Picture perfect

We content editors can spend whole afternoons agonising over the perfect picture for a homepage or feature.

From the early stages of development we agreed that Jisc’s new website should be beautiful enough to cope without images, but where we did use them we wanted to:

  • move away from clichéd stock photography (do you really want to see another photo of two suits shaking hands?)
  • make the most of open or creative commons licensing (you’ve probably spotted our image attribution tool – but that’s Rich’s baby and he’ll be talking about it soon in a blog post near you)
  • use Jisc content where possible – something we’re still working on, but a clear goal for us.


After setting these standards, our challenge was to find an easy, collaborative way to gather images fit for the new website.

We dabbled with a few visual bookmarking tools, but with lack of development rife and bugs-a-plenty, we needed something reliable.

I’d jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon in personal life but soon got bored of my wall looking like a notonthehighstreet campaign and signed off. Then Rich suggested we give it a go for collecting images for the site.

We set up two private boards – one for bright, beautiful images of technology and education, and one simply called ‘retro’, which we hope to start using on blogs as a light touch (I am still looking for an opportunity to use this lady). Soon we’d built up a cohesive collection of images to prepare us for launch.

Content with our content

Countless hours scouring the web have been significantly reduced by this cloud-based image filing system, which we can browse and dip into wherever we are. Although our goal for decorating the website with Jisc content hasn’t yet been met, Pinterest has helped to provide the next best thing.

Image: Former sugarcane train is now used for tourists near Lahina, October 1973 (courtesy of

By Nathalie Carter

A Bristolian woman of web. Working mostly on keeping our content tip top as well as the smooth day-to-day running of the website.

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