Posted on Monday, April 24th, 2017

Despite 25 years of campaigning and communication, climate change still has an image problem: polar bears, melting ice and smokestacks continue to define climate change in digital imagery and the public mind.

The Climate Outreach project Climate Visuals is a world first, offering a vital new approach: a collection of curated climate images based on social research with thousands of people in Europe and America, plus guidance and practical resources to spark a more diverse, engaging and compelling iconography for climate change. Climate Visuals is a platform for images that are fresh, innovative and proven to be effective for public engagement, helping to lift climate change out of the margins and into the mainstream.

With the generous support of the KR Foundation, and in conjunction with influential partners from the media, campaign and photographic sectors, the Climate Visuals project aims to catalyse a new, more diverse and compelling, visual language for climate change.

The Climate Visuals image library now includes nearly 400 images, and is being developed with leading photographic agencies. Our first partner is outdoor photography specialists Aurora Photos, with a contribution of around 100 brand new images that match the Climate Visuals principles for effective visual communication.

Hot on the heels of this years’s Awards ceremony in Amsterdam, we are working with World Press Photo towards a new climate change programme, marking a significant new development for this prestigious organisation and exciting partnership for Climate Outreach.

In the video below, our Research Director Adam Corner explains the story behind Climate Visuals, details the Climate Visuals approach, and describes how the project is aiming to craft a new visual vocabulary for climate change. In September, he will be leading the first in a series of Climate Visuals masterclasses, in London and Salzburg - please register your interest here and we’ll let you know when booking opens.

For more on the research behind Climate Visuals - involving over 3,000 citizens in Europe and the US - have a look at our original report outlining 7 principles for visual communication about climate change, as well as our new report providing an analysis of images from the COP21 and COP22 negotiations. The visual identity of key events in the climate calendar like the annual COPs are a crucial influence on the way the wider world engages with climate change - but what visual story are they telling?


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Credit: Aurora

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