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Hero images are the large image in the background under the main navigation menu. You can choose from a list of hero images on any page

If you choose a hero image for your site home page, it will carry down to all pages on your site unless you specifically choose another one on your children pages. If you choose more than one hero image, one of those images will be randomly displayed each time a visitor goes to a page.

You can request that a new image to be added to the hero image list. New image requests will be reviewed by an editorial committee as hero images must meet certain aesthetic and subject matter requirements. See below for the type of criteria the editorial review committee will be looking for.

If your department wants to submit an image to be added to the hero image options, you can email your image(s) to with the subject line "New hero image request". If there are multiple images, it is recommended that you share them from OneDrive.

Images need to be high-quality photos. The subject matter can support your site's brand, but it should be an uplifting image (for instance on a flooding site, use images of waterways in a normal state rather than during a disaster). It is recommended that you choose one image for all pages in your site as this helps provide a consistent experience as the visitor navigates your site.

Graphic elements such as banners from the bridge template cannot be used. If graphic branding is desired, it can be done in the content area with a logo on the page, in the department footer, or on the site homepage in a feature element (such as a jumbotron).

You will need to do some image editing to get your image ready for submittal. It needs to be a certain resolution, file format, and file size. You might also use "autotone" in photoshop to see if you can improve the image quality. We will need the image in three sizes. You can submit just the large size, but if your image is approved, it will be implemented in Sitecore faster if you've already provided all three sizes.

We hope to add a feature in the future that allows viewers to see photo details such as the photographer's name, so we are requiring those details for each image.

If an image is a stock photo, we will need copies of the license. If an image includes recognizable people, we will need consent forms (note the limitations on people in photos below).

Preview available images or try your own

(Make sure you use one of the required image sizes)

Submitting an image
Send email to:
Subject line:
New hero image request

Image requirements
Extra large:
1920px x 507px (req.)
1440px x 380px
440px x 118px
File size:
250KB or smaller
File format:

Image attribution
Photographer name, copyright owner name or "King County staff" if photographer doesn't want to list their name.
Or subject matter
Year taken (if known)

Include licenses or consent forms if relevant

Criteria for appropriate images:

All images:

Must have good rich color and must stand alone as a visually attractive image. No washed out, over/under exposed, or poor contrast images. 

All images tone:

Emphasize warmth, positive feelings, humanist images, not governmental. Image should set a tone rather than telling a story (avoid being literal or journalistic- as in “here is our building” or “here is our staff working”).


Textural landscape images, with not so much contrast in subject matter that it looks busy. Landscapes should represent King County. We encourage images of rural areas so that Seattle isn't over emphasized. Show a good variety of areas in the region.


Close-up or macro view of features of the Northwest, celebrating the beauty of details of the built or natural environment

Why might an image get rejected?

Graphic design

Images cannot be graphic design elements and cannot have text elements in them.  

Image content

Some images are very appropriate for page content images (storytelling), but they don’t work well for the artistic, stylistic focus of the hero image format.

Emotional tone

Some images were rejected because they weren't uplifting. We recommend you be less literal with your images and try to come up with images that are more visually uplifting. For example, for a site on flooding, use images of waterways in healthy state.


Some images don't have enough vivid colors, the image is too monochromatic, or the highlight colors get cropped out.

Aerials are a challenge because: the atmosphere causes color dulling (due to the distance), they are also usually not horizontal enough images for the cropping proportions


Sometimes subject matter and color are good but the image doesn't crop well given the hero proportions and the amount covered by the menu and content boxes. In these case the appeal of a nice image can get lost


Close-up people are always a problem. Sometimes they are OK in the distance if there is a large enough group to make the eye see them more as texture.

Even animals can be problematic for cropping as we want to see the eyes, or more. Because the image scales at different screen sizes, we might get the eyes to show in one view but be cropped in another size screen.