October 7, 2020

Diverse & Inclusive Stock Photography Resources

Photo from DIsability:IN

Photo from Disability:IN

Updated October 10, 2002

During a session at ComNet V about reaching diverse audiences, the speakers spoke about the importance of using stock photos that are more inclusive and diverse. As an art director and designer, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, a recent stock photo search I did on “voting” returned a majority of images featuring white men’s hands (wearing business suits, to boot).

According to Getty Images’ Visual GPS, 63% of people prefer to buy brands that are founded by or represent people like themselves—however only 14% say they are well-represented in advertising and 15% in business communications.

Getty also reports that searches have increased year over year for ‘diversity’ (up 133%), ‘culture’ (up 115%), ‘real people’ (up 115%) and ‘inclusion’ (up 126%).

The need for images that are representative of all people is clearly here. But I know first hand that finding diverse and inclusive images on mainstream stock photography sites can be difficult. Here’s a list of resources for real and authentic photography.

Stock Photo Resources

Adobe Stock – Brwn Stock Imaging Collection

Brwn Stock Collection features images that feature people of color.

AllGo

AllGo is a collection of free plus-size stock photos.

In 2017, Getty Images reported triple-digit increases in searches for the terms “body positivity” and “real bodies”.

Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash

arabianEye

arabianEye is an authentic Middle Eastern collection of visual media, featuring Emirati, Saudi, Qatari and Omani people.

AsiaPix

AsiaPix is a royalty-free collection of contemporary business and lifestyle images with an emphasis on Chinese culture and subjects.

Asia Images 

Asia Images features images of business, lifestyle, and travel destinations in Asia.

Blend Images on Tetra Images

Blend Images is a collection of multi-cultural and ethnically diverse stock content.

Body Liberation Stock

Body Liberation features stock photos and images for body size diversity and acceptance.

Canva Natural Women Collection

Canva’s image collection of everyday women, whose personal stories and experiences challenge both gender norms and societal standards of beauty.

70% of women don’t feel represented in media and advertising and Getty reports huge increases in the following terms over the past year: “real people” 192% increase, “diverse women” 168% increase, and “strong women” 187% increase.

CreateHer Stock

CreateHer features authentic stock photography of melanated women.

Photo by CreateHER Stock

Disability Images by Design Pics Inc.

Disability Images includes rights-managed and royalty-free images showing a range of disabilities.

Disability Inclusion Stock Photography by Disability:IN

Disability inclusive stock photography provided by Disability:IN and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Disabled & Here

Disabled & Here features free and inclusive stock photos shot from our own perspective, featuring disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) across the Pacific Northwest.

eye for ebony

eye for ebony features models of all shades, shapes, and sizes.

The Gender Spectrum Collection by Broadly

The Gender Spectrum Collection is a representation of images of transgender and non-binary people.

Getty Images – AARP Disrupt Aging Collection

A collection featuring images of people 50+ in everyday moments that help break stereotypes and combat ageist biases.

An AARP study on age representation across the media image landscape shows that while people 50+ are fully engaged in their communities, seven in ten images of adults over 50 show them removed from the rest of the world.  

Getty Images – The Disability Collection

A collection featuring images that break stereotypes and more authentically portray individuals with disabilities.

Getty – Gender Blend

A collection of images highlighting the new boundaries of gender roles.

Getty Images reports they are beginning to see more inclusive representations that portray a more rounded picture of LGBTQ+ family life, including single parents, transracial families, blended families, co‑parenting, as well as parents of different ages and socio‑economic backgrounds.

Getty Images – The Lean In Collection

A collection of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them.

Getty Images – Muslim Girl Collection

A collection that encourages a more positive depiction of Muslim women.

Getty Images – The Nosotros Collection

A collection that reimagines the visual representation of the Latinx/Hispanic community within North America.

Getty Images – Project #ShowUs

A collection devoted to shattering beauty stereotypes by showing female-identifying and non-binary individuals.

The Jopwell Collection

The Jopwell Collection features images of Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American leaders (social entrepreneurs, editors, techies, financial analysts, recruiters, marketers, student leaders).

kosherstock

kosherstock features royalty-free images of the Jewish world.

Mocha Stock

Mocha Stock features images of people of color.

nappy

nappy features free images of black and brown people.

From May to June alone Getty Images reports customer searches for diverse images have increased by 200% and searches for images around unity and equality increased by 500%.

NativeStock Pictures

NativeStock is a comprehensive image collection on Native American Indian cultures.

PICHA Stock

PICHA Stock features modern Afrocentric stories curated from hundreds of creatives from Africa and abroad

Picnoi

Picnoi is a free collection of images of people of color.

Above: Photos from Picnoi by Windows, Annie Spratt & Hian Oliveira

PictureIndia

PictureIndia features royalty-free images of contemporary Indian lifestyle and business themes.

Pixels in Colour

Pixels in Colour is adding diversity to the world of stock photography.

Pixerf

Pixerf is a global visual community and marketplace for Asian images.

Photoability

Photoability features rights-managed and royalty-free images featuring individuals with disabilities.

Around 15% of people in the world have a disability, but just 2% of stock photos contain any representation of their lives.

POCStock

POCStock features photos featuring Black, Hispanic, LatinX, Native, Asian and Middle Eastern people of color.

PUSHLiving Photos

PUSHLiving features disability inclusive stock images.

Representation Matters

Representation Matters is a royalty-free stock photo site that focuses specifically on diversity and inclusion.

Salam Stock

Salam Stock features Muslim and Islam related royalty-free stock photos, artwork and illustrations.

TONL

TONL features images of diverse people and their stories around the world.

UK Black Tech

UK Black Tech is a collection featuring images of BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) in tech from Britain.

WOCinTech Chat

WOCinTech Chat features photos of women of color in tech, free to use under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Photo from #WOCinTech Chat

Image Collections

Tips & Best Practices

As Getty pointed out in their Visual GPS Report, “People want and expect imagery to be representative of themselves and the world they see around them.” Let’s utilize and share stock photography resources to give them the exposure they deserve.

P.S. Please share any stock photo resources that aren’t already on the list.

December 3, 2018

Cooper Black—and other Chicago hometown typefaces

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 1:49 pm

This weekend, I attended a wonderful lecture at the Newberry Library called Chicago Style: Typography and the City. The last time I was at the Newberry, it was the mid-90s and I was writing a paper about Sumerian cuneiform writing for my Art History class at Columbia College of Chicago. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be back, as well as to experience this short (but thorough) history of Chicago typography design.

Presenters Paul F. Gehl (Curator Emeritus at the Newberry Library) and Tanner Woodford (Executive Director at the Chicago Design Museum) shared highlights from Chicago’s history of typography design, including these examples from the Newberry Library collection:

Cooper Black type specimens

Oswald (Oz) Cooper is the designer of Cooper Black, the most popular and largest-selling advertising typeface of the 1920s and 1930s (and still often used today). He drew and redrew the letterforms hundreds of times, showing just how much work goes into creating a really good typeface. Cooper Black started a trend of black type, which is a heavier weight than bold.

Will Ransom designed the typeface Parsons in 1918 when he was freelancing for Chicago-based department store Carson Pirie Scott & Co. (known by locals as Carson’s). This typeface was created exclusively for Carson Pirie Scott, and was released for public use in 1923.

Tempo typeface specimens

Radiant typeface specimens

Scotland-born but Chicago-based designer Robert Hunter Middleton created the typeface Tempo in 1930. At the time, printers viewed it as an American face—however it was actually modeled on the German-originated Futura. Middleton designed many other popular fonts, including Radiant.

During the discussion, Paul reviewed these historical typesetting terms which are often confused:

  • Typeface: the design of the letters
  • Type: the physical object (i.e. a piece of lead type)
  • Font: the collection of physical objects

Many of the Chicago-designed fonts are still in rotation in the design world, proving the longevity of good design.

Want to learn more about Chicago typography and design? Head over to the Newberry Library and Chicago Design Museum.

September 26, 2018

25+ free (or low-cost) design resources for nonprofits

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 3:08 pm

Offers are subject to change, refer to the links for most recent information. Updated 8/18/20

When I present my branding and marketing workshops to nonprofits, I inevitably get asked the question: “Is there any way we can do some of this stuff on our own? (preferably for free or not a lot of money!)”

Well, with a little bit of digging, plus my own huge list of resources (I’m a research junkie), I put together this list of free or low-cost design resources for nonprofits and higher education.

Font Resources

Fonts are intellectual property, so they must be licensed before you can use them, so I don’t recommend downloading free fonts unless it’s from a reputable site that sells fonts (see below). Most font sites offer free fonts or inexpensive bundles, which is a great way to test drive fonts and build your collection.

Always make sure you have licenses for the computer(s) you are using your fonts on, and don’t share them unless your license allows usage on multiple computers. Read Monotype’s guide to font licensing for more info.

Stock Photography & Illustration Resources

Just like fonts, images are intellectual property. Never—I repeat—never use an image that you “grabbed from the web” (i.e Google Images, blog posts, etc.) I have personally known colleagues who have been threatened with legal action for using an unlicensed image. It’s no joke.

Always make sure you have a license appropriate to the usage you need, or choose royalty-free. See my quick overview of stock photo usage, or head over to StockPhotoRights.com for more in-depth information.

Also, if you are using images from a free stock photo site, just remember that lots of other people are also probably using that same image. So save it for social media or other casual usage, and use licensed stock photography (or even better, hire a photographer) for images that are more critical to your organization’s branding and marketing.

Cision has curated a huge list of websites with images that are not protected by copyright laws and/or in the public domain (i.e. historical images, images created by the federal government, etc.)

Design Templates

Of course, I would always encourage you to hire a graphic designer (hint, hint) to design identity and marketing materials for your organziation. But I totally get it: sometimes timing and/or budget just doesn’t allow for it. In that case, I’ve given my stamp of approval for using a template from one of these sites.

Design Learning Resources

My clients at smaller organizations often ask how they can learn design basics or related applications. The resources below are perfect for diving into a design topic or application.

I also offer onsite design and branding workshops that can be tailored to your needs. Reach out to me to learn more or schedule one for your organization.

Graphic & Video Editing Resources

Images and video are crucial for getting noticed in print and social media. For important organizational marketing materials (identity, brochures, reports, event invitations, etc.), I do suggest working with an experienced graphic designer. But for editing a photo on the fly or creating a social media video, these sites make DIY fast and easy.

Did I miss something? Let me know so I can add it to the list. And be sure to bookmark this page—I will update it as new resources are available.

Read the other posts in my series, Free (or Low-Cost) Design & Marketing Resources for Nonprofits:

June 18, 2018

Recap: A to Z of Design blogging challenge

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

For the last 4 years, I’ve been participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge—a daily blogging challenge during the month of April.

Last year, I started a series called A to Z of Design (including basic design terminology for non-designers) but work/life got in the way and I never finished it. So this year, I restarted the series and I’m happy to say, I finished it!

Read the A to Z of Design and learn design basics—everything from A (alignment) to Z (zip)!

See my past A to Z blogging series’, A to Z of Being a Mom in Business and A to Z of Branding.

May 10, 2018

DESIGN DEMO: Tracking

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , — lidia @ 2:14 pm

When you are typesetting a presentation or other large design, it’s always a good idea to adjust tracking (letter spacing) as large gaps between letters can be more noticeable at large sizes.

May 2, 2018

A to Z of Design: Z is for ZIP

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , — lidia @ 3:47 pm

A to Z of Design: Z is for ZIP

A ZIP (Zone Information Protocol) file is a file format that compresses multiple files into a smaller, more manageable size. ZIP files are easily restored by clicking to unzip the file.

I always recommend creating a ZIP when sending multiple files—especially if sending font files as they can get corrupted in transfer.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

May 1, 2018

A to Z of Design: Y is for yard

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 5:06 pm

A to Z of Design: Y is for yard

Ok, so we don’t actually use yard measurements in graphic design, but I had to stretch my creativity to find a design term that starts with Y!

Back when I started out (ahem, before computers took over), graphic designers had a unique measuring system that was all our own. It consisted of points and picas and I loved it because it was based on multiples of 12 (and therefore easy to calculate in your head).

Points are still used for measuring type sizes (as well as things like paragraph leading) however picas have gone the way of agates (another design measuring system, which was slightly before my time). I was a pica holdout for quite some time, however I finally gave in and reluctantly started using inches.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

A to Z of Design: X is for x-height

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , — lidia @ 11:18 am

A to Z of Design: X is for x-height

X-height is the distance between the baseline (the line a letter sits on) and the top of a lowercase letter, excluding ascenders and descenders (the parts of the letters that extend up or down). The name comes from the fact that x-height is measured by looking at the height of the letter “x” in a typeface.

Typefaces with large x-heights may appear crowded when used in body copy, and will need extra leading to assure legibility.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 30, 2018

A to Z of Design: W is for weight

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 3:24 pm

A to Z of Design: W is for weight

Weight is the range of a typeface stroke’s width. Most type families are available in weights of Normal (or Regular), Semibold, and Bold. Some also include weights such as Light and Extra Light or Heavy and Extra Bold.

The weight of a typeface is especially important to consider when designing a print piece with small type as too light of a typeface could be illegible.

Weight should also be considered when designing for the web as light type weights can seem to “disappear” on computer screens or mobile devices.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 25, 2018

A to Z of Design: U is for usage

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am
A to Z of Design: U is for usage

Icon by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project

Image usage rights are generally available in royalty-free or rights-managed options.

Rights-managed (RM) images are basically “rented” from the image owner, so they are limited by things such as duration of use, type of use (i.e. editorial, print, online), geographic location, or number of impressions.

Royalty-free (RF) images allow (nearly) unlimited use, in any application for as long as you like, based on the terms of the license agreement.

There are also now multiple online sources for free stock images licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means they can be used anywhere without attribution required.

But always check the licensing information on the website for any photo or illustration you purchase or download before using them.

And most importantly, just because you find an image online doesn’t mean you can use it! Research the image first to see if a license or attribution is required.

See this website for more information about image usage rights.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

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