Q: Should I use stock photos to save on design costs?
There are hundreds of sites where you can get stock photos. Here are just two of the better known:
If a designer uses stock photos, the cost in most cases is charged to you, unless he or she already owns, or has the license to, the image. Accordingly, stock photos aren’t necessarily a way to cut corners. (Some designers use stock photos as the base from which they create Photoshop designs.
Some stock photos are truly creative, unique and vibrant. Others, well, look like stock photos: a bit stiff and contrived. And some are overused.
For example, when I redesigned the cover of my book Fearless Creativity (2016 release), several designers used stock images I recognized from other book covers and websites. Not wanting my book to look cliché, I ultimately chose a designer who worked from scratch.
Given the high resolution of today’s smartphones and tablets, you may be able to use your own photographs. Another option: Use photographs or images available through Creative Commons (CC).
CC allows individuals, organizations, government agencies, etc., to make their photos (and other materials, including illustrations, videos, etc.) available to everyone, although sometimes with restrictions. For example, some materials must have attribution and/or a link to the creator’s website; others can’t be altered or used for commercial purposes; etc. The Library of Congress, Flickr,Wikimedia Commons and many others offer CC photos.
Have a question? Drop me a line.