Using images that won’t get you into trouble.

We all know public domain images or CC0 images are a substantial source of images for the designer. They are free to use as we please, which means we can add images to our designs without incurring costs and without falling foul of the terms of service of the big and small images suppliers.

Whilst many image websites say the images they supply are in the public domain, it is on us to make sure they are. The best way to do this is to check any images we use by reverse image searching–see my post on how to do that HERE .

Where are good places to look for public domain images?

There are many websites which have public domain images to download. Here are a few of my favourite sites which I hope you will find helpful.

  • Rawpixel There is a free account, a casual account (no commercial use) and a business account. I use the free account. They have three types of image–Free, Premium and Public Domain and you can download 10 free images a day for both for personal and commercial use. That’s 70 a week or 3650 images a year–more that enough to play with!
  • The US Government–on Jul 18, 2019, announced that MOST U.S. government creative works such as writing or images are copyright-free. But not everything is, so make sure it does not fall under one of the exceptions. Please note, this applies to the Federal government images and not that individual States images.
  • Unsplash, this is a website full of thousands of copyright free images. The images are free to use both commercially and personally.
  • Public Domain Vectors has over 65,000 vector images for you to use. If you used 10 a day, that’s 6,500 days or over 17 years worth!
  • My last suggestion is to look at Museums and Art Galleries. Over the last few years, many of them have put images of their exhibits and art into the public domain. I have used some Van Gogh paintings as the basis for some of my digital covers.

Please have a look at theses sites and have a play with the images. Remember, you can also alter them to make them unique. But also remember to do a reverse image search.