Take advantage of the image's maximum potential! Become an even better image communicator. Start by reading Bo Bergström's article providing thoughts and advice on visual communication. Also read our chat with Swedish advertising agency Blomquist, who often uses images in their assignments for various clients. We promise you will find practical treasures to use in your profession.
Above: Bo Bergström with two of his recent books.
Bo Bergström, creative director, writer, lecturer and winner of the prestigious Swedish advertising award Guldägget (The Golden Egg) will inspire and give you practical advice on how to become a smarter image communicator.
by Bo Bergström
(You can also download Bo Bergström's article as a pdf here!)
All communicators want to reach out with their messages whether it be information, news or advertising. And it is undoubtedly the image, i.e. the photograph, film, or illustration that does the most important work to capture interest, affect and influence.
Choose the right image for the right message
Image work begins when a communications person, editor or advertising professional formulates a message that is intended for a specific target group. And that message must be seasoned with attractive text, design and color, but above all, an image. Often, and especially in advertising, there are two types of messages to use. The first one promises to solve a problem, the second aims to create well-being.
Bo Bergström's article continues here
HOW-TO We called one of Sweden's best communication agencies (top ranked with customers over the last five years), to talk about images.
Hello Anders Wirström, senior Art Director at Blomquist!
How does the process work when you decide on what type of image you are looking for? What is a good image for you?

"I always have some kind of idea of what would fit, but I also try not to commit myself to it, I want to see the possibilities of all the images that come up. One search keyword leads to another, so that in the end you don't know where you started. A successful search results in at least 5-6 alternatives that we consider and that show slightly different options. Few things make me as tired as looking for images for a long time, the brain becomes numb."
"What a good image is can't be said without regard to context. It could be motion blur, it may be oblique and it could be blown highlights - the context determines. Especially today when we have become accustomed to images that have lower technical quality but higher presence due to the prevalence of mobile phone photos. What the picture says steers in a different way today, it is ok to look a bit amateurish to a greater extent than before."

What can be a challenge when working to illustrate a text?

"Not destroying the text is a tough responsibility. The picture must help to emphasize something, encourage reading, and have an attitude. The picture controls a lot, it becomes like a person's body language that the viewer interprets before even reading the text."

"Another challenge is to empathize with the client's perception of what is a good image, and in parallel with the image search to formulate arguments regarding why they should dare to use that particular image."

What role do images play in communication?

"We live in an incredibly image saturated world today so, of course, the picture is important in all communication. People are adept at interpreting images and passing judgment, so it takes more effort today, but it's fun. But at the same time a great headline with no image can capture me as much as a message that is based entirely on the image. It can even be more effective, since it deviates more clearly."

What usually determines the choice between two images?

"Just about anything. Eye contact may be better in one, the calm, the messiness, the colors, when it was taken, clarity, ambiguity, where it was taken, and also the price of the picture. The context determines."

What are your best tricks in terms of image selection?

"Go on impulse - if there's something special about an image, even though you cannot pinpoint what it is, save it. Don't think. You know the subject, you have read the text, and you have a vague idea of what you are after. Then it's just a matter of losing yourself in the photos, get a feel for and save as many as possible. The selection is the next process, the critical part of the brain will have to wait for that."

"I wish I had one search tip but I have some difficulty with search keywords, it takes a few times before I have narrowed down my options. All my clients are Swedish, so I always put Sweden in the search box so I don't get a majority of American images. Searching is more about removing the unessential than finding the right one."
Two examples from Blomquist's production where image plays a central role.
"The image of the field is actually a folded brochure that began in a smaller size, and then grew with each unfolding to end up as a poster that members can put up on the wall.

The image of the fence is from the LRF's (The Federation of Swedish Farmers) election material that was sent to all active members so they could distribute it locally during the election year 2014.

The image of the field is a montage and both have been pretty much retouched. That's also how we work with images today."
(Translations. Above: "More jobs for the country in the country". Picture below: "Change from black energy to green.")
Contest • Win • Learn more
Our eminent columnist Bo Bergström is not just an educator, lecturer and creative director, he is also an author. Now is your chance to win one of his books, "Essentials of Visual Communication"!
All you need to do is e-mail us and tell us why you want this book. Send your reasons to us no later than September 3 to info@johner.com. Good Luck!

(The jury is made up of the editors of Johnér's newsletter and the jury's decision is final. The winner will be notified personally.)
Tip - Search in a more elegant way
New display mode when looking for images!
Now you can choose how you want to display your search results on the Web. Try, for example, our new view "collage", which displays the images in a larger thumbnail size and therefore gives you a quick overview while the images are presented in a more vivid way.

You choose the way you want to view the images after getting your search results.

To facilitate navigation through the pages, we have also made the button for scrolling forward or backward in the search results movable. Drag and drop it exactly where you think it's convenient to have it!
Have a look!
Have you missed anything? These are our most read articles in previous newsletters: