U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Graphics and Image Standards

For EERE websites and applications, follow these requirements and best practices for designing graphics and developing images. This includes making them Section 508-compliant.

Requirements

All images must follow these requirements.

Images in Energy.gov

A single image in Energy.gov may be reused in a variety of layouts. Images should be at least 1000 pixels wide at 72 ppi. This will allow the CMS to resize the image as needed.

Graphs and Illustrations

Graphs and illustrations should use the EERE color palette.

Alt Text

Screen readers use alt text to provide visually impaired users with a description of a graphic. Read our page on writing alt text to ensure your site complies with Section 508 standards.

Color Contrast

508 guidelines state that there must be sufficient color contrast between text and its background color. EERE aims to meet at least AA-level conformance on W3C's Web Contrast Accessibility Guidelines.

Color Selection

Do not use color alone to convey meaning. This makes your image impossible to understand for colorblind users.

Flickering Images

People with photosensitive epilepsy can have seizures triggered by flickering or flashing in the 4 to 59 flashes per second (Hertz) range with peak sensitivity at 20 flashes per second. Use care when design animated GIF images or other refreshing content.

Best Practices

Following these best practices will result in higher quality images.

  • "Sharpen" your images in Photoshop using the standard sharpen filter ("Filter/Sharpen/Sharpen.")
  • Photos should not be over-optimized or degraded in any way. If degradation is noticeable in a photo, that photo should not be used. A better quality original should be found.