Image and Design Resources

As you lay out and design your Mix CD artwork and liner notes, you may find it helpful to draw upon work in the public domain. Images and text in the public domain are no longer protected by copyright, so they can be modified or used as-is for your Mix CD.

An Important Note about Resolution

Many of the images you will find online are "low resolution" images, meaning that they look good on your computer screen (which can display roughly 72 or 96 dots per inch, depending on the brand), but pixelated and fuzzy when you print them out. As a general rule of thumb, if you plan to print an image, it should be at least 300 dots per inch. Hence, if you find an image that is 300 pixels wide, it may look like it's four inches wide on your screen, but when you adjust the resolution in Photoshop, it will be only one inch wide. As you search for images, follow this maxim: the bigger, the better. If you can find images that are at least 1000 pixels wide and 1000 pixels tall, you'll be in fine shape. [Note to design geeks in the class: Yes, I realize that I'm drastically oversimplifying screen vs. print resolutions, but we can't cover everything at once. We'll talk more about the details of print vs. screen technology later in the semester.]

The List of Websites

The following list of websites is far from exhaustive, but it's a good starting point. If you find other resources in your searching that would be helpful to the rest of the class, please email the links to me and I will add them to this page.

Wikipedia: Public Domain Image Resources — This page links to dozens of other sites containing artwork in the public domain. You can find links to general sites, as well as links to very specific niche sites.

— A great collection of free stock photography. This is the place I usually start when I'm looking for photos for class projects. You may need to create an account to download content, but it doesn't cost. Another site that's quite similar to Stock.XCHNG is Morgue File.

Uncle Sam's Photos — All photos produced by federal government agencies are automatically in the public domain (your tax dollars hard at work!). This site contains links to the actual government-sponsored image galleries.

New York Public Library's Digital Gallery — The NYPL has put together a massive collection of historical photos, many of them in resolutions high enough to use in print productions. The search tool on this site is particularly good.
Last modified: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 3:55 PM