masma71440, woman looking through window

How to choose images in times of trouble
Images play an important role in times of crisis when you are bombarded by information. Not least now as many of us are seeking information, support, cohesion and contact through digital interfaces.

Semiotician Karin Sandelin at Kantar Sifo clarifies what you need to consider for choosing the right images. And how you can use semiotics as a tool for creating spot-on communication that strengthens your message and your brand.

To facilitate for you as a Johnér customer, we have collected a few relevant image themes that are in high demand by many customers at the moment.
ima191232, Father and daughter on sofa

Images are vital to your message
Images play an important role in the fast-paced relaying of information. We automatically and unconsciously take them in. The symbolism in the images influences our perception of the message, who is saying it and why. Images can be appealing, frightening, calming or stressful depending on what emotional state we are in. And in this, they create a relationship between you and the receiving party.

It is now more important than ever to be cognizant of how your message relates to its surroundings: its theme, context and present state. Whether you represent an authority, organization or commercial brand when communicating, you need to consider that:

Your images convey an standpoint
Your images relay a message on how you approach current events and what values, opinions and perspectives you hold. Are you trying to spark action, and if so, in what way? Incite activity? Or encourage stillness? Are you viewing things from a problematic or an enabling viewpoint?

Your image can spark action or initiative
What type of initiative do you want to spark? Presumably you're not striving for more clicks, but rather for constructive action-taking that is in line with your values and the purpose of your message. Your image indicates the type of action you are striving for.

Images influence us in both the long- and the short-term.
Images we encounter in our feeds affect our well-being in the here and now, but they also affect our collective well-being, how we perceive ourselves and how we view others.

Semiotics as a tool
Not only can images enhance your message and its effects, but also your long-term trustworthiness, reputation and brand identity. Sound complicated? It all becomes clearer when using semiotics. Here are four examples of how images convey different characteristics and values.

Which of them is in line with your platform, purpose and message?
Collage: Calming and reassuring
"It will all be OK"
Calming and reassuring: Images of calm, grounded, everyday things relay a message of tranquility and stability. Such images are good if you want to portray guiding leadership and a sympathetic ear, which appeals to those needing long-term stability. Here, we see familiar motifs, situations and environments, preferably strongly rooted in time and space – local, classic and close to nature. The colors are mild, the forms, solid and the mood, harmonious.
Collage: Sophisticated and confident
"We are in control"
Sophisticated and confident: Here, the images convey a sense of sophistication and elegance in the large and small details. This type of image is good for portraying confident leadership and consciousness, appealing to those needing a sense of authority and exclusiveness. These are consciously staged motifs and environments that also shield from messy everyday life and imperfections. The colors are cool and contrasting, the motifs often abstract and the mood, contained.
Collage: Easy-going and enabling
"We can do this!"
Easy-going and enabling: Images that portray movement and feelings of optimism easily create enabling characteristics. They are good for portraying inspirational and creative drive, appealing to those in need of inclusion and spontaneity. These images are very dynamic, creating a sense of mental or physical movement toward something. The colors and characteristics should be bold and the mood, rambunctious.
Collage: Complex and problematic
"This is complicated"
Complex and problematic: These images portray the complexities of life in the form of structures, drama and contrasts. Such images are good for portraying in-depth knowledge and reflection, appealing to the need for logic and control. These portray problems, either through a look indicating a mental process or through striking motifs in which the camera takes an analytical viewpoint and objects are handled as forms of art.

Requested themes
We have collected images for themes that many of our customers are now requesting. Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for a particular type of images by calling +46 8 644 83 30, emailing, or by chatting with us on
Hand-washing and consideration
Hand-washing and consideration
Thinking of others
Thinking of others
Remote working and learning
Remote working and learning
We would like to thank Semiotician Karin Sandelin at Kantar Sifo for collaborating on this article.

Photographers: Maskot Bildbyrå (masma71440), Lisa Öberg (ima191232), Per Hanstorp (sca8463), Susanne Walström (ima106153), Johanna Nyholm (ima98282), Anders Andersson (SCANDINAV_M6X8), Maskot Bildbyrå (MASMA59727), plainpicture (PLAP8420081), Depiction AB (IMA139259), Caiaimage (CAI412-35873), Rebecka Rynefelt (scandinav_bkj1), Lisa Wikstrand (ima158848), Plattform (IMA198837), Linda-Pauline Arousell (ima174353), Johanna Nyholm (ima159011), Olof Hedtjärn (ima56943), Dan Lepp (ima149456), Depiction AB (ima157848), Anna Johnsson (ima201331), Plattform (ima201579), Maskot Bildbyrå (masma57141), Lisa Wikstrand (ima171737).