How to use royalty-free images and illustrations?

There are lots of royalty-free images and illustrations that are pretty useful to both designers and companies. With royalty-free images and illustrations, you’re defending yourself and your company against a wide variety of claims or even lawsuits, and you’re making sure creators get paid for their work. You can buy a unique image to represent just about any mood or concept. Yet, every stock image created by someone else comes with constraints on how it can be used. If you feel that graphic design is complex and time-consuming, you aren’t alone. You can simply buy and use “royalty-free,” “copyright-free,” “commercial use,” stock images for your website and social media postings.

What is a royalty-free image?

Pictures (visual content) can take several forms: photo, graph, and drawing. In any case, the royalty-free photograph/image/icon/illustration is always governed by a license of use. It will always belong to its creator (designer). It can very well be a no-fee or for-fee image. Usually, it is protected by a Creative Commons license, known as cc. It can be used frequently but within a defined context. Thus, a royalty-free graphic is simply an image or video created to be used and governed by various terms of use.

How Can I Use Royalty-Free Images?

You might still question the alternatives to use RF images, videos, and illustrations in practice. Sometimes, to do this, you might need an extended license. You really have to be very careful while reading the license terms of the agency or company you are buying RF images from. They have their individual authorized and restrained uses and their conditions. Here is a small guide for convenient services of Royalty Free images. Check out where you can use these stock photos, stock videos, stock images, and illustrations:

  • On websites
  • In online marketing campaigns
  • web ads
  • On print promotional content
  • As part of creative projects


For the following area of use, you have to obtain an Extended License or Extended license:

  • In covers (CDs, DVDs, books)
  • In your website template
  • In footage or other multimedia productions
  • In print banners
  •  in editorial content
  • In-house designs 
  • In t-shirts, print designs
  • other products that you will then resell

Public sector visual display is defined as a photo, clip art, or vector whose copyright is expired or did not exist in the first place. Almost anyone can use these images for personal and commercial purposes. There are three ways that public domain images occur:

  1. The product is assigned to the public sector through a CC0 license, i.e., Creative Commons Zero license or similar publish
  2. The copyright of your stock image has expired
  3. The image is not copyrightable


Libraries, Art galleries, Museums, and photographers tired of traditional old-school stock images and illustrations have released thousands of public sector images online, making them more readily available to the public. Try and find out such stock images and stock illustrations to the wise use of the visual content. As I have already mentioned, do not forget to read the license and conditions before you tick on the ‘I agree’ checkbox. Enjoy these free stocks wisely and safely.

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