Images play a crucial role in successful marketing materials. Whether you are creating a sign, poster, flyer, or brochure, you need to find quality images that look professional and best represent your business. But where do you start? In this article we shed a little light on the subject.
Where to Find Quality Images
Many websites offer stock images. Some are free, while others require you to pay. Generally, most of these offer images that are considered “creative commons,” a license that enables free distribution. Here are just some locations worth a visit in your search to find high quality images, but there are plenty more out there.
Wikimedia Commons is an image repository created and run by volunteers. The images are considered public domain and have usage rights designated on each one. Anyone can use these files for free as long as they obey the usage rights, which often entails simply giving the source credit. You can search by topic, tag, license type, or more.
Flickr.com offers a variety of images and is one of the larger sources. It’s contributors come from across the globe and provide more than 200 million images. Many of the images have creative commons licenses, but this site also offers ones that don’t fall under public domain, so search with care.
The New York Public Library has an extensive collection of digital prints, photos, maps, and more. Many of the items fall under public domain, allowing you to print without copyright issues. You can search by category or keyword. Or use the visualizing tool to help spot a specific image.
Unsplash.com also offers a vast catalog of high quality images that are free from copyright restrictions.
GettyImages.com. This popular site has over 24 million images in their database. You’ll have to pay to use them, but the quality and selection make the site well worth a visit.
How to Use Quality Images
Once you locate digital photos or images that are right for your marketing piece, there’s still work to do. These pictures must have the correct print resolution to ensure that the finished piece is sharp and professional looking.
Digital images are made up of pixels, and these tiny units determine the quality of the picture. The more pixels per inch, the clearer the image. Screen resolution is usually 72 pixels per inch, while standard print resolution requires 300 pixels per inch to yield the best results. That’s why an image that looks great online may be blurry or pixelated once printed on a brochure or flyer. It’s also better to select an image that has a higher resolution than what is required because you can always make it smaller. If you make it bigger, quality decreases.
Images found online may be legally protected by copyright laws. Even just downloading one may be illegal. The owner of the item may have exclusive usage rights, so it’s against the law to use it without permission. Some images require that the source be listed, so be sure to give credit where credit is due. And remember, an image can be copyrighted even if you don’t see the copyright symbol.
Call Disc Hounds at 610-696-8668 with any questions on how to find quality images or on the printing process in general. We offer a variety of printing services that can help you and your business make a positive impression.