Welcome to aea365! Please take a moment to review our new community guidelines. Learn More.

Mind Your Manners When it Comes to Visuals! by Sheila B Robinson

Say cheese! It’s me, Sheila B Robinson, AEA365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. We have featured a number of blog posts over the years on finding and using images to complement your evaluation work, whether you are in the business of blogging, presenting, teaching, creating reports, or other areas. It’s more important than ever not only to become familiar with where to find images, but also with how you can and cannot use them legally.

Lesson Learned:

  1. Creative Commons is not the same as “copyright free.” According to Creativecommons.org,  The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.
  2. There are many Creative Commons licenses and it’s important to understand their differences. There are 6 main types ranging from more restrictive to less restrictive. Each license comes with language that helps the user understand whether attribution is required, and whether the product can be changed in any way or used for commercial purposes. Read this page to learn about each license.
  3. There is one type of license with NO restrictions! CC0 1.0 means that the designer has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Hot Tips: Where do you find good images? While there are countless websites that offer free and paid images, icons, and other graphics:

  1.  28 Places to Download Free Images for Websites and Blogs includes an updated list of and links to photo sites along with definitions of public domain and CC0.
  2. Nolan Haims Creative offers blog subscribers access to a bunch of great free resources, including a wonderful “taxonomic” reference list of photo sites

Cool Trick: Once you have a collection of images, what do you do with them? Check out Echo Rivera‘s email course on creating your own visual database. Echo found that searching for images while she was creating presentations wasn’t good for her workflow, so she advises creating visual database that organizes visuals in ways that make them easily accessible when you need them (minding the different types of licenses). Read this blog post for her explanation and rationale for this technique.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.