Vintage Illustrations
February 10, 2009 12:16 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to find vintage/retro images from old childrens' books and other sources for my wedding invitations and save the date cards. Specifically I am interested in bunnies, deer or anything wilderness related and children with butterfly nets.

I have googled endlessly to no avail. I keep getting these horrid clip art images ..i have seen flickr sets but nothing that suits my needs ..i will try to attach an example....please help!,%20tag.jpg
posted by madmamasmith to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
You could try Briar Press's cuts and caps.

Also, you could try your local library within their very old books. Anything pre-1923 (I think) is out of copyright and you can use it as you see fit.

Barring that, Dover Press has hundreds of clipart books that have liberal usage policies, a wide variety of subjects, and sell at a low price.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:33 AM on February 10, 2009

Barring that, I'm sure you could comission someone - a local art college student, or via MeFi Jobs, or at any of the giant art collection sites (deviantART) - to do exactly the graphic work you want for fairly cheap.
posted by Phire at 4:02 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]
posted by susanvance at 4:13 AM on February 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Try going through Art Renewal. Some of the scanned paintings are new, so you can't use those, but the majority of the library includes stuff that was made well before 1920, so it will be in the public domain. You'll probably find a lot of Victorian paintings of what you're wanting.
posted by metalheart at 4:36 AM on February 10, 2009

The Internet Archive Children's Library will have lots of this sort of thing in there somewhere, I'm sure.

The Infant's cabinet of birds & beasts is currently coming up on the front page as a Book of Interest, might that be a start? Time prevents me from looking much further, I'm afraid!
posted by Lebannen at 4:59 AM on February 10, 2009

Have you looked through Storybookland?
That might lead you in the right direction.
posted by Mizu at 5:30 AM on February 10, 2009

Do you specifically wish to design the invitations yourself? Mandy from Belle and Boo paints absolutely gorgeous woodland scenes with children. She's made some into charming wedding invitations for her family/friends. (Boo is a bun.) I wonder if some of her notecards would work for your purpose.

Etsy is a great place to find an artist to put together something in the "vintage style" you're looking for. Searching for wedding invitation brings up thousands of hits.
posted by Gable Oak at 5:47 AM on February 10, 2009

You can hit the used book stores or Ebay to find good material to scan. Otherwise I like Agence Eureka.
posted by JJ86 at 5:56 AM on February 10, 2009

My husband's friend scans images from public domain books on his Flickr stream. When I saw your question I thought of this set, How Animals Talk, so check that out.
posted by shirobara at 6:26 AM on February 10, 2009

here you go.
posted by apostrophe at 6:27 AM on February 10, 2009

I would look up Beatrix Potter images, or try to think of some other particular story you remember, rather than the vague idea of what images you might want.
posted by purpletangerine at 7:16 AM on February 10, 2009

I found this site when I was doing my own wedding invitations: ClipartETC

It may look kind of cheesy at first, but I believe that the images are scanned from old books. Retro goodness abounds.

Be sure to do both keyword searches and go through the categories. Just searching for rabbit gave me a bunch of book illustrations from things like Alice in Wonderland. Going through the animal category to rabbits, gave me some lovely, simple ink drawings.
posted by bristolcat at 8:46 AM on February 10, 2009

Sarah + Abraham and Fubabee are other Etsy stores that you might like, if you decide to go that route instead of making them yourself.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:43 AM on February 10, 2009

Children's books online.
posted by Catch at 12:01 PM on February 10, 2009

havana street
This book has some sweet silhouette images of animals and children.
posted by logic vs love at 12:23 PM on February 10, 2009

Coming late to the party, but you might try some of these Victorian valentines at the Lilly Library.
posted by gudrun at 4:20 PM on February 11, 2009

Not sure if this is of interest, but definitely retro: the cover art to The Aberree (full disclosure: self-link) has some bunnies and other animals and other fun stuff, and it's public domain. That link is to Volume 7 - scroll down to issue 4 for the full-color bunny. Not all the covers are in color, but more than half are. Go to the home page for links to each volume, showing all the covers.
posted by kristi at 11:21 AM on February 14, 2009

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