Join the movement
for a Better Visual Web

“Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.” — G.K. Chesterton

Around 80% of human sense data is absorbed visually and the visual landscape tells us a lot about the world we live in. Over the past decade, visual content has gone through major upheaval. New technologies have emerged without taking into account how images fit into these new environments, or how technical limitations affect visual expression and culture.

Together we can build a better visual experience for everyone on the web. Image Display Control technology connects all the stakeholders involved in the image lifecycle, empowering every industry.

IDC keeps originals intact

Currently there’s no sustainable way to communicate downstream how an image should be used. This is a huge problem for media, advertising, branding and ecommerce.

If parts of an image have been cut off, they can't be recovered, so more and more of the image is lost every time the image is redistributed. This means you lose part of the story and diminish the scope of creating vertical and horizontal versions. It also leads to pixelation when higher resolutions are required and the original full resolution image cannot be accessed. Every pixel counts.

The answer is Image Display Control, or IDC. It is a standard that chains together the various steps of the image life cycle using image metadata. Image specific display instructions spread across platforms behind the scenes in the embedded metadata.

Established with our friends at IPTC — the global standards body of the news media — IDC embeds all relevant display options into the metadata of an image.

It’s like having a “wardrobe” of display options for every occasion. For example, a photographer can define display instructions that a publisher — or anyone else who needs to share the image — can rely on. Or when a website is undergoing a redesign, all the old image material can be easily converted to fit the new look.

There are endless possible users and scenarios, and that’s what makes IDC so powerful. Developers and vendors can easily contribute, tailoring IDC to their own users and extending the ecosystem.

Fight bias with IDC

We believe AI should be transparent and that an augmented intelligence approach — fusing the best of AI and human intelligence — is the way forward. IDC enshrines a healthy scepticism towards the decision making power of AI embracing diversity in both the creative and technical sides of image production.

Bias stems from human behaviour and attitudes, or from machine learning models trained on skewed datasets. IDC helps to fight this problem by guaranteeing access to the original version of image material, so that images can be verified, questioned and corrected for bias.

Commitment to a better visual web

Building healthy visual future is simple:

1. Support your local photographers and creatives, for example, by attending exhibitions and buying their art work
2. Fight against biased content and equalize representation: speak up for minorities and marginalised groups and make active efforts to be inclusive in media representation, in hiring choices, and editorial practices
3. Don’t erase embedded metadata. The data that is hidden in every image file helps the photographer by keeping copyright information intact, tells about the origins of the image and entails the IDC instructions
4. Use up-to-date, open standards and formats
5. Respect copyrights
6. Fact checking — for example, by checking with established media sources or doing reverse image searches to identify the provenance of images
7. Spread the word: Talk about visual matters, and respect visual culture

You are invited to join our mission for a better visual future. Together we can raise awareness and come up with new solutions. We want to acknowledge the role of creators, developers and legislators as important stakeholders in the development of our visual world.