Content - Part 3 - free stock content - a subjective list

Let's start with a small remark: The whole evaluation of the "best" sources is purely subjective. In the course of the article, I will also link to some blog posts from other sites on the subject, as those will also provide you with other free content sites.

What is free content?

Free content means exactly what the name implies: Images, videos, music, etc. you can use more or less for free.

Of course, it is important to pay attention to what kind of license the content falls under.

License?

The use of content on the web often falls under so-called licenses. These determine in what way and with what restrictions the respective content can be used.

This information is usually prominently displayed with the respective content. As an example, a graphic designer may allow you to do anything with the content, but would like to be named as the as the creator of the content - if you use the content publicly.

Others refrain from any restrictions, still others do not allow the distribution of the content.

One of the most well-known licenses is the so-called Creative Commons License. The idea of the Creative Commons Foundation is simple:

To create an easily understandable licensing for creators and users.

For more information, I recommend visiting the Creative Commons website: https://creativecommons.org/.

Since these licenses can often vary, it is a good idea to make sure that you are allowed to use the content in the way that you you intend to use it.

All right! Let's get started!

Pixabay

https://pixabay.com/de/

Pixabay is great. The site was recommended to me a few years ago by a UX designer friend and since then I've pretty much only used Pixabay when it comes to free image and video content.

In order to use the site fully and to be able to download the content in its source resolution, a free account is required. But from my own experience I can tell you that there is neither spam nor anything else. The idea behind the account seems to me rather as a measure to drive the collaboration idea.

On Pixabay there are other content types like illustrations, vector graphics and even free music.

The Pixabay license comes with few restrictions. One may edit the pictures and use them on your website without naming the author.

More notes to the license and what is not permitted under: https://pixabay.com/de/service/terms/#license

https://pixabay.com/de/photos/shop-stadt-nacht-neon-werbung-4806610/
https://pixabay.com/de/photos/shop-stadt-nacht-neon-werbung-4806610/

ApeMockups

https://www.apemockups.com/

ApeMockups is in itself more of a search engine than its own database, as it links to the respective content. But this is the strength of ApeMockups.

There, you can find different Photoshop files to create a product mockup. From smartphones to picture frames, advertisements to business cards, books, etc., any content can be pasted onto the respective medium. Especially handy if you want to check how your digital signage design might look on the respective device.

The license states that the author must be named when publishing the content, but you can edit the work and the license is generally free.

Again the link to the license page: https://www.apemockups.com/licensing/

Quick heads up about the licenses: Since ApeMockups links to other sites you should be especially careful here, because the license on the respective site might differ from the actual license.

https://mrmockup.com/facade-psd-mockup/ found via ApeMockups
https://mrmockup.com/facade-psd-mockup/ found via ApeMockups

A brief side note: What are mockups?

A mockup is a dummy of a product for demonstration purposes. Especially when it comes to the design of virtual or real products, a mockup is first used to present the design without the product itself having been developed or being functional.

Speaking of mockups! I have another - very special - recommendation.

ANTHONY BOYD GRAPHICS

https://www.anthonyboyd.graphics/

Anthony Boyd is a 3D artist from Virginia, who I came across by accident during my search for good mockups. Most of his mockups are available for free or for a small fee.

Anthony's work - especially for the fact that most of it is free - is outstanding. We use two of his mockups on our cloudMAX product page and I can tell you that those won't be the last I will get from him.

His license terms are impressively accommodating for free content of this quality. You are allowed to use his resources commercially and adapt them to your needs and you don't even have to name him.

For more information on his license terms: https://www.anthonyboyd.graphics/license

https://www.anthonyboyd.graphics/mockups/tv-mockup-2/ combined with a Pixabay image. Sneaky!
https://www.anthonyboyd.graphics/mockups/tv-mockup-2/ combined with a Pixabay image. Sneaky!

We want more! We want more!

Well, that's it from me for now with direct recommendations, but I would like to link to some blog entries, which also deal with the same topic and can give you further inspiration:

Final words

That's a wrap for the content series here on the blog. If you've read all three entries, then you should be super capable of putting together a nice digital signage concept with nice content on its feet.

Or if you're not here for signage at all, that's fine as well. This stuff can also help with websites and other media content. =)

Next week's topic will be standalone - but somehow related to this:

Using Digital Signage Creatively.

The post will highlight interesting and creative approaches to digital signage and how you can surprise your customers with those ideas.

And again, if you have anything to share or suggestions, questions, etc. feel free to write me personally at fcoenen@netmax.de.

Thanks for tuning in!

Until then! Don't be a stranger!

Francesco Coenen

19.04.2021