Selling a design is different from selling your design services. If someone hires you to design a wedding card, you use licensed content to complete it, then its much easier. If you're intention is designing say a calendar to sell at bulk on a website then thats a different type of license.

The above comment came from this answer to Using vectors/stock graphics in designs?

What I would like to know is the name of these different licenses so I know the right search words to use to learn more.

  • Different stock art/photography sites use their own licensing terminology. There are no universal terms. Check with the site you are buying the stock images from.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 17 '18 at 9:33

It’s a bit (or maybe a lot) more complicated than just different ‘types’ of licence.

There are certainly various categories of license. Common terms include Public Domain, Creative Commons, Personal Use Only, Commercial Use and Resale. However, the exact license that applies is often specific to a given supplier and a particular use case. They also vary depending on the type of content and where you are in the world or where the final product will be distributed or sold.

For instance; if you purchase an image from an image library such as Getty Images, the type of license (and associated cost) depends on your intended use. This could range from ‘editorial use only’ to personal use (i.e. to create a one off canvas for your home) to using the image on a product for resale, such as a calendar. Editorial only use is often free, providing that the correct accreditation is given, while reselling products that feature the images as the main design can get rather expensive and the cost generally increases depending on how many of each product you are going to produce.

This example is about images, but the same (or very similar) rules apply to video, audio, etc. as well as fonts. Font licensing can get more complicated because you can’t always get the right type of license and the kind of commercial use covered by the license may depend on how the type face is used in the design.

It is very important to read the specific license terms from the supplier that you are using and to make sure that you purchase the correct license, depending on what you intend to do with the content that you are purchasing.

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