Free image banks every designer should know about
Delivering a good design-based visual experience often requires a consistent supply of images and stock photos. But it can be difficult to procure high-quality images that meet your requirement.
Not just that, getting these can be expensive. Well-known stock photo sites charge upwards of Rs 35 for an image, that too if you sign up for a yearly subscription plan.
Thankfully, some image banks are easier on designers’ pockets and provide access to free, high-quality images. Here are five sites that provide a wide range of great pictures:
The biggest image bank with over 1.5 million free illustrations, photos, and videos, Pixabay is an ideal site to find images for your next project. The site also offers videos in HD.
The website is intuitive and simple to navigate. You can filter your choices in the main search bar based on parameters such as colour, orientation, size, etc. A special section called ‘Editor’s Choice’ features images and videos handpicked by their team.
Hotlinking of images is not allowed; you have to download the images before you can use them.
Pexels has hundreds of thousands of photos on the site, and new photos are added daily. Each is handpicked from the millions of photos uploaded by users. Images are also sourced from other free image sites.
All the photos are appropriately tagged and easily searchable. A ‘browse’ section in the menu allows users to find photos through the ‘discover’ page, or select from the most popular photos or recent searches.
The site also features a photographer leaderboard that has a list of users whose photos have garnered the most views.
Gratisography is run by Ryan McGuire of Bells Design, and he captures and uploads new photos on a weekly basis. The site does not feature conventional images like other image websites but features some fun and quirky pics.
Gratisography does not have a large collection, but the photos are different and creative.
With a collection of more than 5,50,000 images to choose from, Unsplash has a blog-like feel and is simple and easy to use.
The site, which has over 90,000 creators and photographers contributing to it, has a distinct page where images are defined by category. One highlight is the landscape section, which has some breathtaking photos.
Plus point: Desi designers will be delighted to know that Unsplash boasts of insightful Indian and South Asian pictures.
Kaboompics is the brainchild of Karolina, a web designer from Poland. All the photos on the site are personally clicked by her. There’s a wide range of subjects and scenarios, such as fashion, landscapes, and food. However, the main focus is lifestyle and interior design.
Most of these websites provide free high-quality images under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence. This means you can copy and edit the images from these sites as long as you credit the original creator. The images can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. But be sure to check the image licence!
So, the next time you’re looking for some amazing pictures to bring your project to life, don’t forget to visit these sites.