iStockPhoto for Royalty Free Clip Art

For all of the book cover designs of my book, Story Secrets from Scripture, I used clip art images on the front cover. Story Secrets from Scripture is about how to develop and deliver children’s stories for worship, vacation Bible school, and Bible study. The book covers how to find personal stories, assign teaching points, and tell these stories live.

Google Search

It’s easy to search for clip art on Google. You can find illustrations, photos and line art in different sizes and layouts. Google also has a feature to search for clip art designated as being public domain or Creative Commons. Images where the copyright has expired are in the public domain and free to use. Artists can designate their creative output under the Creative Commons licenses.

However, you should not copyrighted clip art in commercial publications. A problem with the Google license configuration is that the system may not be able to guarantee an image is free to use without licensing.

A variety of sites offer clip art for sale. Shutterstock, Getty Images, and iStockPhoto are three of these sites. The U.S. government also has some images sites with free images: Library of Congress, Department of Defense, and the Patent Office. An advantage of pay sites is that image resolution and quality is often better than other sites.

Image Used in Story Secrets

The cover design for Story Secrets from Scripture underwent various evolutions, which you can view in an earlier post. The four images I considered were these …

I ultimately decided to use the image of children enjoying a children’s story. I first found the image through Getty Images for $499 for the largest size (4862×3121 pixels). This seemed like a lot of money, so I searched for “children story” on iStockPhoto. I found the same image for $33 with the same resolution. This is especially interesting since iStockPhoto is part of Getty Images. The final design of the cover is below.


The iStockPhoto image library includes photos, illustrations, and video. The audio link takes you back to Getty Images. Below is the photo I used on the cover as well as an example illustration using the same search (children story). The price of the photo, as already mentioned, is listed at $33. The illustration is listed at $12.

Features included within the iStockPhoto site include the ability to add images to a board, make basic edits, and review purchased images.

Buying images from iStockPhoto can be accomplished by purchasing credits which can be used for images. While most of the photos are three credits, it is possible purchase only one credit. The price per credit is discounted when buying multiple credits. Alternatively, you can subscribe to download a selected number of images monthly. I don’t use enough images to make this option beneficial.

If you need quality images and illustrations, visit iStockPhoto.

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