Where Can I Find Graphics?
June 21, 2005 10:44 AM   Subscribe

I've tricked my boss into thinking that I'm a better graphic designer than I actually am, now I need some help. I'm good at stealing graphics from images.google.com and photoshopping them to meet our own promotional needs, but now I need to make a poster and I can't find any source graphics with adequate resolution. Does an image library (even clip-art) exist where I can get free graphics that will scale to print quite large (eps?)?
posted by TurkishGolds to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
creative commons photos at flickr. view a photo and click "all sizes". some of them are pretty huge.
posted by subclub at 10:56 AM on June 21, 2005


By "tricked my boss into thinking that I'm a better graphic designer than I actually am", are you saying you misrepresented yourself as a trained designer? Or are you saying you threw together something in Word that the boss liked and now you're the company designer?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:59 AM on June 21, 2005


Not being snarky.

Go out with a digital camera and create your own.

We faced a similar problem just a month or so ago with an article I'd help compile. The text was ready, but we didn't have clearance for the art we had available (actual documentation means more than implied permision), and if we had no art, the article wouldn't go in. So I had to take matters into my own hands and go out and shoot an image that was not only suitable, but of a high enough DPI for print. You'd be surprised what you can come up with on very short notice and how very cool it can turn out.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:06 AM on June 21, 2005


http://www.istockphoto.com/ sells high resolution images for about $3. I swear by it for faking it as a designer.
posted by jmevius at 11:16 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Did you do this?
posted by i_cola at 11:17 AM on June 21, 2005


Clipart is easy to come by, but there's a bunch of good SVG stuff at openclipart.org. And with SVG, of course, the resolution is infinite.
posted by gsteff at 11:18 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Stock.xchng is a clearinghouse of free-as-in-beer and often free-as-in-speech stock photography. Seriously, make sure you've got rights to use that image, or your reputation as a graphic designer might suffer if the person that owns the image you use notices.
posted by mendel at 11:19 AM on June 21, 2005


Go to a place like this and download some dingbats. Install them. Type the alphabet in Illustrator and Type/Create Outlines. You will then have a library of vector clipart.
posted by ryanissuper at 11:22 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Where To Find Great Free Photographs And Visuals For Your Own Online Articles - I found it the other day but I can't vouch for it in any way, you'll have to look around. I seem to recall it was pretty popularly saved at del.icio.us. But no idea about commercial use etc.
posted by peacay at 11:25 AM on June 21, 2005


(By the way, image quality aside, "stealing graphics from images.google.com and photoshopping them to meet our own promotional needs" could run into serious copyright issues. Not something you or your boss wants to deal with.)
posted by rafter at 11:27 AM on June 21, 2005


As a photographer may I suggest that you use some money and PURCHASE some images from a working photographer.

These days everyones a photographer but no one wants to pay for it.
posted by trbrts at 11:33 AM on June 21, 2005


Go to Creative Commons Search, check "Find me works I can use even for commercial purposes." then select "Format: Image".

Seriously, don't pirate images for your company's print stuff. The goal of advertising is to get seen, and eventually it's going to get seen by the person who was supposed to get paid for it.
posted by revgeorge at 11:34 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


I second using istockphoto.com.
posted by Blue Buddha at 11:48 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Which version of Photoshop are you using? I know that in the latest iteration (CS1, anyway) there's a not insignificant amount of free stock photos and vector art included. Of course, that doesn't mean you'll be able to find anything useful--96 pages and no "house" graphic?--but it's free.

Also, dingbats. Dingbats are your friend. I recommend checking dafont.com.
posted by Vervain at 11:54 AM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Also, never underestimate the power of text rendered skillfully. You can make a very eye-catching poster without any graphics at all with a good color scheme and a background made of faded large-scale letters.
posted by odinsdream at 11:59 AM on June 21, 2005


Remember, you can't go wrong with Comic Sans.
posted by keswick at 12:09 PM on June 21, 2005


keswick, don't make me kill you.
posted by odinsdream at 12:13 PM on June 21, 2005


Thorzdad, I threw something together, and now I'm the company designer.
posted by TurkishGolds at 12:25 PM on June 21, 2005


morgue file for stock photography.

Comic Sans? Nah Ariel is where its at.
posted by squeak at 1:10 PM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


As a photographer may I suggest that you use some money and PURCHASE some images from a working photographer.

Well, yes, of course you'd suggest that. But what's in it for the person who posted the question, compared to using free Creative Commons-licensed photos?
posted by mendel at 1:14 PM on June 21, 2005


I'm cringing, I need to take a shower.
posted by helvetica at 1:22 PM on June 21, 2005


Also, you might want to refer to yourself as a Desktop Publisher.
posted by helvetica at 1:24 PM on June 21, 2005


mendel, thanks! I used to use that site ages ago (well, a few years ago) and I couldn't remember the URL.

I second Stock.xchng, it's great.
posted by purephase at 1:27 PM on June 21, 2005


Scan an image.
posted by xammerboy at 1:34 PM on June 21, 2005


I have a stethoscope in my closet, but it doesn't make me a doctor. Just sayin'.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:48 PM on June 21, 2005


Turkish,
Sorry. Hope you didn't take my comment as a snark. Wasn't meant to be. As a practicing designer, I've seen too many potential clients "promote" someone like yourself into the position of company designer (saving the cost of hiring the services of a practicing artist) That said...

You, sir, are between the proverbial rock and hard place. Hopefully, you have some proper software available to you...especially Photoshop. (InDesign and Illustrator would really be good to have, too, especially if you are doing any amount of text work) You've already read some very good, sage advice...especially when they touch on the subject of copyright and photography. Heed them well.

As far as scaling an image up large...you definitely need Photoshop. Many folks make the mistake of placing an image in a layout and simply enlarging it in the layout. Your end result (depending on how large you scale) will be a big blocky, pixelated mess. To do it right, you need a large, hi-resolution image to start. And then scale it in Photoshop, keeping in mind the final print resolution.

As for the final file format...it depends on a) How it will be ultimately output, and b) who is doing the printing. In general, for a regular print job, the final file format should be a CMYK .tif. I don't see much call for raster .eps images anymore (although I recently DID have to supply a Photshop EPS to a printer that specialized in large, full-color polyester banners.)

Oh...and most professional printers will really roll their eyes if you bring them a Word file for anything other than running prints off on a copier. Luckily, printers are also very eager to educate anyone who might become a customer. Never hesitate to ask them anything.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:20 PM on June 21, 2005


You've already read some very good, sage advice...especially when they touch on the subject of copyright and photography.

Especially about how you simply cannot go wrong with Comic Sans.
posted by keswick at 2:37 PM on June 21, 2005


Second the Comic Sans advice.

I'm totally bringing that font back, so look out, motherfuckers!
posted by fishfucker at 3:03 PM on June 21, 2005


fwiw, pixel perfect digital also has a good selection of free (mostly) large-format images you can use w/out royalties (and even for commercial stuff, I think).
posted by mrg at 4:47 PM on June 21, 2005 [1 favorite]


Tsk, tsk... You didn't steal, you appropriated and interpreted.
posted by Marky at 4:48 PM on June 21, 2005


Screw comic sans, Cooper Black is what's hot today. If it's good enough for Price is Right T-Shirts, it's gotta be good enough for your posters!
posted by shepd at 5:03 PM on June 21, 2005


Cooper Black (flash, 2002).
posted by lisa g at 5:22 PM on June 21, 2005


i love for you that. that's a FPP right there.
posted by keswick at 7:13 PM on June 21, 2005


It's not as if there's some definitive graphic design training, like medical school or law sschool. I've seen people with formal training who could only churn out the few same ideas over and over, and people with nothing but a quick read of "Design for Dummies" come up with stuff that made people stop in their tracks.
posted by zadcat at 7:40 PM on June 21, 2005


Well, yes, of course you'd suggest that. But what's in it for the person who posted the question, compared to using free Creative Commons-licensed photos?

I think he'd be gaining high quality professional images that will improve the overall quality and presentation of his design.
posted by trbrts at 9:22 PM on June 21, 2005


Great ideas for images, folks. I don't suppose there is a place or places on the web where one could gain a smidgen of design sense? Not a snark, I have always had a crappy eye.
posted by phewbertie at 11:25 PM on June 21, 2005


You want this book. And then you want this book.
posted by kindall at 11:12 AM on June 22, 2005


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