Practical Guidelines for Visual Communication
Case Study



This is an example of a large organisation in the field of international cooperation and humanitarian aid that collaborates with Fairpicture. As the collaboration has not been publicly announced yet and the internal processes are going on, we will anonymize our client at this point.

The client recognizes the vital role of visual communication in its field of action. To maintain its exemplary status in fair and safe visual communication, the organisation aims to prioritise ethical, legal, and safety aspects - with regard to the individuals depicted, the photographers involved, and the organisation itself.

The organisation required a theoretical framework to guide its practices, as well as clear and practical guidelines accessible to different stakeholders. Fairpicture was commissioned to develop these guidelines and ensure their integration within the organisation. Fairpicture organised workshops involving various stakeholders to facilitate this process and produced a working document that reflects the organisation's principles and goals.




International Development Agency


Conceptualisation and implementation of Guidelines for Visual Communication


January - December 2022



The organisation operates in various regions around the world. Guidelines for visual communication need to consider who tells the stories related to the organisation’s work and what is included in them. Therefore, Fairpicture collaborated with local field offices and involved individuals from different areas of the organisation, ranging from security advisors to communications personnel. This inclusive approach allows the team to endorse and align with the guidelines, ensuring that they become an ongoing and evolving process within an organisation with a global outreach.

Furthermore, the new data protection law coming into effect in Switzerland in September 2023 will bring many changes for visual communication. We have a legal obligation to adjust certain practices, such as obtaining consent for sensitive personal data, which is now mandatory in Switzerland as well. At the same time data protection as a catalyst for human rights aligns well with the human rights-based approach pursued by the organisation. Together, we have developed both, contents and a technical framework that opens up new communication perspectives.

The Organisation uses images and videos across various channels and media, including the annual report of 2022. One of the challenges in the assignment with Fairpicture was to provide practical guidelines for different image uses.


Workshops tailored to different target audiences allow us to facilitate the integration of the guidelines within the organisation. 


Developing guidelines for the client took place in a complex environment. The guidelines support the client in using imagery in ways that meet the requirements of the organisation itself as well as its partners, its beneficiaries, visual creators, and the public. One challenge was to involve people from different work areas and address their various needs, ensuring that the guidelines are practical for everyone. Based on extensive discussions, Fairpicture created comprehensive guidelines with background knowledge and concise checklists for different steps in visual content production.

Practical knowledge derived from the guidelines was shared with participants in thematic workshops. This format helps to actively involve participants and enables them to learn and apply the guidelines effectively. Through interactive sessions, discussions, and practical exercises, participants gain a hands-on understanding of how to utilise imagery in line with the guidelines.


The document is concrete and explains everything, easy to read and conveys all the important information. It is very useful!

Local Staff Member | Bangladesh



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