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MetLife Design System 2.0



Photographs are a vivid way to express our “Clearly human” philosophy. Our photographs candidly and intimately share real moments in the lives of real people, telling stories and carving out a connection between the human experience and partnership with MetLife.

The scenarios in our photography are culturally accurate based on the market and are never posed or insincere. From milestones to everyday activities, the moments that we portray are personal and genuine, inviting our audience to emotionally connect with our brand. Our tone is optimistic with bright, natural lighting, even exposures, and temperate saturation of full-color photography.

Visit the AEM Evolution Library site for specific image specs and additional examples.

Visit the DAM for Photography Assets.

Click here for Photography Guidelines.



  • • Focal point is considered for desktop, tablet, and mobile breakpoints.
  • • The positioning of the focal point in the top right is correct.


  • • Never staged and stock-like
  • • Always genuine, personal, expressive


  • • Full-color, temperate saturation, naturally cooler palette
  • • Bright, natural lighting; even


  • • Simple forms, low detail, not busy
  • • Ample white space
  • • Standard-to-slightly narrow field of view; not too tight (to allow cropping)
  • • Shallow-to-standard depth of field to achieve out-of-focus planes
  • • Both natural points of view and unexpected, yet controlled, angles
  •   (i.e., higher and lower perspectives and perspectives from within the action)


Portrait subjects are genuine, approachable people seen in an environment that is personal to them. The subject is centered and shot straight on while looking honestly at the camera. Portraits feature a tight crop to the head and shoulders, with even, natural lighting and an out-of-focus background.

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Optimal Crops

Images are captured in either a close, detail point of view with a tighter crop or in a medium crop. They should never be so zoomed out that the two feel unbalanced.

Composition and Focal Points

Have a strong point of focus (focal point) to ensure a clear concept is delivered to the user in a memorable way. Image composition changes when viewed on various devices.

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Composition and Placement

The composition of an image should support the layout of the web page as a whole. For example, people should face towards the interior of the browser window, not the exterior. Also, if an image is to appear in a group of images, its composition and content should be similar to the others.

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People images should face towards the inside of the browser.

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Properly positioned in components.

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Not be cut off unless intentional.

Photography Style Misuse

The MetLife image style is a unique aspect of our brand personality. Please review the examples here for an idea of what is considered off-brand.

When you choose photographs of people, look for realistic interpretations of situations rather than images that are posed or staged. Images should connect to and involve the viewer, communicating that MetLife understands its customers. Please be conscious of the overall tone, as well as the composition of elements.

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Do not use photos that are too saturated.

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Do not user photos that are too dark.

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Do not use photos that are too busy.

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Do not user photos that are tinted or filtered.

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Do not use photos that are too staged, with figures looking into the camera.

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Do not use imagery that references the tagline with nautical navigation metaphor.

Type on photography

When placing type on photography, use photographs with enough negative space to accommodate legible black or white text without adding any elements.

It also needs to always be level AA compliant. For more information, please review our accessibility guidelines.

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Use photos with enough space and contrast for legible text.

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Do not use photos with disruptive contrast for text.

Single Images & Portraits

We tell dynamic stories with contextual images, feature images and portraits.

The contextual image establishes our setting, subjects and story narrative. These are captured in natural to broad point of view.

The feature image hones in on an important detail moment of the story. It sharpens the story's focus and provides deeper understanding for the viewer. These images are captured in a close, detail point of view with a tight crop.

Single Image

Single images are either contextual or feature images.

For location-specific messaging, there is the option of using a relevant landscape or cityscape photograph that follows our photography style guide.

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Real-World Workplace

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Emotional Milestone

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Dental Insurance

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Location Specific Messaging


We use portraiture only when it accompanies customer quotations in order to humanize and give vitality to the voice of the customer.

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