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164 The Principles of

164 The Principles of Beautiful Web Design Figure 5.10. iStockphoto search for “happy person” The reason for the difference in quality between stock imagery from Free Images and iStockphoto is quite simple. iStockphoto pays its artists; therefore, the site attracts more submissions of higher quality. Purchasing images here is based on a credit system. Once you’ve created an account, you can purchase a pack of credits, which is sort of like buying tickets for a carnival. The price of these credits ranges from around $1 to around $1.50 per credit; the more credits you buy, the cheaper they are. Standard images on iStockPhoto range from 2 to 25 credits, depending on the size of image you need, and some images have a higher tariff, too. I know what you’re thinking: $1.50 per credit times 25 credits is $37.50 per image. On the Web, though, you typically only need one of the smaller image sizes that cost 10 credits or less. Another service that’s similar to iStockphoto but slightly less expensive is Dreamstime. 11 While iStockPhoto used to be my go-to resource, I’ve found that I can usually find what I’m looking for in Dreamstime’s collection, which also features a growing number of free images. If you plan to download a lot of stock photography, paying by the image can become expensive, even at 2 credits apiece. An alternative to the credit-based system is to pay for a subscription service. A few stock photography providers do not sell images individually; rather, they charge a monthly subscription fee that allows you to download whatever you need. 12 and Shutterstock 13 are two such providers. Although these types of services generally cost around $100/month, they offer discounts for customers who purchase multiple months’ access at a time. Rights-managed Images A third level of stock photography service is known as rights-managed. This type of stock photography can be quite a bit pricier than the others, as you pay a fee based on the size of your business, 11 12 13

Imagery 165 the number of people who will be exposed to the image, and the amount of time for which the image will be in use. Most of the larger stock providers have rights-managed options for their exclusive images; for example, Corbis, 14 and Getty Images. 15 The photos in a rights-managed collection are usually of a professional quality. Because the company in charge of the rights knows who’s using the images and for how long, it’s extremely unlikely that your client’s competitor will have the exact same image on its home page that you’ve used for your client. With such a large pool of royalty-free images available, this may already seem improbable, but whether people notice it or not, this happens all the time. TinEye 16 is a great tool for checking how widespread the use of a particular stock image is. This browser plugin touts itself as a reverse image search engine. You simply right-click on an image that you want to research, and it searches for matches in its index of nearly two billion images. As you can see in Figure 5.11, it will even find heavily modified versions of the original image. It’s important to note here that, while there are many images of female customer service representatives with microphone headsets on stock photography sites, it’s a horribly overused cliché. You should think twice before using this type of image, or any picture you can conceive involving business people standing around or shaking hands. The irony here is that the ad in the TinEye sidebar includes a different picture of a headset girl. They’re everywhere, I tell you! 14 15 16

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