The Visual Advantage: Creating and Sourcing Images Is Easier Than Ever

The Visual Advantage: Creating and Sourcing Images Is Easier Than Ever

Creating and Sourcing images is Easier Than Ever

In this third and final post of Visual Advantage seriesSo far we have covered How Imagery Can Take Your Content to the Next Level as well as How Imagery Can Take Your Social Engagement to the Next Level. This week we are going to take a deep dive on creating and sourcing those images!

Creating and sourcing images is easier than ever

For many publications, the days of having fully staffed art departments is well in the past. The great news is, there are a number of tools that make sourcing and designing creatives both easy and often free!

A few ideas for content include:

    • Stock photos that relate
    • Charts and graphs
    • Text graphics
    • Infographics
    • Company logos
    • Mug shots of people
    • Photos of buildings

Looking at the images included in this series, you will find the featured images were free, and the rest of the artwork was created in just minutes using free tools. The best part is, with a bit of practice, your entire editorial staff can leverage these tools freeing up your designers for more critical tasks. I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination, and I know it shows… however, even with my lack of design experience, I was still able to build a few compelling creatives very quickly.

An AI generated image of a man reading a newspaper from the 40s, generated by

One other resource to keep your eye on is AI driven image creation. Major advancements are being made every single day. Midjourney is one of the best tools currently available. 

This image was created using Midjourney with the prompt: “A man from the 40’s reading a newspaper in the park, warm light cinematic, low f-stop”

Copyright free images

Unsplash —

Pros: Large selection of high-quality images, easy to use search function, and images can be used for commercial purposes.

Cons: Limited filtering options for search results, some images require attribution, and the quality of images can be inconsistent.

Unsplash Logo - an excellent resource for images

Pexels —

Pros: Large selection of high-quality images, images can be used for commercial purposes, and search results can be filtered by color.

Cons: Limited selection of more niche images, some images require attribution, and the search function can be slow.

Pexels Logo - a great resource for stock images

Pixabay —

Pros: Large selection of high-quality images, easy to use search function, and images can be used for commercial purposes.

Cons: Some images require attribution, the selection of more niche images can be limited, and there is a mix of high-quality and lower-quality images.

Pixabay logo - a great resource for stock images

It’s important to note that while these sites offer copyright-free images, some images may require attribution or have certain usage restrictions. Always check the license agreement before using an image, and be sure to follow any attribution requirements.

Image creation tools

Canva logo - a great resource for stock images and tools for creating images

Canva —

Canva offers a wide range of design templates for various purposes, as well as a drag-and-drop interface for easy image editing with features for adding text, shapes, and other design elements.

Pros: Easy to use, even for beginners, Large selection of design templates and elements, Offers a free plan as well as paid subscription options

Cons: Some design features are limited in the free plan, Can be slow to load for more complex designs, Limited control over finer design details

Venngage Logo - an excellent tool for generating infographics and more

Venngage specializes in creating infographics, reports, and data visualizations with a library of templates and design elements. It also offers a range of features for creating custom charts and visualizations.

Pros: Specializes in creating engaging and informative infographics and reports, Offers a large selection of templates and design elements, Includes features for creating custom charts and visualizations

Cons: More limited in scope than general image editing tools, Some features are only available with paid subscriptions, Can be more challenging for beginners to use

Midjourney —

Midjourney AI is an innovative image generation tool that leverages artificial intelligence to create visually stunning and unique images for various purposes. It is designed to cater to both novice users and seasoned graphic designers, offering an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

Pros: Midjourney AI boasts a powerful AI-driven image generation engine, allowing users to create custom images with minimal effort. It is suitable for a wide range of applications, from social media graphics to professional designs. The tool is available across platforms, enabling seamless usage on desktop and mobile devices.

Cons: Midjourney AI may have a steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with AI-based tools, as users need to familiarize themselves with its unique features and controls. Additionally, the tool may not offer as many pre-designed templates and elements as some competitors, potentially limiting the scope of creative expression for users. Finally, certain features and functionalities might be restricted on mobile devices, making it more challenging to achieve the desired results when editing on the go.

Pixlr Logo - an excellent tool for creating image resources


Pixlr is a web-based image editing tool that offers a range of features for basic image editing, templates, and more advanced resources like AI image generation.

Pros: Free to use with no account required, Offers a range of editing tools for basic and advanced image editing, Can be used on desktop or mobile devices

Cons: Limited design templates and elements compared to other tools, Interface can be confusing for some users, Some features may not be available on mobile devices

Overall, each of these image design tools has its own unique features and benefits that cater to different needs and skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional designer, these tools can help you create high-quality graphics and images for your content.

Wrapping things up

I am hopeful the last several posts have been helpful in giving both context and tools designed to help increase your engagement through visuals! Just remember, the best place to start, is to just start! As you begin exploring and measuring the impact of your changes, you will be able to quickly refine your strategies.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore more topics on increasing engagements!

If you are interested in a bit more than just my written words, feel free to reach out, I would love to offer a free 30 minute consult on this or any other digital publishing topic!