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Royalty Free Images

Royalty Free Images

Royalty Free Images

Royalty free images have taken the design community by storm! Royalty free content has redefined the traditional stock photography model and made it even easier and more efficient for designers and non-designers alike to add photos and illustrations to their communications pieces. The drawback to royalty free images, however, is that unlike rights managed imagery whose usage can be tracked; royalty free images have an unknown history.

Grandma’s Christmas Card Uses the Same Image as Your Logo
What’s that? The biggest challenge in using royalty free images is that users have no control over how many others and who uses the same image. If exclusivity and branding is important to your project or client either now or in the future, then consider rights managed imagery. If not, royalty free images are definitely the way to go.

Even if you do require rights managed images, royalty free images are perfect for creating mock-ups and brainstorming in the early stages of a design project. Royalty free images allow you to play with ideas before committing to the more costly campaign because once you’ve purchased a CD of royalty free images, or better yet subscribed to a royalty free image service, you can use the images in as many different ways as you like.

If branding isn’t critical, like for in-house newsletters, editorial, pro bono work or boutique projects, then you should seriously consider royalty free images. They are worth their weight in gold and your budget will love them. They allow you to get creative and explore without a huge price point attached.

Royalty-Free Image Sources
There are many choices on the Internet today for online stock photography companies. Each has a little niche in the market. You can purchase individual downloads, CD-ROMs and DVDs, or you can subscribe to a stock image service. Prices vary between $100 and $500. Subscription services seem to offer the best value per image. Typically, these services are per month, quarter, and six months, or annually. The longer the length of the service, the better the value.

Customer service is a big factor when choosing a subscription-based royalty free image provider. You’ll want a company that doesn’t only cater to the needs of the big famous corporations but also responds when the little boutique shops call. Visit a royalty-free image provider online and also call them to see how they respond to you. Choose the company that best fits your budgets and your royalty free image needs. Be sure to check out PhotoSpin before making your final decision, their own customers seem to love their service!