Where to Find Public Domain Images for Print on Demand

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Miroslav Novohradsky
Founder of NechEmpire

I'm Miroslav, a passionate graphic designer, Etsy seller and AI enthusiast. At NechEmpire, I'm here to share my knowledge and skills. I want to turn...Read more

In this article, I would like to show you my favorite places to find public domain images you can use for print on demand. 

While the internet is full of interesting high-quality images, you cannot grab any image you find on the web and use it for your design.

Most images available online are copyright protected, however, some works in the public domain are not. 

And in this article, I will help you identify what a public domain image is and I will show you some less known websites where you can find these images.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Public Domain Image

A public domain image is a photo, clip art or vector, whose copyright has expired or never existed.

These images can be used by anyone for personal and commercial purposes. 

In other words, an image that is in the public domain is 100 percent free. You don’t have to worry about copyrights, asking for permission, or being charged for using the photos.

Museums, libraries, and photographers have released tens of thousands of public domain images online, and such visual media content is available to the public without any restrictions.

But before I show you my favorite websites that are full of public domain images you can freely download, I’m always recommending checking twice the license for each website or image. 

Make your own opinion. 

I’m not a lawyer and I’m not an expert in copyright matters.  

In my opinion, an image is either a public domain image or it is not, there are no options in between. 

And in most cases, public domain images won’t have any usage restrictions. You can sell them, edit them, redistribute them. 

Old Book Illustrations

old book illustrations

The first website I want to show you is called Old Book Illustrations.

This website offers a really nice collection of public domain illustrations scanned from old books and vector illustrations that can be modified and distributed for both personal and commercial projects. 

These images are great to add some vintage appeal to your design, which is very popular these days. 

As you can see, there are tons of incredible illustrations that can level up your next design. 

The license terms for these images are relatively simple.

Here is the official statement: Although we do our best to offer only Illustrations that are considered public domain in most countries, copyright laws vary from one jurisdiction to another, and you agree that you are solely responsible for abiding by all laws and regulations that may be applicable to using the Illustrations. 

In simple words, all the images here should be considered public domain in the US, but if the country you are living in has some restrictions when it comes to using public domain images, you are responsible for the troubles. 

Public Domain Vectors

public domain vectors

Another great source of free images I like to use is the Public Domain Vectors website. 

This website has a massive collection of public domain vectors that are available to download in SVG, AI, and EPS format. 

Just find a vector you like, open it and check the license here. Click on the Public domain to see more details. 

This work falls under the Creative Commons license and you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Public Domain Review

the public domain review

The last website is called The Public Domain Review.

It is a curated selection of public domain photos, illustrations, art, audio, films, and texts. Browse their collections or check out their monthly Curator’s Choice for a special guest post that celebrates lesser-known parts of history.

All images are within the public domain and you can easily find the license of any image by clicking on the source link under each image.

This action will lead you to the website with the original image, and you can check out the license there.

As you can see, some images are from Wikipedia, and the artworks are in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 70 years or fewer. 

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Here Are Some of My Favorite Tools For Print-on-demand

As a graphic designer and POD seller, I’ve had the opportunity to discover different helpful products and tools that can be time-saving and make the process of creating your designs a bit smoother.

DESIGNS: Kittl (best for t-shirt designs), Vexels (for professional designs), Placeit (for unique product mockups)

AI IMAGE GENERATOR: Leonardo (best free account)

GRAPHICS: Creative Fabrica (cheapest marketplace), Envato Elements (more variety)

SELLING DESIGNS: Freepik (for beginners), Creative Fabrica (for advanced graphic designers)

SELLING LOW-CONTENT BOOKS Book Bolt (budget option)


Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, NechEmpire may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

Personal picutre
Miroslav NovohradskyFounder of NechEmpire

I'm Miroslav, a passionate graphic designer, Etsy seller and AI enthusiast. At NechEmpire, I'm here to share my knowledge and skills. I want to turn your design passion into a successful online business.

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