Free Graphics from Old Books

Free Graphics from Old Books

Richard Popovic
Jun 29, 2011

There is a certain appeal to old illustrations that is hard to put your finger on. It could be the stark black and white style, or the careful lettering that sometimes accompanies the picture. It may be the reflection of a simpler time that is echoed in each work, or the occasional liberty taken with details, especially when it comes to animals. Whatever the case may be, old illustrations can have many uses today, from art projects to logo and website design. Luckily, one website is turning what was once a random search for these images into an easy and categorized trip into the past.

Old Book Illustrations has taken it upon themselves to scan woodcuts and engravings from old books and make them readily available to the public. The best part is that these images are considered to be in the public domain and can be legally used by anyone for any reason. The site is well organized, with numerous categories and thorough tagging, making searches a breeze. They even have a section called Present Tense which highlights the work of modern illustrators. While most images are not available at high resolutions, they do offer a revolving selection of ten hi-res images for download as a zip file.

A creative mind can certainly find a bunch of uses for these gems. Homemade coloring books? Alphabet cards? The possibilities are endless! Old Book Illustrations deserves an old-school thank you for their work. Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

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