics to display text.
- Captions and alternative text:
- Provide text alternatives in compliance with section 508 accessibility standards.
- If you provide an explicit text caption, use empty alternative text (alt="") so people with visual disabilities will not hear redundant information.
- If the connection between image and nearby text content on the page is visually obvious, it is not necessary to provide a caption. However, if a caption is not provided, you must then use alternative text to describe the image's contents or function for visually impaired visitors.
- Do not infringe on copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights
- Caption text must use the EPA style (class=”caption”).
- Do not use “splash” graphics or banners that are the width of the page
The two screen shots below show how many more links are visible with graphics to the right at the top of the page. No content changes; only the graphic placement differs.
Graphic centered at top
Images may be left-aligned at the top of the page when the right side is used for navigation and the text wraps around the image:
Full Metadata about this standard
Name Graphic Selection and Screen Layout
Tracking number NT00000000
Required or Recommended Required
Effective date 03/13/2006
Date approved 07/01/2011
Category Graphics and Multimedia
Web Council review by 07/01/2013 (or earlier if deemed necessary by the Web Council)
Governing Policy Web Governance and Management (PDF) (4 pp, 339K, About PDF)