Thursday, April 26, 2007

Searching for Free Stock Images

Keen poster Mike Pittman from Tuggeranong has submitted the following handy information.

Easy Searching for Free "Stock Images":
In an earlier post I mentioned YotoPhoto and Stock Exchange, which both provide free, high resolution "Stock Images". But how would you like to search straight from your browser? Both Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 have a search box in the top right corner, and now you can easily add stock image search plugins to that box.

The following links will add search plugins to either IE7+ or Firefox 2+

  • To add YotoPhoto - click on this link and then click on "I" to install the YotoPhoto search plugin.

  • To add Stock Exchange - click this link and then click on "I" to install the Stock Exchange search plugin.

Now to search for Photos, you can just click on the arrow on the search bar, select the search plugin you wish to use, type in your search phrase and hit enter. Beautiful, isn't it?

Image Licensing:
A word about image licensing. Many images in these particular stock photo sites have no usage restrictions, but some do. Some images require permission (usually by email), some require attribution (a small note next to each image), and a few are more restricted.

I have set the two search plugins above to search for images that are in most cases 100% no strings attached. To do that, I have configured the YotoPhoto plugin not to find "Creative Commons" licensed images, because even though they're free they always require attribution, which I don't want on my publications. I have also configured the Stock Exchange plugin to use only "Unrestricted" images, which in many cases just means you need permission by email, but I don't want that hassle. If you want to search for all images, including some with slight restrictions, use this link for unrestricted YotoPhoto, or this link for unrestricted Stock.xchng. If you want to know more about licensing, you can find details on either website.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Powerpoint Tips

Thanks to Mike Pittman for emailing this useful powerpoint info.

Really Bad Powerpoint:

Recent Aussie research says Powerpoint often overloads audiences with information and destroys communication. But the experts say don't ditch Powerpoint - just stop being so complex - something Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) both need to learn.

If you've been following Bill's lead, help is at hand. Seth Godin has written a very helpful article about curing "Really Bad Powerpoint". You can also read about good Powerpoint design on the Presentation Zen site, or Guy Kawasaki's "10/20/30 rule" on his blog.

The low-down is to keep it minimal - hardly any bullets, fewer slides, big images, big text (and not much of it), plus blank screens to refocus attention on your message. Because if it's all on the screen, you'll lose everyone, so why not save time and frustration and email the notes?

Styles To Imitate:

If you've got your L-plates on, why not try imitating some of the masters? Check out the visual simplicity of Steve Jobs, see his November 2006 keynote speech, or learn why Jobs is so persuasive. Another master presenter is Lawrence Lessig - his free culture presentation is 8.4Mb, but well worth a look. Others to imitate include prolific presenter Seth Godin or the absolute minimalist Takahashi method.

Look and Learn:

Once you've seen some of the masters, it's also worth taking a look at some good one-offs, like Meet Henry, Drive, Incredible India, 3 Types Of Teachers, or Flickr

Saturday, April 14, 2007

More Free New Fonts

The creator of Fontin, previously mentioned in Design4church, has been busy creating a bunch of professional quality free fonts. Visit Jos Buivenga and take a look around. Fontin Sans is terrific... but the full "Delicious" family is delicious too.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stock Photos - Great links

Mike Pittman offers the following handy links for stock photos:
This is a search engine for images that taps into several other free image banks. All are high resolution. All are free to use, although some require permission and/or attribution (licensing information is available for each photo).
I've got a plugin for my Firefox browser that allows me to search this site without opening the page first ( There is quite possibly one available for internet explorer, but I haven't got the motivation to look for it
Something else impressive that Yotophoto does is search by colour - see
Many of these are taken on white backgrounds, meaning it is dead simple to remove the background.

Some other resources that may be useful; - by Darren Hester - pixelperfect, designsbydarren etc.

Monday, April 02, 2007

"Clarity" Conference in Canberra - Get the Notes!

Last Friday I presented a graphic design seminar titled "Clarity" at the REQUIP conference in Canberra. Download the comprehensive course notes and ppt file by clicking on the link below. (Please note, some of the material is drawn from previous posts on this blog, supplemented by other material and examples. It's a great way to catch up with previous design4church tutorials in an integrated package.)