Finding Visuals for Course Design

This list* of resources was shared during a joint webinar with CourseArc and Quality Matters titled "Principles and Best Practices for Using Visuals in Course Design".

Image Databases

Stock Photography: Fee-based/Subscription

  1. Noun Project | Huge library of icons and, more recently, photos (free and paid accounts)
  2. Dissolve | Stock Footage and Photography 
  3. Stocksy | Authentic stock photography and footage with no filler (royalty-free**)
  4. iStock| Premium-quality stock photography and videos
  5. Getty Images | Creative Photos and Images 
  6. Twenty20 Stock | Authentic Stock Photos & Royalty-Free Images
  7. 50+ Plaza South America Pictures HD | Download Authentic Images on EyeEm
  8. Ad*Access / Digital Collections / Duke Digital Repository
  9. The picture agency bpk is a central media service provider of all devices of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz) and of over 100 major museums and libraries abroad.
  10. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection | The Collection
  11. Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - UT Library Online
  12. Historical Map Web Sites - Perry-Castañeda Map Collection - UT Library Online  
  13. Flaticon - Vector Icons & Stickers (some are free, some are pay)
  14. Bigstock - this is a free trial, and then costs money, but has a lot of variety.
  15. Vice: The Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock Photos Beyond the Binary
  16. Flickr: Women of Color in Tech
  17. UK Black Tech
  18. Nappy
  19. TONL
  20. PICNOI
  21. CreateHerStock
  22. PhotoAbility Inclusive Images
  23. Disability Images
  24. Disability:IN
  25. DO IT Center: Line Drawings
  26. Black Illustrations
  27. Chamber of Commerce

**Generally means that you pay a one-time fee in exchange for the right to use a photograph according to agreed upon terms, with no ongoing license fees due for further use. (It does not mean that the work is copyright free.)

Stock Photography: Openly Licensed/Free

  1. All Free Download - vector, photos, web templates, etc. - Most free (some with attribution)
  2. UXWing: Icons, all free with no attribution required
  3. Free Media Library | Media Commons
  4. Jopwell: Vol. 1 Free Stock Images of Our Community at Work
  5. ClipArt ETC (FCIT)
  6. Florida Center for Instructional Technology - ClipPix ETC - Free for teachers and safe for students - high-quality stock photography.
  7. OER Commons
  8. Creative Commons Search
  9. Pixabay (has ads for fee-based images, but scroll to the CC-licensed images)
  10. Pexels
  11. Get Illustrations: Click free illustrations; you will need to register to download
  12. Images of Empowerment - A free library of images celebrating women’s lives and their work in 11 countries around the world
  13. Wisc-Online - Free images, animations, audio, and video clips
  14. Public Domain Clip Art
  15. Free Images: Provides access to a collection of Public Domain and CC0 images.
  16. Unsplash:  All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free for commercial and noncommercial purposes without permission.  While you do not need to provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, it is appreciated when possible.
  17. Wikimedia Commons:  a collection of  70,447,059   freely usable  media files to which  anyone can contribute
  18. Free Clip Art: This site allows people to share clip art that they are willing to put in the public domain.
  19. Noun Project: Provides access to icons and photos. Check to verify the CC license.
  20. Public Domain Vectors Clip Art
  21. Pics for Learning: Pics4Learning is a curated image library that is safe and free for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos and illustrations for classroom projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, or any other projects in an educational setting.
  22. Morgue File (Links to an external site.) licenses all of the pictures on the site under a morgue file free license - which looks very similar to the most lenient Creative Commons license.

Color Tools

  1. Webaim Color Contrast Checker
  2. TGi Colour Contrast Checker - Free, easy to install and available for PC or Mac. It offers GUI eyedropper tool to pick up the HEX colors, automatically checks contrast against WCAG 2.1 A, AA, and AAA and offers simulations to get to accessible color combinations.
  3. Adobe Color - Color tools for creating palettes plus a contrast checker and color blindness simulators
  4. Online image color picker
  5. Color Blindness Simulator
  6. Contrast Checker
  7. Accessible Color Palettes (e.g. for charts/graphs)
  8. Color Oracle
  9. Color palette generator

Guidelines for accessibility

  1. W3C - Web Accessibility Initiative
  2. Mobile Friendly Test through Google
  3. Resource for alt text
  4. WebAim articles
  5. Accessibility Cheatsheets - These one-page accessibility resources, or “cheatsheets,” have been developed to assist anyone who is creating accessible content. These free resources are catered to less-technical individuals, such as faculty and staff.
  6. The WAVE website evaluation chrome extension is helpful for accessibility 
  7. AURS - QM has a free Accessibility & Usability Resource Site (AURS) that anyone can access.  It has information on Alt Text.

Authoring Tools

  1. Canva - easy graphics builder
  2. Adobe Creative Cloud Express - presentation, slideshow tool
  3. Vyond - animation, video, character builder

Designing Web/Digital Content

  1. Introduction to Visual Design Principles
  2. Research articles about User Experience, User Interface and Visual design principle in a digital environment

Vector / Font Icon Database

  1. Font Awesome
  2. Remix Icon: open source 
  3. Ionicons: open source

Music & Video

  1. Free Music Archive
  2. Free Stock Video Footage

*This list is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to represent endorsement by Quality Matters.