At Visualise we currently have around 2,232 images stored on our image library, which may sound like an awful lot, but huge corporate agencies will probably contain double, or even, triple that. If you will indulge me expanding on the, ever so slightly overused, cliché “content is king” then, by extension, the images are the crown.
Images help tell your story, lessening your need for text and creating a far more inviting and compelling space for the reader. And, if used correctly, they can be used to represent your Tone of Voice – a visual illustration of your company ethos, reputation and style. That’s really what our team work to do – create and source images that give each of our customers a visual tone of voice that precisely conveys their messaging. Which is why we are constantly buying new images – scurrying around trying to source those images that help brands feel sexier, or more serious or whatever predication takes their fancy. To source these images we currently use: iStockPhoto, ShutterStock, Getty Images and have been more recently turned on to Adobe Stock. However, these images can become a little pricey with for example 5 images at Shutterstock costing £39.00. So, at Visualise, we have scoured the web and come up with the 10 best absolutely free image libraries for those on a budget.
Unsplash boasts some seriously stunning photos – the sort you would see adorning the wall of some quasi-hipster coffee shop in Shoreditch. If you are looking for pictures to take your breath away and make you wonder in the earth’s sheer awesomeness – then Unsplash is the site for you.
With a dash of edge and a touch of caprice this site boats some truly fresh images. A recent find for the team at Visualise, but a firm favourite we love the breadth and depth of images available from vibrant prints to nostalgic photos. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they have partnered with Hope for Children, a fantastic children that helps children around the world fulfil their potential.
This website was founded due to the generosity of the extremely talented Daniel Nanescu who had thousands of photos on his hardrive that were at risk of going “into oblivion with any utility.” With good reason, to date the site has had over 2,000,000 downloads and 6,000,000 page views and boasts a wide range of simply sumptuous photos. Well recommend.
This site does not only offer some seriously stunning photos filtered according to helpful categories, but also icons – which offer a quirky and innovative alternative to bullet points or way of filtering information.
Visit IM Free
Impressively, this site is almost as old as the internet and has been going since 1996. Carrying the same hearth warming ethos as it did over two decades ago, it is a space offering free images that can be used for any purpose, as long as you accredit the original author.
The name pretty much sums it up for this one – free images offers an enormous library of close to 400,000 free images. These are all helpfully filtered according to categories such as “gourmet & drink” or “people & families.
Visit Free images
Created by the pretty awesome Dutch artist Folkert Gorter, this site contains a library of his images which whilst looking like paintings are actually cleverly taken photos. If you are searching for something a little bit different – this could be the site for you.
This helpful site has a unique filter which may well prove helpful for those formatting obsessives. You can specify what position you want to add text to the photo – and it will return with images that fit in your required area.
Visit Negative Space
Even if you aren’t looking for images to populate your site pixabay host some photos so spectacular that we would recommend a visit if you ever find yourself with an hour or two to spare.
MMT was created by Jeffrey Betts, a photographer who just wanted to share the love. His images are focused mainly on landscapes and scenes, but offer a welcome variation on blue skies and sunsets – with some phenomenal use of lighting and texture.
Our final recommendation is the work of Jay Mantri a designer with an impressive collection of photos. Probably not for everyone, his style is a little abstract and eclectic, but if you are the type of person who relishes a visit to the Tate Modern this could well be for you.
Visit Jay Mantri
And, of course, if you would like any professional help in translating your visual message feel free to give us a call on 0208 088 2153 or drop us a line