Stock art is artwork created by professional artists, photographers, and graphic artists and licensed and sold for specific or nonspecific usage. Rather than hiring a photographer or graphic artist to create a particular image for a specific, creative use, using stock art allows companies and organizations to obtain professionally created works through licensing. As such, using stock art can often be a big budget and time saver when incorporated into your marketing materials.
Different types of stock art
Generally, there are two types of stock art available: royalty-free and rights-managed. Purchasing royalty-free stock art allows the end user the ability to use the image (in ways defined in the particular license) without having to pay royalties to the artist. On the other hand, rights-managed stock art often has more limitations on use and royalties often must be paid depending on how the image will ultimately be used & distributed.
There are many stock art companies around today and each stock art company will have it’s own license that defines how each of their images can be used. Before purchasing any stock art, it is important to fully ready and understand the license and how you can use the images in your marketing.