February First Friday Coffee Break with an Ed Tech: Social Media Image Templates

If you missed our First Friday Coffee Break with an Ed Tech this month, the webinar recording is now available!

What you missed:

  • Branded Social Media Image Templates
    • where to access
    • walk-through instructions demonstrating how to edit
  • Q&A on Ed Tech-related items and issues
  • InnovateExtension announcements
  • National eXtension Conference information

Click Here to View the Recording

 

Our next First Friday Coffee Break will be March 4th from 10:00am – 11:00am EST, topic TBD. Have a topic suggestion for a future Coffee Break? Comment below or email it to Jamie or Danae.

Even Easier-to-Use CFAES and Extension Branded Images!

We have great news and not-so-great news this morning. Yesterday, we shared the link to a Buckeye Box folder that housed easy-to-use branded images. The not-so-great news: we’ve deleted this Buckeye Box folder. The great news? = the reason why! What we didn’t realize, was that this resource already exists! CFAES Communications now offers branded college and University background images, art, in addition to logos in .jpg and .png formats.

This 4-H Background image is one of many image resources available on the CFAES Communications site.

This 4-H Background image is one of many image resources available on the CFAES Communications site.

We apologize for the confusion. As we had mentioned in the previous post, if you have trouble using an image in it’s current format, do not see a desired image available, or just have a general branding question, please contact Jamie or Danae and we will help or contact the appropriate parties within the college.

 

Best Royalty-Free Image Sources

Camera

Images are a wonderful, and almost necessary, addition to blog and social media posts, marketing materials, and websites. A great photograph can help convey your message and grab your audience’s attention. Research suggests that social media posts, for example, garner more attention than text-only posts, but finding high quality and royalty free images can be a drag!

While a Google image search may help you in diagnosing a pest or plant disease, it is NOT a proper way to find images for use in marketing or educational materials. Many of the images you may find via Google image search are not licensed for public use. If you find an image online that you would like to use, but cannot find any licensing information, you should attempt to contact the original author for permission. Not receiving an answer from the author is not implied permission. If you do not hear from the author, it is best to find a suitable image licensed under Creative Commons.

If you need a refresher on the types of Creative Commons licenses and allowable image uses, you should watch this helpful video.

The following royalty-free image resources can serve as a starting point in your image search. This is not an exhaustive list, but the resources here offer fairly extensive image libraries that cover a wide range of topic areas.

Pixabay

Pixabay tends to be my first stop when looking for high quality stock images. I don’t always find exactly what I’m looking for, but the site offers thousands of images that cover nearly every topic imaginable (unless you’re looking for something ultra-specific). All images are released under the Creative Commons CC0 license as public domain and are free to use for both personal and commercial projects with no attribution required. Be careful not to click the subtle ShutterStock ads that will take you to the fee-based ShutterStock website.

Foodies Feed

FoodiesFeed offers searchable, high quality, and beautifully colorful photos of food. You’ll find tons of well-composed photos of ingredients and prepared meals, but not many shots of people. No attribution is required for using the photos. I did notice images downloaded as very large files. The image below downloaded at a size of 9.4MB so I used Photoshop to resize to something more manageable (181KB).

Lemons

Public Domain Archive

Public Domain Archive has a nice, though limited, supply of public domain images that are high quality and free to use. All images are released under the Creative Commons CC0 license as public domain and can be used for both personal and commercial projects with no attribution required.

Unsplash

Unsplash features a variety of high quality and searchable images. You can even subscribe to receive 10 new photos in your inbox every 10 days. All images are released under the Creative Commons CC0 license as public domain and are free to use for both personal and commercial projects with no attribution required. Below is an example of the great images available on Unsplash.

photo-1423483641154-5411ec9c0ddf

Free Images

Free Images offers many great images that are free for editorial purposes including education. When used for an editorial purpose you should provide proper credit to “FreeImages.com/Artist’s Member Name.”

Public Domain Pictures

Public Domain Pictures is a repository of free amateur images available for download. The free images are released under the Creative Commons CC0 license. Be sure not to click the many ads for fee-based stock photography sites.

Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr offers millions of photos licensed under Creative Commons. You can search for images by each type of Creative Commons license. Always make sure to follow license restrictions for each photo you’re using.

Getty

Another great resource for free images is Getty, though you can only embed free Getty images on websites, blogs, or social media. You will not be able to use free Getty images for printing, PowerPoints, use in 4-H project books, etc.

RGB Stock

RGB Stock offers a lot of great stock photos, all with Creative Commons CC0 license. You will have to register for a free account to download images, but it’s worth it for free access to high quality images!

CFAES Photo Library

The CFAES Photo Library is a great place to find images that represent OSU landmarks, programs, and people.

Bugwood

If you’re looking for images of plants, insects, and plant diseases, Bugwood is one of the best! The database is searchable and offers tons of great species-specific images. When downloading and using Bugwood images, you MUST provide attribution. Images are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 and Creative Commons Attribution/Non-commercial 3.0. If you’d like to use photos for a commercial purpose (e.g. in a bulletin that will be sold), you must get approval from the image author.

If you’re ever in doubt about allowable uses for stock images, check out the website’s about page. Most sites offer additional information about the licensing of their images and appropriate uses.

Whether you take your own photographs or download images from stock sites, keep the following in mind:

  • Your images should be relevant to their use
  • You should use only high quality and in-focus images
  • When required by the image license, provide proper attribution
  • Never use an image without permission, unless licensed under Creative Commons

If you’re interested in creating great graphics with the images you find (without learning Photoshop), I encourage you to check out our blog post on Canva.

Questions? Contact Danae.

Image Design for Teaching Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

For OSU Extension program staff or anyone else interested in learning how to edit and create images for teaching purposes, OSU’s Office of Distance Education and e-Learning is offering a Photoshop bootcamp on August 19th. You have the option of registering separately for each topic covered during the bootcamp if you are already proficient in Photoshop basics, or you can feel free to register for each topic! More information on what will be covered during the bootcamp is included on their blog where you can also register for each topic during the bootcamp.

[GO.OSU.EDU/IMAGEDESIGN]

Questions? Leave a comment or send Jamie an email!

Quickly Create Modern Looking Graphics for Anything with Canva

Allergic to Photoshop but still want pretty looking images to share on a blog or social media page? Canva is a cool (and very new) web tool that lets you easily and quickly create images that you can save and/or share online. The best news of all? It’s free to sign up and Canva has thousands of images and graphics that you can use for free. The real kicker is that the extra cool photo that you might want to use will only $1. That’s right, if it’s not free, it’s only going to cost you a buck. Good news for those of us in Extension.

Getting Started

You’ll need to sign up for a free account to use Canva. Then, you get to choose a template based upon what you will use the image/graphic for – which I think is a great feature that makes Canva super easy to use.

By selecting what you'll be using your image for, Canva will automatically select the best formatting and size.

By selecting what you’ll be using your image for, Canva will automatically select the best formatting and size.

After you choose a design to get started, you’ll come to what looks like a “dashboard of sorts”. Honestly, if you take just a few minutes browsing the tools on the left side of the screen, you can get acquainted with Canva’s features rather quickly.

 

Here are a few images I created in Canva to show everyone the possibilities of how those of us in Extension could use it:

COOKING Eat & Move-O-Matic (2)carrots

All of the above images and graphics could be shared on social media sites. You can also create PowerPoint presentations, posters, and marketing materials within Canva. 

How to Brand Your Images and Grahics

As for proper branding protocol when it comes to using Canva, you probably noticed that all of the above images use our scarlet color – one of the University’s primary branding colors. Anything that is created within Canva should include at least ONE of the primary branding colors, shown below. Scarlet is the preferred primary color, since it is the most recognizable color associated with OSU.

Canva branding colors

 

What do the numbers below the colors mean? This is where we’ll do a little walk-through in Canva to show you how to change color using the HEX color code (last line of text under each color above). We’ll use one of the graphics I included above as an example. When I first clicked on the template to edit it, the original color of the ribbon was teal. I needed to change this to a branded color. First, click anywhere on the color in your graphic or text that you need to change. Then, click on the “+” sign to open up the color wheel (circled in red below).

Canva changing colors

This will pull up a color wheel, with an option box to enter an exact color code. This is where the HEX color code is entered. The color code for our branded scarlet color is bb0000 (entered in the box circled in red).

Canva changing colors 2

This changes the color of the ribbon. To change text or any other graphic, simply go through the same process. Other logos such as the block “O” or our Extension strip at the top do not have to be included if you utilize any of the primary branding colors, as well as a branded font. In Canva, we’ll need to use Helvetica as the only font… which limits creativity I know. But it is required to be brand compliant.

brand

Want more info about Canva? The site features a great support blog that gives advice on how to create different layouts, work with color in your graphics, how to create infographics, and much more.

Still have questions or want advice on how to create something specific? Leave a comment and we’ll help!

~Jamie

 

Getty’s Gift: We Now Have Access to Millions of Free Images for Online Content

Well, until now! Getty Images announced this week that they have offered up hundreds of millions of images to content creators, for free. This was so unthinkable, that I didn’t believe it until Mashable.com confirmed it on Facebook. But their explanation makes sense – the images are being used anyway. With the good news, also comes some bad news however. Although you can use the Getty images to embed onto websites, blog posts, and social media posts, you cannot include them in PowerPoint presentations not intended just for personal use (and what PPTs are just intended for personal use, other than the ones my 4th grader creates?!), nor can you include them in any curriculum or resource materials that will be distributed to the public. [Cick here to visit the Getty webpage with info on how this all works.]

To test this process out, I went to Getty’s site and searched for a picture of a sheep. It did take a few minutes before I found a photo that I liked, and that I was “allowed” to use (the embed sign popped up with the other options). Here’s the image:

So there’s obviously some give and take here. While allowing users to embed certain images into their online content, Getty is also identifying the source of the content, and adding in some shareable buttons for good measure. If you don’t mind the way this might look on a blog post, or your website, then Getty could be a good new source of free images for you.

But there are other options out there! Pixabay / Flickrs Creative Commons  to name a couple. And their images are already free to download and use.

Do you use other royalty free image sites not mentioned here? List them in the comments!

~Jamie