An image says more than a thousand words, is quickly understood, and appeals to our senses. We reach out more effectively; for example when we want to strengthen a message, to influence and to clarify. As images you can use photographs and illustrations, graphics, or collages.

Guidelines for image materials

In order for our communication to always maintain high quality and to reflect our brand, KI has a few overarching guidelines that apply to all the images you use in your communications. We strive to be gender-conscious, norm-critical and inclusive in our communication. This affects our choice of images, photographs and illustrations.

Images used in our communication shall promote equal rights and opportunities regardless of:

  • Sex
  • Transgender identity or expression
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion or other belief
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age

Please make a short analysis before you choose an image: 

  1. Does this image include any limiting gender stereotypes or excluding norms? 
  2. Who might feel included or excluded by this image? 

Images used by you should also be:

Genuine and natural

For example, photographed at KI or in a way that gives association with KI.

Relevant for the context

If it concerns a conference or cancer research, choose a research-related image.

Ilustration of cell.

Maintain a good artistic and aesthetic level

The images should primarily be taken by a professional photographer and have high technical quality, i.e. (high resolution, good light, contrast and focus).

PhD student Azadeh Karami in the lab holding up a test tube towards the camera.
An icon illustration a hand that seems injured from liquid dripping from a test tube.

Not just decoration or to fill space

Tip! Graphics can help us to visualise things that are difficult to explain using only images or text. This could apply to a procedure, a relationship or development.

If possible, avoid stylised agency photos, Clip Art pictures, and images that feel unnatural or taken out of their context.

User rights and copyrights

In general, images are copyright protected by law and cannot be used without the permission of the copyright holder, but there are exceptions. Collections of images with licenses are available, and can be used without requiring permission from the copyright holder.

Always remember to check which user rights that apply to the image you are using, since the rights can vary depending on the licence. In general, in nearly all cases you must clearly state the copyright holder of the image (photographer or source) when you use the image.

Permission from the people portrayed in the image

You need to have a written statement of consent when you photograph people. All images where a person can be identified, even though no names are mentioned, counts as personal data according to The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

If you want to publish an image of students or staff it is necessary to obtain a written statement of consent. Use KI:s Statement of consent by photographed person.

The Legal Office is responsible for GDPR at KI.

Statement of consent

Finding images

Free images with free licence

  • KI:s mediabank
    The mediabank is accessible by all KI employees and contains images that you can use free of charge. The photographer’s name can be found together with the image. You can also share photographic material from your department in the mediabank.
  • Wikimedia commons
    Search for images that are found in the Wikipedia encyclopaedia, which are often free and do not require the permission of the copyright holder. Always double-check the user right that applies to use of the image outside Wikimedia.
  • Google's advanced image search
    When you search using Google’s search engine, you can filter the results to find free-to-use images.
  • Flickr
    Flickr is a social network where users can upload their pictures. When you search for images you can filter using a variety of user rights (Creative Commons licenses).

Buy images with a free licence

  • iStock photo
    iStock has a vast number of images at good prices, and is very useful when you need a genre image or illustration. You must set up your own account in the iStock library to buy images.
  • Science Photo Library
    Image bank focussing on images and illustrations in research and healthcare; here too you must set up an account to buy images.

Common image file formats

Common image file formats
Format Suitable for About the format
JPEG Photographs Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG). Used primarily for photos and images used on the Internet. The format compresses the files very effectively, but with a loss of quality.
PNG Icons, illustrations and graphics Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a format for digital images. Can be used for graphics. A PNG file can have a transparent background, which makes it particularly appropriate for use on the Internet.
GIF Graphics Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) are used for images and since they can contain a maximum of 256 colours they are suitable for simple graphics, but not photos.
TIFF Photographs Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) graphic format for pixel graphics and photographic images. An advantage of the format is that the colour, contract and brightness can be changed in the layout program.
EPS Vector graphics Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is a general image format that is used for vector graphics as well aspixel graphics. EPS images are not affected when they are imported into a layout program.