Getting Blog Graphics on a Budget

Holy smokes! Will Self Publishing Make You Die was shared more in the past week than  Narrative and the Brain, the previous top post, had been shared over the past 8 months. Since alarmist pseudoscience appears to be all the rage, I'm hard at work on the follow-ups:  1)  Bad Prologues and Other Signs of the Apocolypse and  2)  Do Adverbs Cause Erectile Dysfunction?*

Today however, I'm braindead from my yearly committee meeting. It went well, but after puzzling over rather challenging data all week, I'm going to write a post that doesn't require coherent sentences.

 I've been looking into getting a blog header graphic and recently asked twitter for suggestions. As always, twitter rose to the challenge. Here is a compilation of the responses I got. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

*I may or may not actually be writing those follow-up articles.

Places to get art or stock photos (copyright and permissions vary from site to site):
1. DeviantART (@shaunduke)
2. Take a photo of something relevant that photographs well & crop to needed shape (via @audryt)
3. Dreamstime
4. iStockPhoto
5. Wikimedia Commons
6. 123rf

Ways to find graphic designers
1. Etsy (go to Everything Else, then Custom or Graphic Design)
2. Sites like 99designs and pimtim , and crowdspring let you hold design contests for a set monetary prize

1. Kinetiva has a DIY Branding Toolkit
2. Beautiful Blog Designs features blog designs, designers, and templates.

Graphic designers on twitter or recommended by people on twitter:
1. Bill Journee
2. J.M. Lee
3. Goofy girl designs (currently closed)
4. The Fae Group
5. Amanda Cobb
6. Jane R.


  1. That's awesome about your post!

    Those are great links for graphics. I usually end up doing my own, but I'm a photographer, so that works in my favor. :)

    I'm always willing to help you do a blog header with included custom art and design for a small fee or trade for editing or something, if you'd like. I've done some around the blogosphere - Sarah LaPolla from Curtis Brown (, The Public Query Slushpile (, I Blame Jane ( are a few.

    I'm not a professional or anything, but the offer's extended if you'd like. :) Good luck!

  2. Great post! I need more photos for my new outing...

  3. Great resources, Livia - thank you! I'm going to bookmark this post.

  4. Thank you for making me laugh really hard with your first paragraph!

  5. A good variety of resources. I'd just caution that anyone looking for graphics on deviantArt must realize that every single artist's copyright and permissions vary, and nothing can be assumed 'up for grabs.'

    Searching in the right categories though, there's a lot of great stock art to work with, and stock artists post clear guidelines in their journals. Also plenty of prospective artists to contact about doing custom work.

    I look forward to an insightful discussion on adverbs and erectile dysfunction, a problem that truly needs more attention and honest discussion ;)

  6. Thanks for the offer, Michelle! I think I'll probably go with a designer from etsy who had a sample similar to what I wanted, but if that falls through, I might take you up on it. Your headers are beautiful. Now I know why your book cover's so nice :-)

  7. Great post, Livia. I've bookmarked it. I'm always looking for good image resources.

  8. The Stock Exchange is a great free stock photo website:

    Also, as a graphic professional who is an aspiring author, I think it'd be a good idea for you power-bloggers to offer a trade. You could offer 1 or more guest post spots on your blog in exchange for a simple header graphic. I'm sure anyone who's trying to be a bigger part of the online writing community would jump at the opportunity.

    Thanks for the post!

  9. It may also be good to point out that you should be careful taking images from deviantART as well - many dArters are young and don't understand licensing themselves, and may have reposted someone else's work as their own without realizing the legal implications! Double check all sources, but that goes for everything in life, I guess :)

  10. This was a timely post for me. I want to start including more images in blog posts, but I never know where to start looking. Thanks for the resources!

  11. Strangely enough, I found mine by asking a simple question: if I were to get a tattoo of my logo somewhere on my body, what would I want to have? (From Danielle LaPorte's The FireStarter Sessions)

    The illustrator who designed the header on my blog had an illustration that I loved--I emailed her and asked if I could use it. We got to emailing back and forth and she volunteered to spruce it up. This is what I ended up with :) She's awesome!