Free Stuff

What do Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain mean? Is it all free? Do I need to add a credit? Help!

As you might know, you can’t just find an image, photo, song, etc. on Google and use it like it’s your own.

Pretty much anything that has been “created” has copyright protection and using it without permission, payment and/or a credit can land you in trouble unless the creator has expressly said “Do whatever you want without a credit!“.

Below are some of the main licence's that are available.

  • Royalty Free – This is usually where you pay a one-time fee to the owner and they grant you a license to use their copyrighted item in certain situations. You usually can’t resell it or use it as a logo, branding, etc. Most stock photo sites use some version of this, for example. Learn more.
  • Creative Commons – These are a series of licenses where an otherwise copyrighted work is made freely available to distribute under certain conditions. There are several types of CC license such as Non-Commercial and Zero which all have different ways they can and can’t be used. Learn More.
  • Public Domain – This generally refers to a resource that falls outside of copyright and intellectual property laws and doesn’t belong to any one artist but actually belongs to the public at large. Learn more.

When going through the websites mentioned in this post it’s very important to do your own research and pay attention to the type of license it is under and what restrictions that places you under.

You might need to give a credit, pay a fee, or you might have to do none of that. But make sure you check! Sometimes the rules vary from country to country and I am not a lawyer so you’ll have to read the T&C's CAREFULLY

A huge list of Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain websites

Photos and Images

Photo's, images and graphics and all free, wow I love that word.
Here is a free online image resizer
Pexels ~/~ Old Book Illustrations ~/~ Gratisography ~/~ Wikimedia Commons ~/~ Unsplash ~/~ LibreShot ~/~ Dreamstime ~/~ NASA ~/~ Morguefile ~/~ Freerange ~/~ Flickr Commons ~/~ FreeStocks.org ~/~ Public Domain Pictures ~/~ Pixabay ~/~ Magdeleine ~/~ ISO Republic ~/~ Public Domain Vectors ~/~ FancyCrave ~/~ 1 Million Free Pictures ~/~ Camarama ~/~ CreativeCommons.Photos ~/~ Crow the Stone ~/~ Epicantus ~/~ FindA.Photo ~/~ Free Stock Photos ~/~ Jay Mantri ~/~ Realistic Shots ~/~ Reusable Art ~/~ Skitterphoto ~/~ Medical Heritage Library ~/~ Europeana Collection ~/~ Free Media Goo ~/~ Free Nature Stock ~/~ Free Stock Image Point ~/~ FreeImages.Pictures ~/~ FreePhotosBank ~/~ StockSnap.io ~/~ Startup Stock Photos ~/~ The British Library ~/~ The Public Domain Review ~/~ Viintage ~/~ Public Domain Archive ~/~ Pic4Learning ~/~ Photogen ~/~ ABS Free Pic ~/~ Image*After ~/~ Publicdomainfiles ~/~ ShotStash ~/~ JESHOOTS ~/~ DesignerPics.com ~/~ Everystockphoto.com ~/~ Negative Space ~/~ Death to the Stock Photo ~/~ SpaceX ~/~ Stockvault ~/~ Foodies Feed ~/~ Foodie Factor ~/~ FreeImages ~/~ Fancy Crave ~/~ FreeImages.red ~/~ From Old Books ~/~ FreePhotos.se ~/~ Pic Pac ~/~ PDPics ~/~ Picdrome ~/~ Burst ~/~ UPICM ~/~ Yale University Art Gallery ~/~ Unrestricted Stock ~/~ The U.S Department of State ~/~ Trunklog.com ~/~ BARA Art ~/~ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library ~/~ The Defense Visual Information Center ~/~ DrStockPhoto ~/~ Makerbook ~/~ Fotoscopy ~/~ FreeUse.io ~/~ Skuawk ~/~ FreeQration ~/~ US Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library ~/~ NOAA Photo Library ~/~ A Digital Dreamer ~/~ Abstract Influence ~/~ USDA Agricultural Research Service ~/~ PolarFox ~/~ Photo Rack ~/~ stokpic ~/~ Focus Fitness ~/~ Large Photos ~/~ Iwaria ~/~ Oliur Rahman ~/~ Stocka ~/~ Shutteroo ~/~ Creative Vix ~/~ Barn Images ~/~ Snapwire Snaps ~/~ Snappy Goat ~/~ Little Visuals ~/~ Visual Hunt ~/~ Phototeria ~/~ Public C Photo ~/~ Photos-public-domain ~/~ 4 Free Photos ~/~ Clker.com ~/~ Image After ~/~ Stock.XCHNG ~/~ Yeah! Stock Photos ~/~ The Stocks ~/~ Freetems ~/~ Google LIFE ~/~ MMT ~/~ Raumrot ~/~ Wonderstock ~/~ RGBStock ~/~ Paul Jarvis ~/~ Stock Up ~/~ Stockpic ~/~ Smithsonian ~/~ StockSnap.io ~/~ NOBL Web ~/~ Snapographic ~/~ TurboPhoto ~/~ PicJumbo ~/~ Pickup Image ~/~ Cupcake ~/~ Bossfight ~/~ Freely Photos ~/~ New Old Stock ~/~ SplitShire ~/~ Picography ~/~ Travel Coffee Book ~/~ Tookapic ~/~ Moveeast ~/~ Moni’s Photo ~/~ Splashbase ~/~ PicMelon ~/~ PLiXS ~/~ Glyphs.co ~/~ My Stock Photos ~/~ Slon ~/~ nappy ~/~ Soul Photos ~/~ Nomad Pictures ~/~ StyledStock ~/~ Lensicle ~/~ PixZoyd ~/~ Avopix //OneLeft Media ~/~ Duion ~/~ Topers Photos ~/~ MarblePics ~/~ DavAlign ~/~ The Famous Artists ~/~ Totally Free Images ~/~ Free Vintage Illustrations ~/~ My Public Domain Pictures ~/~ National Archives ~/~ Images in the Public Domain ~/~ Online Archive of California ~/~ Realgraphy ~/~ FreeImages.red ~/~ Pickle Jar ~/~ Street Will ~/~ Life of Pix

Backgrounds and textures

Textures are great for giving dimension to your website, a depth and casn make your content seem to pop off the page, they are also great for adding to photoshop images and after effects videos too.

Lost and Taken ~/~ The Pattern Library ~/~ Mayang’s Free Texture ~/~ Free Stock Textures ~/~ WebTreats ~/~ Webdesignerlab ~/~ TextureZoom ~/~ Textures.com ~/~ Photoshop.cc

Videos and 10 second moving Backgrounds

Creating an impact is the way to go, making your site memorable, what better way by adding a moving background image BUT watch the file size as increasing your load time with a video can be super annoying and detrimental to SEO rankings.

Mazwai ~/~ Pixabay ~/~ Pexels Videos ~/~ Vimeo ~/~ Motion Elements //Videezy ~/~ NASA ~/~ Life of Vids ~/~ Videvo ~/~ Coverr ~/~ Distill ~/~ Dissolve ~/~ IM Free ~/~ Flickr Creative Commons ~/~ Footage Crate ~/~ Free HD Footage ~/~ Free Loops ~/~ XStockVideo ~/~ Stock Footage for Free ~/~ Vimeo Free HD Stock Footage ~/~ Cute Stock Footage ~/~ Alex Free Stock Video ~/~ Archive.org ~/~ Pond5 ~/~ Clip Canvas ~/~ Detonation Films ~/~ Hollywood Camera Work ~/~ Ignite Motion ~/~ Open Images ~/~ orangeHD ~/~ The Tanuri Experiment // The NewsMarket // Wikimedia Commons ~/~ Fancy Footage Club ~/~ Clipcanvas ~/~ Motion Elements ~/~ Motion Background ~/~ IgniteHD

Music and sound effects

When you add music to your site please be careful, alot of people don't like to have music come on right away, so disable it on mobiles is always good?

Jamendo ~/~ AudionautiX ~/~ Josh Woodward ~/~ TeknoAXE ~/~ PacDV ~/~ Music for Makers ~/~ Bensound ~/~ Incompetech ~/~ Free Soundtrack Music ~/~ Musopen ~/~ Twin Musicom ~/~ TimBeek ~/~ Our Music Box ~/~ McFarland BEATS ~/~ FXhome ~/~ Free to Use Sounds // Zapsplat ~/~ Sound Bible ~/~ The Motion Monkey ~/~ Sound Image ~/~ SoundGator ~/~ 99sounds

Icons, logos and vector images

Icons and Logos are great ways of creating Branding for your company but always remember that free logos etc are used by the masses so to get anything bespoke will be very difficult.

Smashing Magazine ~/~ Flat Icon ~/~ MrIcons ~/~ Pixeden ~/~ Vecteezy ~/~ Material Design Icons ~/~ Glyphsearch ~/~ Endless Icons ~/~ IconBug ~/~ Perfect Icons ~/~ Soft Icons ~/~ Free Clipart Now ~/~ Webweaver ~/~ Freerange Stock ~/~ Logodust ~/~ Freepik ~/~ Gravual ~/~ WPClipart ~/~ Behance ~/~ Free Vectors ~/~ Vector4Free ~/~ Web Design Freebies ~/~ Captainicon ~/~ Good Stuff No Nonsense ~/~ DeviantArt ~/~ Dribble ~/~ Best PSD Freebies ~/~ Iconfinder ~/~ GraphicBurger ~/~ Designbeep ~/~ Oxygenna ~/~ Dafont ~/~ Free Goodies for Designers ~/~ FreebiesBug ~/~ Iconmelon ~/~ PixelsMarket ~/~ GraphicsFuel ~/~ Fribly ~/~ Icojam ~/~ Blurgraphic ~/~ Public Domain Vectors ~/~ Icons Shock ~/~ CSS Author ~/~ Creative Tail ~/~ All Free Download ~/~ Ego Icons ~/~ AlienValley ~/~ Aiconica ~/~ Public Domain Clip Art ~/~ Dreamstale ~/~ DuckFiles ~/~ Open Clipart Library ~/~ Clker ~/~ Open Photo ~/~ 1001 Free Downloads ~/~ All Silhouettes ~/~ GraphicsBay ~/~ NounProject ~/~ Iconmonstr ~/~ Fusionplate ~/~ Dryicons ~/~ Glyphicons ~/~ Entypo ~/~ Endless Icons ~/~ Iconic ~/~ Icons8 ~/~ IcoMoon ~/~ Vectorish ~/~ Vector Goods ~/~ Fontello ~/~ IconArchive ~/~ Iconathon ~/~ Entypo ~/~ Pixabay ~/~ Cool Vectors ~/~ Spread ~/~ Free Vector Maps ~/~ Vector Portal ~/~ Vectors for All ~/~ 123freevectors ~/~ Vector EPS ~/~ Squid Ink ~/~ Blugraphic ~/~ Vector.me ~/~ Qvectors ~/~ Lightstock ~/~ For Designer ~/~ Vectorian ~/~ Web Design Hot ~/~ Vecto2000 ~/~ Freevectors.me ~/~ All Vectors ~/~ Vector Junky ~/~ Vector Open Stock ~/~ Logo Open Stock ~/~ Magic People ~/~ Digimadmedia ~/~ Scalablegfx ~/~ 365psd ~/~ Openclipart

Fonts and Typography

Adjusting the font on your website can have a huge impact on how your website is perceived, rule of thumb- use only a maximum of 4 fonts per site, otherwise it can seem very confusing for the reader. Below are some great sites for obtaining free fonts, I will be creating a post later on - how you go about changing your fonts on your site. SUBSCRIBE TO BE INFORMED

Smashing Magazine ~/~ Public Domain Files ~/~ Behance ~/~ Font Squirrel ~/~ 1001 Fonts ~/~ Open Font Library ~/~ Font Library ~/~ Google Fonts ~/~ Wild Type ~/~ The League of Movable Type ~/~ Font Fabric ~/~ My Fonts ~/~ All Free Download ~/~ DaFont ~/~ Artimasa // Ten by Twenty ~/~ Fontcab ~/~ Neogrey

Conclusion

There are probably many more free websites, but rule of thumb here is please protect yourself and read the the licence attached and follow the criteria set out for you to use the relevant media.

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