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Art 266 and 268: Graphic Design and Typography: Image Banks

Learn about copyright, fair use, and image banks


About Image Banks

Just because something is royalty-free does not make it free. Most image banks charge! Many are private pages. There are some creative commons sites as well.

Creative Commons

Here are links to some creative common sites:

Free Photo Bank - you must cite this site

Search Creative Commons

Flickr - after you submit a search subject, check the "creative commons, commercial use" check box

Free Images to Use with Adobe Illustrator

Note: Use Google images and similar sites carefully


Public Domain

Images in the public domain are not subject to copyright. They are images that have either expired their copyright time frame, or that have been donated for public use. Here are some links to public domain images:

USFWS National Digital Library - The digital library for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services; most images are in the public domain

The British Library - Digitized images from the 17th, 18, and 19th centuries

Smithsonian Institution - Digitized images from some of the Smithsonian Institutions's collections

*Click here to view Cornell's chart on Copyright Term and Public Domain.