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Using Public Domain Images

January 10, 2016

Public Domain Images on book covers.

Cover Your Dreams

Recently the New York Public Library  launched a website where you can download from nearly 200,000 public domain images.

Believe it or not there is no permission required and no restrictions on use.

But can these images be turned into book covers? Sure! Here are a few covers I’ve done using public domain images:

Not that public domain imagery can form the major element of the cover such as with See Change, above, or it can be part of the cover made up of several elements, such as the red cover – the Rhino is a public domain woodcut!

And public domain should be distinguish from “Creative Commons”. Creative Commons is where the artist or photographer has voluntarily relinquished some or all of their rights during their lifetime. Public domain usually concerns material wherein the artist has been dead for more than a given period (usually about 70 years…

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