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Where Do You Get Your High Quality Graphics From?

So Where Do YOU Get Your High Quality Graphics From?

Lets face it, if you want to design an attractive looking website or a blog, your icons, images and pretty much anything containing graphics in your site, must be of the highest quality possible. I prefer when images look close to HD (High Definition). By that I mean they have to be very clear, sharp and non pixelated which gives a good impression to your readers.

Twitter high quality graphicsFacebook High Quality GraphicsYouTube High Quality Graphics

Take for example these three images, they are high quality images to the popular social networks: YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter and as you can see they look very attractive, on top of  that their usage license states: (Free For Commercial Use). :)

The problem is that to acquire high quality graphics nowadays, you’d have to pay real currency for it. It’s not expensive, but it’s not an ideal way for people who are just starting out online and haven’t made any income yet to be spending their money on high quality graphics.

What I’m going to show you next is a list of services that I use to get my high quality media from and it’s absolutely free (you just have to be a little careful because some of the items are licensed under “Creative Commons” and to use them you might have to leave a link back to the author, but most of them you can use absolutely free (licensed under: Free For Commercial Use), so just make sure you read the item’s license description.

Some of the services below let you download full images and icons for free and some let you create your very own and also free.

IconFinder.com (High Quality Icons)

  • This is my favorite site, I get all my icons from there, they have a wide range of high quality icons. This site launched back in 2007 and it was the first search engine to focus on nothing else but icons.
  • Today they provide site/blog owners with high quality icons that they can download and use for free.
  • The best part about using this service is that you can specify the size of the icons you wish to download, and if you go high enough, you can find icons as big as normal images that you can use as full high quality images.
  • They also provide most of their icons in “PNG” or “ICO” formats. So you can use Transparent images (PNG) and blend it in with the rest of your website’s theme/look.

SoftIcons.com (High Quality Graphics And Icons)

  • SoftIcons.com allows you to download individual or icon sets for free (mainly for personal use but thousands of icons there are available for commercial use as well, just make sure to read each item’s usage description).
  • As of writing this article, SoftIcons database contains 307,102 icons/images in 1,772 sets. A lot of authors submit their icons and images to SoftIcons for fun or to get more exposure and traffic to their website, since each author gets their own profile page with a “DOFOLLOW” link back to their website.

FavIcon.cc (Free Icons Creator)

  • Favicons (favorite icons) are the small images that you see in the address bar to the left of your website’s address. They will be displayed on browser tabs, and in the bookmark list as well.
  • Getting a Favicon now is easy and simple with Favicon.cc. If you don’t find one that has already been created and published on favicon.cc under the Creative Commons license, you can create one yourself and use it absolutely free.
  • They allow you to create each pixel which gives you total control to the overall look of the image.

CoolText.com (My Ultimate Source For Logos, Banner, Buttons and Fonts)

  • This site offers a free graphics generator, it has a wide range of categories and you can create almost anything you can think of putting into your website, using CoolText.com alone.
  • They have a premade selection of logos, banners, buttons and even cool looking fonts that you can download and install on your system to use on your websites.
  • They make it very easy to customize any of their already made selections with an easy form that contains options that you can change yourself and see the change done on the fly, so you can play around with it till you get it to look the way you like.
  • If you are the creative type, I highly recommend using CoolText.com to create your own selections and styles.

Above are my top 4 sources for getting high quality images, banners, icons, logos…etc.

If you know of any other similar services available and would like to recommend it, please share it with us in the comments below. :)

 

About 

I'm a Computer Science Major at York University (Toronto). I am passionate about programming and creating websites. I love to learn about new things, specially related to SEO and Blogging. Currently working on my Blog to find new ways for generating an income online so I can create a free step by step guide for anyone choosing this path. :)

101 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hello Sayed. I got to agree with you, that if you want your blog to shine, high quality HD images are the way to go. There’s no way around it, really. My favourite image source is FreeDigtialImages.com But generally I have artists produce custom images for me. It’s the best way, as a normal, run-off-the-mill image may be okay, having a custom image made; you know it speaks to your blogs individuality and your own personality. I do agree with you though, that when you’re starting out, having a resource list like you provided here is very helpful indeed!

    • Hey Brian,

      You’re totally right, having custom made images just for your blog/website is the best way to go, not only that it will give you the best look for your blog, you will also avoid all the trouble that can emerge from copyrights. I’m going to take a look at FreeDigtialImages.com

      Thanks for sharing Brian. :)

      • I wish I had the skill to create my own bespoke graphics and believe me I’ve tried. by must admit I have had some minor success with some of my own graphic creations.but like Brian said the resources within this article are most helpful.

  2. Anna

    Those are pretty cool resources, thanks a lot for introducing them to us! I am a newbie and in need of some pretty nice and good quality images. I have some ideas already, but my graphical knowledges are quite bad. :)

    • Hey Anna,

      I’m still a newbie too :) and right now I don’t want to pay for high quality images. I know that I will be doing that in the future for sure, once my blog starts to get higher traffic but for now I will stick with Free high quality images for my posts. :)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Have a wonderful day. :)

  3. Sweet! Fantastic list of resources especially for those on a shoestring budget. I am going to spend today creating my favicon! Now I just need a place for free photos and images.

    • Thanks Danny,

      FavIcon.cc is a great way to start building your very own FavIcon. They give you complete control over you image by allowing you to edit every pixel.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. I like to go to openclipart.org – It has a lot of graphics and images that are free to download and use. Of course, I download multiple images and use programs like GIMP or INKSCAPE to create my own graphics.

    • Hey Raj,

      I tried visiting OpenClipArt but the site seems to be temporary down, I checked their rank and it said page rank 7 with 13k Alexa which indicates that its a high traffic site. I’m going to try it again in a bit.

      Thanks for sharing man.

  5. i checked the cool text . Its Really Very Nice Website To Generate A Graphical Button For Any Needs.Really Nice Website.i Think Other Sites Also Work Like Cool Text.Very Nice Share :)

    • Hey Sai,

      I love CoolText too, they’re my favorite. They give you a wide range of options to choose from once you selected your graphic template, and they let you get creative with it by changing any values related to the item.

      Thanks for commenting bud.

    • cool text the website that I wish I knew about years ago because one thing I’ve always struggled with and that is creating my own personal buttons that fit with my blog and previous websites. But now I have added cool text to my blogging tool bag.

  6. All the services you mentioned can be very useful for everyone who’d like to make his or her blog more attractive and dynamic. With the help of these services a huge number of thematically different images can be found

    • Hey Jeanie,

      I agree, to have a dynamic, professional and attractive blog, you need to use high quality images, it just makes your blog more appealing to the readers and gives them a reason to bookmark your blog or at least visit again. That and good content of course hehe. :)

      Thanks Jeanie.

        • True Jeanie, content should always be your main priority, but when you have high quality images it gives your content better support and puts the reader in a relaxed state while they read your content.

  7. Sayed,

    Creating graphics is something that I have been playing around with a lot more recently. Like you said the look and feel of your blog is extremely important. An aesthetically pleasing blog is far likelier to maintain readers rather than one that looks like it has been put together in a haphazard manner.

    I checked out each and every one of these links you gave us. Frankly, from first glance at least, they look awesome. I bookmarked them all and added them to my graphics resources folder. Awesome finds. I really appreciate it.

    • Hey Steve,

      The way I see it, if you can get high quality graphics and for free, then why not? It may take a little effort to look for the best image that blends in with you’re blog but once you find it, it’s totally worth it.

      Thank you Steve. :)

  8. Awesome resource list to finding HQ images Sayed. I have used IconFinder before but never did on the others. Thanks for the heads up, I do have some sites that need a bit of revamping and great images do make a difference. After all, there’s still that saying that “an image is worth a thousand words”, right?

    • You’re absolutely right DiTesco, an image is worth a thousand words indeed, combine that with high quality content and you’ve got a super awesome blog/website.

      HQ images do make a difference as you said, there are so many websites that as soon as I visited, I knew would be a waste of time, because not only that their images were low on quality, they didn’t even bother align or re-size it properly, which indicates they really don’t care about their websites that much and gives you an indication of the level of quality the content would have too. I understand that they might not have known how to edit their images properly, but this wasn’t the case, and their content level…proved it.

      Thanks for commenting bud. :)

  9. These are some awesome sites, quality of icons are brilliant and all this you’re getting free of cost. thanks for sharing these sites I’ve bookmarked them. :)

  10. Favicon.cc is my favorite resource to find stunning icons, you easily find some high quality icons for blog or site. I didn’t know about other sites and now I’ve more valuable sites for finding more beautiful icons.

    • Hi Riya,

      I love the editing options Favicon.cc offer. IconFinder is a search engine targeted towards finding high quality icons, combine the two and you’ve got super awesome icons for your blog.

      Have a wonderful Day.

    • Hey Mark,

      Me too, but sometimes I like to check IconFinder for the same items to see if there are other designs since they have a huge Icons database.

      Take care Mark.

    • Hey Craig,

      I checked morguefile.com, it looks very nice, I love the quality of the images they have, best of all, it’s free. I bookmarked it and added it to my list.

      Thanks for sharing. :)

  11. thanks for this sayed, i mostly use forums to find designers or experts but having a premium logo is also very important for bloggers. Graphics are a big part.

    • Hey Fazal,

      Having custom made logos by experts and designers is important but I only do that when I don’t find what I’m looking for in the free section first. I try to minimize my costs online as much as I can.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Fazal.

  12. Great resource, thanks for sharing it. I’ve web design business and I need it a lot as you know web designining starts with having a awesome icon and logo for any site.

    • Hey Aanchal,

      There is a huge selection of icons and creative images that you can customize and use as logos from the sources above, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

      Take care Aanchal.

  13. Nice Info!!!!

    We all know very well what is the importance of graphics for our website if we are using right and attractive HD graphics will prove very useful for us.

    Thanks for sharing the links for download many nice graphics.

    • Hey Ricardus,

      I love creating Favicons, I have different websites and I created a Favicon for each one using FavIcon.cc. Gives each websites a more professional look. :)

  14. Free images I bet are needed by everybody. Thanks so much for sharing the information with us. I am going to try out the sources that you have given.

  15. Pamie

    I am a new web designer. I have made many websites in the past and I came across a problem like yours until I found this very good website. They have a huge assortment of photos that you can download. You can download free ones (lower quality and you have to give credit to author) or you can purchase higher quality ones.

  16. Spilleautomater

    Nice post.Thanks for sharing these resources .I find it more useful to get high quality images. Thanks again and Keep it up Friend.

    • I agree Adam, and there is a lot of already made designs out there that we can use in our blog/site but that doesn’t mean that we cant get creative by changing and customizing them a bit with our own taste of high quality icons.

      Thanks for commenting.

  17. I would suggest that if your branding yourself, never use this freebies. It will just ruin your goal and not good for business, you can find certain designer who can create a customized icons / graphics and websites. Although this is a nice list, make sure that what you’re using is GPL (free for commercial use) just like the article said. Btw, nice list though :)

    • Hi Sanjay,

      It’s okay to use freebies in the beginning (under GPL of course), even to brand yourself, and as you get bigger and become more successful online you can start by creating your own unique style and at this point, you can hire designers to help you define your look.

      Take care Sanjay.

  18. Excellent resources and very timely. I have been wondering about finding and using images without going to jail. Do you have any sources for free pictures?

    • Hey Marcie,

      Craig in the comments above left a link to a website that offers free pictures, it seems very nice and they state:

      “Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!”

      I highly recommend checking it out. The address is:
      http://morguefile.com/

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

  19. Thanks for the post and collecting these. Cooltext is my favorite, I do take text logo and other things from there.

    I have never used Iconfinder before, but looks a cool service. I will defiantly look for some icon set as I am getting bored with what I am using on my blog.

    • You’re welcome Sanjeev, I love the idea behind Iconfinder by making it a search engine just for icons, so cool. :)

      Thanks for your feedback.

  20. Suzanne

    OMG! i’m just so happy I land in on this site. Now I know where to get unique icons when designing webpages in photoshop. Definitely bookmark this site. Thanks Sayed.

    • Hey Suzanne, I sometimes download the free ones from the sources above, open them in Photoshop and play around with them to give them a more unique look. It’s lots of fun every time.

      Thanks for commenting.

  21. There are some great resources on this article in particularly icon Finder and cool text. you understand how long and how hard it is to find decent icon graphics so again I say thanks for revealing to me some of the missing pieces of the Blogging puzzle i.e. great graphics

    • Thank you Robert, and not only do they offer great High quality icons, in IconFinder if you select large dimensions, your image no longer qualifies as an icon (since it’s too big) and you can use it as a full sized image instead.

      Take care Robert. :)

  22. These websites are truly a great treasure for high quality graphics and icons. With a little artistical sense and using the graphics generator provided by some of these sites, and photoshop one can always try their hands in creating an aesthetic high quality graphics for their unique needs.

    • Hey Jane, I love opening some of these images in Photoshop to see what I can come up with by changing a few things. Since the image is already at a high quality I don’t have to worry about it losing quality when I edited it.

      Take care Jane.

  23. Thanks for the resources. I’m new to it all, and have been struggling to find the images I want. Have come close to buying some, and didn’t because they are fairly expensive (dreamstime I’m looking at you), and as you said it’s just not sustainable for a newbie. Have mined morguefile for all it was worth. Thanks for the new links. Much appreciated!

    • You’re welcome Kirsty, I don’t feel comfortable paying for images at this point either, especially that I’m not at the level I want with my blog just yet. :)

      Thanks for your feedback.

  24. Sayed, Thanks a lot for sharing your Graphics sources..

    I was searching long time ago about sites like the list you shared.. and I gave up because i didn’t find :(

    really thanks and big huge to you :D btw, iconfinder.com is my best from the list.

    • Hey Faissal, you’re very welcome my man :) Iconfinder.com is my favorite too. It’s a great way to quickly find images and icons targeted at exactly what you need.

      Thanks for your feedback bud.

  25. Hey Sayed,

    Thanks for the great resources. What I usually do is to use Google Images and search for images relevant to my keyword. In the advanced Image search section, just check off commercial use and/or modification. This will ensure the picture are good to go.

    I love CoolText.com :)

    Cheers,
    Ming

    • Oh wow, I was always concerned when using Google images because I never knew whether the image is ok for commercial use or not, I didn’t know you can specify that in the option page.

      Thanks Ming I’m going to add that to my list. :)

  26. Hi Sayed
    Thanks for the really cool blog post. Have to agree that high quality images are really critical. My blog could probably do with a bit of work in that regard but I now have some good spots to start.
    Was considering having a look at fiverr to see if I could get some produced without breaking the bank.
    Thanks again

    • Hey Steve, fiverr is a good way to get custom designs without spending too much, but I would recommend checking other free sources such as the ones above to see if there is something you can use for free and perhaps use fiverr for something else instead that you cant get for free.

      Or you can check different designs from the sources above to see what’s out there to give you a better idea on what to ask for when you use fiverr.

      Thanks for commenting Steve.

  27. Nice post Sayed,

    I agree that now more than ever high-quality images are expected on blogs. Bloggers might need to look at these costs as start up expenses that can’t be avoided. After all, search engine traffic is only going to the sites that are the favorites of users. Without images, you can probably forget being one of those.

    Darren

    • That’s true Darren, if your blog isn’t attractive, then people will visit once and that’s it. You will never be able to build the traffic you need to get noticed by search engines, and you will slowly begin to lose any ranks you have.

      But that can be fixed with some minor changes by spending some time on making your blog more attractive, and with sources such as the ones above, it wont cost you a thing. :)

      Thanks Darren.

  28. Wow Sayed, that is a great list. I’m bookmarking this article for the next time I need these links.

    Having high quality graphics is great, but I always try to make it as small as possible to keep the loading speed high, but still have good looking images. My problem is, is that I can only judge for my own screen. I don’t know how it will look when someone uses a bigger screen, or higher resolution screen. Maybe you have any tips for that?
    Maybe another post on how to find the balance between quality and speed, and how to implement them the right way.

    • Hey Danny,

      I understand what you mean regarding images looking different on other screens with different sizes, so here’s what I do:

      The trick is about what resolution you use, for example I have a 27 inch HD monitor but the max resolution on it is 1920×1080 (Which is pure HD resolution). If I design my site/blog based on that resolution, then people with lower resolution will have a scroll bar show up that they must use in order to fully view the rest of my site (meaning having to scroll left and right because the page width is larger than the screen resolution), and that’s just not cool :P

      I will tell you the magical resolution that you should always adjust your site on but first lets consider the type of monitors out there, there are old CRT Monitors and the new thin widescreen ones. CRT monitors aren’t even sold in stores any more. Widescreen monitors will have support for higher resolutions than 1024×768 and even though CRT monitors can support 1024×768, people usually will not adjust them for higher than that because the text will become too small to be able to comfortably read it since CRTs are small (usually around 17-inch).

      This is why I set up my blog/site to support 1024×768 so I’d be sure it will look good and fit on any old monitor, and it wont matter for monitors with higher resolution since the page will just appear a little thinner to them that’s all, it will still look good for people with higher resolutions.

      As for balance between quality and speed, I only use images that are low on KBs, and if I like an image that is a bit big on size, I just pass it through Photoshop and either save it in a different format (JPG is good for web) or I lower its quality a bit and thus lower its size.

      Sorry about the lengthy reply, and thanks for commenting Danny, take care. :)

  29. Peter

    Thanks for sharing these really useful links. I always used just Google images or Bing images, but most of them weren’t high quality. Keep on the good work!

    • Thank you Peter, I used to use Google images too, but it was hard finding something that I like and also ok for commercial use.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  30. Hi

    Interesting post, I’m going to take a look at two of them. Didn’t even knew you could download special icons for free… Website that helps you build your logo seems to be interesting too…

    thanks for sharing this

  31. I second iconfinder.com! That’s where I get all my icons for my sites, it’s brilliant!

    Failing that, I’ll just design whatever I need myself

  32. I mostly design the graphics myself but thank you for sharing these links. I got a feeling that they will help me a lot when I’m out of ideas or to busy to actually design a new graphic.

  33. I usually take my own pictures for my blog, but once in a while, I use stock photos from Fotolia.com. The pictures are okay, and the license is pretty affordable. At times, I get also from Flickr.com, making sure that the photos have a creative commons license and give the proper credits to the photographer in my blog.

    • Now in addition to Fotolia.com and Flickr.com, you’ve got 4 more sources that offer HQ images for free. :D

      You will love all of them but IconFinder is exceptional, its truly amazing.

      Thanks Adeline.

  34. Really Awesome Post…. its really amazing i love to visit your website at all and i am also going to start my own blog…

    Thanks For Your guidance

  35. Yes i wanna to know the best seo tips and if you have 5 minutes just go to my blog and check it for seo if there is any error please tell me i want this help only from you

  36. Hey Sayed,

    Thanks so much for sharing this list of sites. I actually wasn’t aware of any of them. I actually like to create my own high quality graphics using Photoshop, but I definitely think I can save some time by taking advantage of some of the resources you’ve mentioned. When I’m in a rush, I know where I’ll be heading. :) Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome Derek. I like to use some of the designs made by the sources above and mix them with my own in Photoshop to create something even more unique.

    • Hey there, nope these icons are designed with high quality but very low on size, so it will not slow down your visitor’s page loads at all.

      Thanks, take care.

  37. You are very right Sayed. The images are very low on size. I’ve been using random images because of its very high quality. If you have still more tips, please do post. Thanks a lot!

  38. Great. As a newbie in blogging and at the same time being the admin and writer of a fashion blog, I always searched for high quality and free images, icons, and logos. The great thing with these sites you notified that they all have highly quality icons, fonts and buttons.

    Author can you show some website providing free high qualities images????