free graphics online
There are thousands of free clip art images and
photos available on the Internet for you to use in
your documents or on your web site. Most of the
time when I've gone out looking for them, I've been
frustrated. Invariably, web sites advertising free
clip art would simply be collections of links to
other sites. I'd click and click and click and
never seem to get to the graphics themselves.
Which is why I was immediately impressed with
actually has graphics right there for you to
download--some 20,000 clip art images, icons,
photos, animated gifs and more. All of these can be
used for free for your own personal use. Some are
copyrighted, and if you intend to use them
commercially, you'll need permission of the owner.
GoGraph excels at identifying these and making it
easy to get in touch with the copyright holder if
The site has both a directory structure and a
search engine, so that you can quickly find what
you need. Large images are shown as "thumbnails,"
which you can click on to see the image full size.
The site includes the simple instructions for
saving images to your computer.
I did a search on "dog" and found 122 images in
all categories. You can also restrict your search
to a particular category. I did the same search but
restricted it to the photo category, and it
returned 22 results. The site is well structured,
easy to use, and efficient.
From what I could tell, the images are
exclusively in Internet formats: jpg and gif. If
you need them in other formats that are more
appropriate for paper-based documents, you can
easily convert them. I use a Macintosh and have
downloaded a program called Graphic Converter that
converts all formats from one to another.
For many of the images, there are three
associated links: "Author," which gives the image
use policy, "All author's graphics," which returns
a listing of all the images in the database by that
author, and "Author web site," which takes you to
the web site of the person who created the image. I
went to the web site of a person who created a
dinosaur and found that she had many more available
for free for both personal and commercial use. If
images don't have these three associated links,
that means that you can freely use them for any
The site has a great collection of links for
related tools and resources. Just one example:
there are links to dozens of PhotoShop tutorials
which teach you how to manipulate images.
© 2000 by Jim Karpen, Ph.D.