Guidelines: Adding Images (proposed)

Catalog images are a great benefit to both buyers and sellers and supplying images to the catalog helps the entire BrickLink community. Learn how to add items on the Add Catalog Item or Image page.

This page gives detailed advice and guidelines for adding images, which may be added for both pending and existing items.

Additional Images:
If you have an image which shows important details not viewable in the main image, then you may contribute by submitting an additional image. Include a note for us when uploading which states that the image is to be used as an additional image. Additional images should adhere to the same guidelines used for regular images.

Altering Official LEGO Images:
Official LEGO images should never be altered except for size and will be removed if alteration is discovered. Scans or photographs of LEGO catalogs or actual LEGO items may be digitally enhanced, but the content should remain essentially the same. If an official LEGO image includes errors, then notify us and we will add an additional note to the affected catalog entry.

Approval of Catalog Entries Without Images:
We typically do not approve catalog entries for which there are no images. Generally speaking, items other than sets that are submitted to the catalog without an accompanying image will be allowed to remain pending for two weeks. If no image has been submitted within two weeks, then the pending catalog entry will be removed and the submitter notified. However, we sometimes do approve items without images for the purpose of completing another item's inventory or for the purpose of ensuring that all items are added correctly and completely when items come in a series.

Changing Color Assignment of Current Images:
If an image in the catalog is assigned to the wrong color, then do not simply submit an image under the correct color. Instead, alert us to reassign the current image's color by posting to the Catalog Requests topic in the discussion forum. If you feel you can supply a superior image, then you may submit it after the current image has been reassigned.

Concurrent Item and Image Submissions:
Item and image submissions are accomplished separately on different pages. You do not need to wait for a submitted item to be approved before you submit an image for it. You also do not need to be the item's submitter. The item must simply have been submitted before any image upload is possible. We encourage image submission to follow as soon as possible after item submission because an image can help us evaluate the item submission and items will not be approved without images.

Design Applied Items vs. Plain Items:
For items that are plain, meaning without a design applied, do not submit an image showing a version with a design. If the part with a design already has a catalog entry, then submit an image for that part. If the part does not have a catalog entry, then submit a new catalog entry first.

Image Cropping:
Images should be cropped to remove excess background space around the item. Leave a comfortable amount of space between the item and the edge, but not so much that the item appears unnaturally small when viewed at thumbnail size. Official LEGO part renders will typically need to be cropped and/or padded for optimal use in our system.

Image Insets:
Placing a smaller picture within a larger one is a technique we prefer to help further identify an item. Insets are particularly useful with minifigures for which the head is either dual-sided or obstructed by headgear. Inset images should not block or cover informative portions of the main image.

Image Override for Oversize Images:
For parts or sticker sheets with any dimension over 15 studs, books that contain parts, or posters and other literature larger than A4/letter size, you have the option of bypassing the size restrictions. Follow these steps:

  • Upload any regular-size image to the initial image upload page.
  • Click the Edit button and add the oversize image in the Upload field.
  • Click the Save button after uploading an image of any size up to 1600 x 1200.
  • Include a note to administrators which mentions that the image is oversize.

Image Preferences:
We will accept any accurate image of decent quality when filling an empty image slot, but certain preferences come into play when choosing whether to replace an image or move it to a different position. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • For basic parts: renders are preferable to photos.
  • For parts in special color types (glitter or speckle, for example) or in rare or non-inventoried colors: photos are preferable to renders.
  • For all parts with a design (printed, stickered, or molded): photos are preferable to renders.
  • For part variants: photos are preferable to renders, except for the newest or current version of a variant group.
  • For sticker sheets, instructions, catalogs and other literature: scans are preferable to photos. Photos are preferable for sticker sheets with a mirrored surface.
  • For sets and original boxes: official LEGO images are preferable to custom photos.
  • For building instructions: custom scans are preferable to custom photos or screenshots of official LEGO PDFs.
  • Larger images are preferable to smaller images of similar quality.
  • Photographs or scans are preferred over images from set instructions.
  • Existing images are typically only replaced by images which show a significant improvement in quality or size over the current image.

Image Quality:
Image quality matters and we enjoy seeing high-quality images. Here are some guidelines for creating high-quality images:

  • Image should have a transparent or white background and not be photographed on a baseplate or other brick background.
  • Image should be clear and sharp. Rescan or reshoot if your image is blurry.
  • If you resize an image, then maintain the aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is the ratio of width to height. If you don't resize properly, then your image will be stretched or compressed. That can destroy image detail and mislead people about the shape and size of the item.

Image Size and Format:
There are minimum and maximum image sizes which may be uploaded and they are not the same for each item type. Here are the image size restrictions:

  • The minimum image size is 120 x 160 for the Figures item type and 160 x 120 for Parts and all other item types.
  • The maximum size is 600 x 800 for the Figures item type, 1600 x 1200 for Sets, Instructions and Original Boxes item types, and 800 x 600 for Parts and all other item types.
  • Images may be in .png, .gif or .jpg format.

Image Sources and Crediting Contributors:
For Parts and Gear item types, the image displayed by default on the Catalog Detail page may not be the image for which credit is given on that page. This can happen if an image is selected for display from among those available for different colors and was not the first image for the item.

If the image you upload is an original scan/photo, then you will receive catalog credit for adding it. If the image is later identified as originating or deriving from somewhere else or is another person's image, then any credit given to you may be replaced. Images from official LEGO websites are acceptable for use and will be credited to you. You may lose credit if your image is replaced by one from another member.

Set Images, Original Box Images, and Instructions Images:
Set, Original Box, and Instructions item types are related in BrickLink's catalog design, but each entry of each item type has its own images. Images must be uploaded specifically for each item type and these three item types can be individually selected on the Add Image page.

The image of the original box should ideally be an image of just the box without the contents, but exceptions are occasionally made to this rule.

Have Further Questions About Images?
If you're experiencing problems with uploading an image or have further questions about images, then visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can't find the answer there, then contact a Catalog Administrator.