Sourcing copyright free images

The use of good quality imagery is absolutely crucial in any print project. Whilst the words are what carry the meaning of your message, images are what engage readers and convince them to read in more detail. So if you have some images that you have photographed yourself or have drawn yourself then that is fantastic and a superb place to start. If not an alternative step could be to commission a professional photographer to capture images that you need. This is the best option but does come with a price tag and we understand that not all projects have a large budget.

So where does that leave you? Just grabbing any image you find on the internet is potentially opening up to copyright infringement.

How do I find copyright free imagery without a cost?

A good place to start is a google image search as the settings can be tweaked to only show images which are available to use without copyright issues.

If you search for your item in the image search it will bring up images that are relevant, however, these will be all images and many of which will be covered by copyright law.

If you click on the tools tab as shown here it opens up a series of further options. One of these will be pre-set as ‘not filtered by license’. If you change that to labeled for reuse as demonstrated in the screenshot you will then filter out any images which are copyrighted. Any images that are left will be OK for you to use in your project.

I would just advise to also change the size to large as this will ensure that any images that you are looking at are high enough resolution to reproduce well in print.


google creative commons copyright images















What other sites are available for free images?

A very good site to try is This is a fantastic site which has some very good stock photos, illustrations and even videos which are all available free of charge and without copyright issues.

I still can’t find a relevant image to use…

If you have explored the free sources then it may be time to pay for an image. There are some superb stock image website which allow you purchase an image to use and there are not necessarily huge costs involved. A typical high resolution image should cost between £10 and £20 so it may be worthwhile to take your project to the next level.

Sites that we would recommend are:

Have a look at these website and I am sure that between all of the suggestions above you will find something that can help bring your words to life and grab your reader.

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