Images which the public tend to associate with climate change are more often distant in space and time (e.g., melting ice caps, impacts on future generations), but are also often underpinned by strong moral conceptions of human degradation of the natural world. Although most people accept the need to tackle climate change, most do not see the issue as personally relevant and are unwilling to change their lifestyle to address the issue – despite numerous government and NGO communication campaigns to engage the public with the issue. Communication of climate change by the mass media and other communicators (e.g., policy-makers, NGOs) tend to rely on dramatic and alarmist images and language. Fear appeals in climate change are prevalent in the public domain. Polar bears stranded on ice floes have become iconic of climate change, and those depicting human struggle are evident in the famine and water shortages depicted in the climate campaign literature of charity Christian Aid. Yet, recent research suggests that while these commonplace dramatic, sensational, fearful, and shocking climate change representations can successfully capture people’s attention to the issue of climate change and drive a general sense of the importance of the issue, they are also likely to distance or disengage individuals from the issue, tending to render them feeling helpless and overwhelmed. In this paper, we review communication efforts to engage the public with climate change and present findings from a mixed-methods study to investigate the efficacy of a design-based approach to communicating climate change using more personally motivating climate change icons and images which attempt to overcome the psychological distance individuals experience in relation to climate change.