Since writing my post on Print on Demand with Etsy, I have gotten lots of questions about where to source commercial use graphics and clip art. This post is going to review some of my favorite places to find affordable design resources in 2019.
What is a Commercial Use License?
There are plenty of places to source free graphics on the internet, but, just because something is available for download does not mean that you can use it. Before you use an image or graphics, you will need to make sure that you have a “commercial use” license for the content. While the details of each commercial use license are different, generally having a commercial use license means that you can use the graphics for “for-profit” or promotional endeavors. Be sure you review the conditions of each commercial use license before purchasing as they will all contain different restirctions and conditions. For example, you may be limited in the number of products you can print, or the licenses or may require you to customize the graphic before using or it could require that you provide credit to the artist.
Not All Commercial Use Licenses Are The Same
Another consideration in purchasing graphics with a commercial license is “exclusive use.” Many of the graphics mentioned below are non-exclusive use, which means that other people can buy the same graphics and use them. As an artist can sell non-excluse graphics to many people, they can often be purchased for a fraction of the price of exclusive use graphics. If you buy exclusive use graphics, it means just as it sounds, you have the exclusive rights to the design, and no one else will have the same graphic. In my expereience as a small business, starting with non-exclusive use graphics is the best way to miminise your initial investment and risk. If you are interested in working with exclusive graphics, then perhaps consider starting with non-exclusive use graphics and reinvest your profits into the creation of new custom graphics.
Etsy is a great place to get graphics with commercial rights. There are 1000s of sellers on Etsy that are offering graphics and accompanying commercial licenses. A quick search comes up with over 5000 commercial licenese for graphics for sale. Prices range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, but there is something for everyone’s price range. Often the most expensive commercial use licenses on Etsy are “storewide”. This means that you purchase a single commercial license to get commercial use for all of the graphics within the store. Some of these sellers have thousands of graphics within their shop, so it can be a great deal when you total up the number of graphics you are getting to access with the license.
Another place to look on Etsy for commercial graphics is in terms of a individual graphics set. Take the example of Trevela Designs. Trevela provide a small business use commerical license with a purchase of its clip art sets. This license allows you to produce up to 100 pieces with credit and link back to their shop. This means that for less than $2, you can have graphics to print on up to 100 items. If you follow my instructions for printing on demand with Etsy, you can have a shop set up in Etsy and Prinify with graphics for under $5.
CreativeFabrica offers a monthly subscription packages from just $9 per month and allows you to access a library of graphics and fonts. As a member of CreativeFabrica you can use these fonts and graphics for commercial purposes. There are a few different commercial licenses available on CreativeFabrica so be sure to read up on the terms and conditions of each licenses if you intend to use for commercial purposes.
I have been a long time member of CreativeFabrica and love it! I really like it because for a few dollars a month I get access to heaps of graphics from different artists. If you do some searching, you often find the artist on Creative Fabrica listing their graphics for sale on Etsy as individual packages. I have always found the CreativeFabrica subscription costs much more cost effective then buy large amounts of graphics and commercial licenses individualy.
Creative Market is an online marketplace for graphics, fonts, themes and photos. They offer products for as little as $2 and always have freebies available for download. Creative Market offers large bundles of graphics for up to 96% off the individual graphics price. Like the other resources listed in this post, Creative Market has various licenses available. The terms and conditions for the graphics will depend on how they are going to be used. So, be sure to read all of the terms and conditions before you make a purchase.
Design Bundles is similar to the marketplaces listed above. You can purchase individual products or purchase a subscription to get access to everything on the site. One thing that I love about Design Bundles is that it always have heaps of freebies available. Every week new free designs are posted up for download and they come with a commercial license. I’ve been caught out a few times with Design Bundles offering graphics I have purchased for free. I recommended bookmarking Design Bundles and checking out their freebie section each week. It is a great way to build your library of graphics without a large upfront investment.
Many people are surprised to hear that Canva graphics can actually be used on printed materials. For as little as $1, you can print a Canva graphic on up to 2000 products. Check out Canva Licensing Terms to get all of the details for their commercial licenses.
Canva is also an excellent option for working with your graphics. If you are not familiar with any graphic design software, check out Canva’s drag and drop interface. From Canva you can export your designs print.
Commercial Use Graphics
Whether you are starting a new print on demand business or looking for graphics for a website. There are plenty of great online resources to find graphics with commercial use licenses. If you can recommend another resource to get graphics online, let me know in the comments below.
For more information about how you can make money using the resources listed above, check out these posts: