I'm always on the hunt for free stock images to use while I design, what are some good resources for images that are under a a royalty free or creative commons licence?

  • 5
    Note that 'Royalty Free' and 'Creative Commons' are very different concepts. The former is licensed work ($) that you are allowed to re-use across projects. The latter is licensed work (typically free) with particular restrictions on how you use it and how you credit the author.
    – DA01
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 22:38

13 Answers 13









And over thousands of free stock images



  • 1
    This contain many interesting things: bluevertigo.com.ar
    – Littlemad
    Commented Jan 9, 2011 at 23:14
  • 8
    Careful about using stock images form deviant art. Most of the photographer doesn't allow to use images out of deviant art. Check license before using and also it will be great if you can have a written permission from the photographer. That will help you stay out of trouble if photographer changes the license later.
    – Sisir
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 7:02
  • 4
    Deviant art is not free, and most of the others you suggest require link & credit for the images (which can be a deal breaker for some). As for the lmgtfy link, yeah right, it means you have to read the terms and condition of each site. Just because Google says "free" doesn't mean it is actually free.
    – Sylverdrag
    Commented Jan 15, 2012 at 13:05
  • How about including pixabay.com? It certainly beats most of the above recommended.
    – user23120
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 15:35


Creative Commons CC0 license & Public Domain:

Sites that exclusively list images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons CC0 (or equivalent) license.

Creative Commons Search:

Creative Commons Search allows you to search various sites (currently Europeana, flickr, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library, Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay) for content you can use for commercial purposes, modify, adapt, or build upon.

search.creativecommons.org offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license.

Free with (possibly) restricted licence:

Sites that list images with Free to use licences but with some restrictions. These could require credit or attribution or include limitations such as "No Use in Trademark or Logo", "No Products for Resale", "No Redistribution" etc. Always check the relevant licence before using any images.



Robust icon search engine, with licensing filters.


While not exactly a stock site...

Flickr & Creative Commons

Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.

  • Attribution License
  • Attribution-NoDerivs License
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
  • Attribution-NonCommercial License
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
  • Attribution-ShareAlike License

Veer hasn't been posted yet.

Veer makes it easier to be creative with a reliable and affordable selection of creative stock photography, stock illustrations, and fonts. Our creative elements help people add style to business, marketing, and personal design projects—from websites and blog posts to business presentations and ad campaigns.



This Creative Commons search will allow you to access images that you're free to adapt for commercial purposes.

Searches across a few different services, at the moment of writing: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, Pixabay, Google Images & more.


Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photo are two favorites of mine. Great resources if you're trying to rid yourself of that typical stock photo look. More here.

Albumarium is another cool site for finding nice looking photos. Be aware that the licensing differs though, not all of them are free to use for commercial projects or without attribution.


Find Icons
Find Icons
is a great search site where you get a lot of hight quality hits when you search. You can download the icons in different formats, including multi-resolution icon if available for the particular icon.

You can also filter on size range, icon color and licence type. Also you can sort by different criteria, and set different background on the previews.


Pixabay.com offers over 200.000 photos, cliparts and vector graphics, all of which published under Creative Commons CC0 as public domain. So the pictures may be used worldwide without giving credits and without asking for permission for any purpose and without limitation. I'm one of the founders of Pixabay.



The photos on this site are pretty good and of various sizes

However, be aware of the license:

All photo images downloaded free of charge from photl.com have a license for the use of photo images which is exclusive, free, nontransferable, lifelong, reusable by the User in his non-commercial projects with unlimited circulation in all countries.

Images at this link can not be used for commercial purposes.


You can buy vectors at best prices in stock images sites like Dreamstime not yet mentioned on answers above.

If you don't find the vector you need, you can ask someone to design them in the forums at the same price of an existing one.

They also have a completely free sectione of high resolution Royalty Free stock images completely for free here.

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