Right now we are all navigating some interesting times that are possibly requiring your businesses to operate a little different (or maybe a lot different).
This may include needing to help with your marketing or pulling in someone at your organisation who hasn’t worked with it as much. If this is something you have had somebody else doing for a period of time, there may be a few things to be aware of that can and cannot be done.
Common questions surround images and graphics, and what is and isn’t okay to use. There may be rules and laws in place that you didn’t know about.
Unfortunately, image searches in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, even Pinterest, are not free libraries for you to use. Many images that are pulled into these searches are pulled from stock photography sites, professional photographer’s portfolios, other company’s websites or photography, etc. These are simply for inspiration or research purposes.
Unless you’re purchasing images from a stock photography site like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock or taking your own, you may be stealing someone else’s work if you use something you found online. The best way to make sure that you aren’t infringing upon somebody else’s work is to invest into a stock photography account (if you plan to use it quite a bit) or start taking your own photos.
There are a few resources out there that provide royalty-free images:
Fun fonts with character are great to use for your social media graphics, signs for your windows, flyers, etc. to grab attention. However, one thing you may not know is that fonts can carry similar issues as images when it comes to copyrights. If you’re using a font foundry like dafont.com you need to pay close attention if it’s okay to use for commercial purposes or not.
My recommendation on a site to visit for free to use fonts, for both commercial and non-commercial use is Google Fonts. They have a great library of options that you can download and install on your computer.
Two very important things to be aware of for both images and fonts:
Some images and fonts may only be used for non-commercial use. This means that if you are a for-profit business, you do not have permission to use it.
Many free resources require or request proper attribution to images used. If that is the case, you can place this information in an image caption or at the bottom of the page/post. Just check to see if they have specific content you need to use.
Right now many companies are in similar situations with opening dates, rules and regulations, and want to use ‘Stay Alert’ to show their support and understanding. However, if somebody else has created it, it is not okay for you to pull from their social media feed or website to use on your own, even if you are in the same or similar industry. If it is something you’d really like to use that you do not feel you could create yourself, your best option is to ask.