Free image libraries & vectors

5 minutes to read

Freepik 

Freepik is the leading search engine of free vector designs and is my personal favourite. All of the graphics used on my site have been sourced from Freepik and as long as you are not using them for commercial gain, your good to go. The site offers users, high-quality graphic designs, quite often in vector for both personal and commercial projects. Freepik use a freemium business model which means, the majority of the resources offered at Freepik can be used for free, only having to credit the author of the illustration to the website.

1. Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is one of the largest public domain images resources. Most of images can be used freely, but some of the images have certain restrictions. You can read more information about that here. Please note that Wikimedia Commons does not guarantee the correctness of the licensing for each image, so make sure to triple-check the license tag for each individual image.

2. Unsplash

Unsplash is made up of a collective of photographers who were sick of “traditional” stock imagery, so they decided to offer their own high-resolution images for free. They are now a creative community with millions of engaged users and 250,000+ exclusive photos. All photos on the site can be copied, modified and distributed (including for commercial purposes) under a custom license (that is essentially the same as a CC0 license), without you having to ask permission or provide attribution. Read more about their terms here.

3. Flickr Commons

Worldwide, archives and libraries partner with FlickrCommons and contribute their own public domain images. It’s a great resource for finding free public domain images from all over the world, not just from the United States. FlickrCommons’ images contain no known copyright restrictions, but (as always) it’s not a guarantee—so do your research. Read about their terms here.

4. Public Domain Pictures

Public Domain Pictures includes lots of high-quality free public domain images, although some photos are only available with a premium membership to the site. Be sure to check the license listed on each individual photo, since some require that your credit the author (not great for commercial designs). You’ll also want to be sure that a release was obtained by the author or yourself for images of people or property.

5. Magdeleine

Magdeline is another high-quality resource for free stock photography that doesn’t look like stock. Use the right-hand column to browse categories (nature, people, food, etc) or search by dominant color, which is ideal when you’re looking for cohesiveness in your design! Be sure to filter down to CC0 licensed images, since some photos do require attribution.

6. ISO Republic

ISO Republic is another free stock photo website that totes the tagline, “free and premium stock photos.” The site offers more than 500 free photos, with an ever-growing image library. All images are available for both personal and commercial use, without the need for attribution. You can read their full terms here.

7. Public Domain Vectors

Public Domain Vectors has a massive collection of public domain vectors that are available to download in SVG, AI and EPS formats. All images are licensed under CC0.

8. 1 Million Free Pictures

The author of 1 Million Free Pictures is the original creator of all of the photos on this site and has released them all into the public domain. You can search through galleries curated by subject, style, purpose and more. Please note that no releases have been obtained for the images that contain people, works of art, property or trademarks—so you will need to be wary of using those types of images. Read more about their terms here.

9. Free Stock Photos

Free Stock Photos’ collection of stock photos and clip art contains both public domain images and images with other licenses, so make sure to check the license of each image. You can read more about their licenses and policies here.

10. Jay Mantri

Inspired by Unsplash, professional photographer Jay Mantri created his own site filled with stunning and scenic public domain images from around the world. All are uploaded under the CC0 license and don’t require attribution.

11. Realistic Shots

Realistic Shots is just that… a collection of free stock photography that looks like anything but stock. All images are free to use anyway you please and every week, seven new photos are added. All images are under the CC0 license.

12. Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos finds its niche with a collection of hi-res public domain images focused on hip office spaces, relaxed work environments, creative brainstorms and (of course) plenty of technology. All images are under the CC0 license.

13. The British Library

The British Library drummed up buzz a few years ago when they released 1 million images into the public domain. Scanned from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books, the collection (hosted on Flickr) is spectacular for any designer looking for a vintage flourish. Click over to the albums for curated images of everything from typography and decorative paper to instruments and animals. All images are within the public domain.

14. Public Domain Archive

Headed up by a couple in Athens, GA, the Public Domain Archive is a labor of love that compiles high-quality public domain images from across the web into one giant repository. The collection includes both vintage and contemporary public domain images.

15. JÉSHOOTS

JÉSHOOTS is filled with free stock photography taken by Jan Vašek under the CC0 license. The images are divided up into different topic categories, including tech devices, cities and nature to make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

16. DesignerPics.com

DesignerPics.com was created by Indian designer, Jeshu John, who found himself struggling to find quality free photographs. All images were taken by him, are permitted for commercial use and require no attribution. You can read about his terms here.

17. Pixabay

Pixabay is made up of a community of photographers that have uploaded a huge collection of high quality public domain photos, illustrations, vectors and videos released under CC0. You can browse by photographer, type of camera and “Editor’s Choice”. Even better, you can filter by orientation, category, size and color.

18. Negative Space

Negative Space is another contemporary hi-res photo site that releases all of their images into the public domain. You can filter by category, color and (most interestingly) by copy space—ideal for when you need an image for web design!

19. Fancy Crave

Two new images are added every day to Fancy Crave’s ever-growing collection of free stock photos. Their mission is simple: help photographers be discovers and help the creative community at large with quality photography. All of the photos are high resolution and curated by professional photographer, Igor Ovsyannykov. The images are free of copyright restrictions under CC0.

20. Snapwire Snaps

Snapwire is a platform that connects photographers with companies in need of custom photography, but (lucky for us!) they also offer a free stock photo collection through Snapwire Snaps.  Every week, seven new photos are added to this collection under the CC0 license and are labeled as such.


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