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Graphic Design & Social Media: Royalty Free Images

Images add an important visual component to our marketing materials and blogs. They grab the attention of the reader, spruce up a post, and help tell a story that words alone cannot. Most professional graphic designers are well aware of image use and copyright laws. But, what about the non-designers? The marketing professionals finding themselves as amateur graphic designers after cutbacks at their company. The bloggers who know that images will attract more readers to their posts? Are we within our rights?

Newsflash: Google Images are not free access!  Yes, they are easy to obtain, but you cannot right click – copy – paste any old image you find and call it your own. All images are owned by their creator. The creator must give permission for someone else to use the image.

When it comes to purchasing stock images and photography, we like:

But, if you need a quick, basic image and don’t have the budget to buy one, you can use Google.  Just follow these instructions so that you can be sure the image is free to use.

Step 1. Google the image you are looking for. For example: “Bicycle.”

Step 2. Select “Images” and click the gear icon in the top right. Now, select “Advanced Searches.”

Step 3. Under Advanced Search, locate the “Usage Rights” dropdown, and select the appropriate “free to use” option. If you need images for commercial use, make sure you chose one of the “even commercially” choices.

Step 4. Now, click the “Advance Search” button.  Here you will have a variety of images to use at your disposal, all with permission from the owner.

NOTE FROM GOOGLE: Before reusing content that you’ve found, you should verify that its license is legitimate and check the exact terms of reuse stated in the license. Most licenses require that you give credit to the image creator when reusing an image. Google has no way of knowing whether the license is legitimate, so we aren’t making any representation that the content is actually or lawfully licensed.


FORMost Graphic Communications



This entry was posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 3:32 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.