For any working and aspiring designers, purchasing stock images and assets are costly, especially when working on your own projects. Ideally we have someone else’s money to play with but we all know that’s not always the case. We have gathered 3 great resources for free images which come in handy when in need of textures and backgrounds. The licenses on the images vary so it’s good to always double (or triple) check. If you are really uncertain we’d suggest Pexel, which widely advertises its content as being free for personal and commercial use.
Creative Commons [https://search.creativecommons.org/]
Creative Commons is a “search service” as they call themselves, not a search engine. Fine line. You will find that you can filter certain sources out if you know what type of image you’re looking for. Although, I would be careful in doing that because you never know what kind of images any source might have. The option is there for you though, and it is advised to click through the links and find out the specific license associated with the image just in case. They have a disclaimer at the bottom of their home page that spells everything out, if you’re wondering where to find more information on that. It should also be noted that you can search for audio and video assets using Creative Commons.
Freeimages.com has almost 400,000 free images but you may need permission from the artist to use. Check the licensing before making any moves, just in case. In a way this site relies more on the honour system, so use your own good judgement. To contact the artist, there’s a mail icon you can click next to their nickname, or you can find a “Contact User” link at the top of their profile page. Their FAQ page is very well written out as well, so if you have any concerns about how the site works you can check that out.
Pexels is probably my personal favorite so far. I love the quality of the images. For a free resource, quality like this is something you won’t come by a lot as a designer. It’s a really great site for any images you might need for your own personal projects or even commercial projects. They allow you to use their images for anything. You don’t even need to attribute the link to the image, and you can modify the images in any way you would like.
There you have it. There are free things on the internet for us designers! Just a note, if you have commercial projects with an official client, purchasing stock images is perfectly okay. It does not need to be the designer’s responsibility to pay for those images because you won’t be using it for your own personal marketing. Also purchasing for clients will definitely add up. Our experience is that you might spend up to $100 on stock images per project for even the cheapest images. Of course, the other option is to just use free images like the options we provide above. New resources come up all the time too so keep googling for those of you who are hoping for more variety. Happy image searching and coding!