Although the internet is flooded with visual content that is created, distributed, used and reused often for commercial and non-commercial purposes, very few people actually know whether the image that they just downloaded or edited was actually available for free or not! While the non-commercial users or individuals don’t have much to use if the owner claims their images and ask them to either compensate or remove the image, but for Online Printers who wish to redistribute the designs as prints on various products and promote their web2print businesses, they need to know the source of the image as the owners can not only claim their images, but can also ask them to pay them from the profit that they made from selling the products! And if the matter is not settled internally, there can also be legal consequences that can degrade the Brand Image that the Online Printers have created with hard work and perseverance.
So, before we reveal the websites from which Online Printers can integrate the images into their web to print software, it is essential that they understand the different types of licenses or terms that are used by different platforms for “free” usage of images.
Terms and Concepts Online Printers must know before they download any “free” image:
Creative Commons: (Licences in adherence with Copyright laws)
In creative common licences while the owner of the image or photograph holds the copyrights of the image, but they can allow others to edit, copy, remix and distribute with different terms and conditions! While most creative common licenses allows users to use image for “free” but there are many different conditions that can be applied such as “For non-commercial use only”, “free usage with credits”, “free usage but cannot be redistributed”, “free usage but cannot be used for competitive purposes” and other such conditions.
So while there are websites that allows Free use of image, Online Printers must be aware about the different terms and conditions that must be followed as those conditions can vary from image to image or category to category!
Images on Public Domain:
As you might know that copyrights can only be held for a certain period of time and after that, the copyright protection is waved off. While many owners reclaim their copyrights, but for those images whose copyrights have expired or are fortified, those images are then listed on public domains and they then can be used for any and all kinds of purposes without any restrictions. Online Printers who wish to crate common designs for periodic and long term offerings through web2print can use such domains for free images.
Royalty Free Images:
One of the biggest myths about “Royalty Free” term is that the images are basically free for use but that is not the case! For most of the times, Royalty Free means that the image can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes by paying for it once. Once you pay for the image you can reuse it for any number of times without giving any royalty or credit to the copyright holder. For those Online Printers who wish to create limited edition designs for premium offerings, royalty free images can be the best way forward for them.
Now that you know what to look for in the Free Image Websites, we have come up with a list of websites that provides free images for commercial use with and without attributions required in it. Most of these websites also provide free vector or Illustrator downloads so that you could edit the image as you please! Before further ado, take a quick glance at the given websites:
Top 10 Websites that can be used by Online Printers to integrated free images on their Web2Print software:
Kaboompics does not have a huge collection of pictures as others but if you are looking to integrate pictures of certain colour in your Web2Print solution with, Kaboompic would a paradise for you as it lets you search pictures in colours and you can also choose a colour of a photo from the wide range of colour palette. Since Kaboompics has its own license, you can use the pictures commercially for your print products, but you cannot just redistribute it on any platform.
If you are looking for a platform that allows you to search for high quality free images with from wide number of categories, right from current trends to Covid-19 to corporate or casual photos, Unsplash is the right platform for you to integrate with your Web2Print software! You can use the images and photographs the way you like for your Online Printing business without any worry as they have their own license and all the photos uploaded on the platform by users are available for all to use!
Just like Freepik, Pixabay also has millions of photographs, videos and illustrations on their website that online printers can use but the good thing about Pixabay is that it has a Creative Commons Zero license which means that all their images are free to use and you need not give any credits to the artist! All you need to do is integrate the images with your Web2Print software and get down to the business!
Just like Kaboompics, Pixels also allows it users to search photos by colour along with other different generic search options. Apart from that, what would benefit Online Printers the most is that Pexels has high quality images and they are highly scalable. This feature might not mean like much to others, but for Printers who wish to create use the image for various print sizes and dimensions, high quality images are inevitable.
5). 123 Free Vectors
From the entire websites listed in this list, 123 free vectors have the most sorted database! If you are looking for good backgrounds and colour based vectors, 123 free vectors might have the biggest free database. Apart from that, the platform also has some good images listed in various different categories and some good t-shirt designs for web2print software as well in their premium section!
For those online printers that wish to integrate high quality images that are based on nature, animals and humans into their web2print software, Gratisography has amazing images. But the website has very limited collection in terms of numbers and it is only useful for those who have a peculiar taste in such photographs.
8). Pic Jumbo
Online printers who deal in different kinds of prints such as image prints on mobile covers, pillows and other such objects, Pic Jumbo has an amazing collection of beautiful pictures that are available for free commercial use. It is one such website where you can make unlimited downloads without any need of registration. And the best part is, they also have a collection of vertical images for those mobile cover designs.
The reason why this website has made it to the list despite its limited collection is their categorization of images! No matter what human emotion, connection or expression you wish to search for, they will have high quality pictures that are available for free commercial use! Apart from that, they also cover beautiful pictures of animals, nature and other abstract designs and background that can be edited and offered by Online Printers easily to their customers.
Shopify has come up with this platform where they have put pictures that are available for free commercial use. For those online platforms who wish to print related to the current Coronavirus situation of people working from home and other feel-good photos, Burst has some good collection of photos that you can look into!
While there are numerous other platforms that provide free images, these websites are listed specially for Online Printers who wish to integrate the images from the website into their Web2print software. The websites will not only provide cost effective design alternatives, they will also help you gain fresh designs that might prompt your customers to make few purchases and push your sales forward during these unprecedented times!
Abhishek Agarwal, CMO of Design’N’Buy comes with a huge experience in Web to print solutions & IT. With a mission to deliver the best and innovate new ideas in w2p he and his team always deliver challenging and exciting results. Delivering the best and with utmost perfection has always been his life’s motto.