Every so often, I get questions about how I create my sites, so I thought it would be interesting to write a series of blog posts. First question:
Q. Where do you get your images?
A. Many different places!
I created my own logos (and a million different variations with dark/light/transparent backgrounds, different features of the sites, etc) using GIMP and a special font that I had to manipulate a bit to flow just right. The little icons (Eiffel Tower, Sagrada Familia, etc) I bought from Noun Project.
You can see the standard version (white background) of all the logos here: Lawless Languages
The other images that I use to enhance lessons, vocab list, quizzes, etc. are mostly from subscription sites (VectorGrove, DepositPhotos, StockUnlimited). I used to use a mix of photos and graphics, but lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to replace all the photos with graphics.
I manage to find about 95% of the images I need on one of these sites, though I often need to do some editing, such as by removing superfluous details or combining two images into one. I use Picasa to resize and then use GIMP and SnagitEditor for editing.
For images that I can’t find or cobble together, I work with a graphic designer. A couple of years ago, I found a series of heart-shaped flags for dozens of countries and decided to use it for my Spotlight on Spanish-speaking countries series, but realized that a few countries were not available. I had to do some real sleuthing to track down the artist, only to discover that these images were scraped from Shutterstock and he didn’t receive a penny for them. So I purchased the rest of the series from him directly, and now work with him exclusively for custom images at very reasonable prices (US$5-25 each, depending on complexity and exclusivity).
As it happens, Vasily is Ukrainian, and so when the war started I emailed him in an attempt to show what support I could. We exchanged a few emails and he requested work, though warned it would take longer than usual. No problem; the only real issue is that I don’t need tons of custom images so that was the end of it for a while.
A few days ago, Vasily emailed me again requesting work, and I managed to figure out a half dozen images that I need. It seems absurd to ask someone in a war zone to create cheerful and often weird images, but he is grateful for the work and I’m happy to be able to offer this tiny bit of support.
Then I had the idea to write this post – maybe you need some images? Here is his Shutterstock library, and he is also happy to do custom images for, as I said, extremely reasonable prices.