Martin Ansdell-Smith images, artwork, some text, online design tools, fonts and icons

… plus some considerations on licences and risks.

Images and artwork

To provide additional material, inspiration, supporting graphics and artwork for publications which I edit (both web and print). I prefer, and mostly use, websites that offer a simple Royalty-Free or free licence and are free or low cost. I have listed below most of the sites that I use. The order reflects the frequency that I use the sites which, in turn, gives an idea of the combination of how often I find what I need there, ease of use, and cost.

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Online design services

Fonts and Typefaces


The font icons used on the site are from:

Other icons


Subsetting a font, where allowed by its licence, makes a new font file consisting of a selection of glyphs from the original. When compressed it should be much smaller than the original font. The icon font used on this site was subsetted using the online service at

Considerations on permissions

I am not a lawyer, and this is only an informal overview. Read the article on copyright at Wikipedia for more details.

When using text, photos, artwork, or music by others, one must consider copyright. Copyright is granted automatically on creation of the work. There is no need to specify a date or copyright holder. To use the work needs permission from the copyright holder, not necessarily the original creator. A licence may limit the use of the work. By default, all rights are reserved and are exclusive to the creator of the work. Often there are allowed, or defensible, uses of copyrighted materials without permission, but these are often not well-defined. Is copyright clearance needed worldwide or only where you create the page?

Others' material included in websites should have its source and licence specified in metadata and perhaps also in a caption or citation. Links should be to the origin not just to a search engine or aggregator.

Creative Commons is a specific form of copyright licensing to facilitate the sharing of creativity and knowledge. The Creative Commons website gives definitive information.

"Can I use it for this?"

You read the license terms carefully, and your usage is allowed. However, are you sure the licensor has the right to grant that license? Most websites disclaim responsibility for this, even if you pay for a licence. Their terms often oblige you to indemnify them if problems arise. Risks increase with trademarks, moral rights and international treaties. Images that include identifiable persons or private property have additional constraints and may need model and property releases.

"Is it still in copyright?"

Copyright lasts for many years, often more than a century. Jurisdictions extend copyright terms retrospectively from time to time, bringing out-of-copyright items back into copyright. Most copyright terms do not start at creation but with the death of the creator. A third party may control the copyright.

A work is orphaned if it is still within copyright but the copyright holder is unknown or not contactable. There have been proposals in some jurisdictions that third parties may be allowed to charge for licences for orphaned works.

Licences can change over time. A copyright owner may release a work under more than one licence or revoke one.