Links to Images and Graphics

Dr. Richard M. Johnson

What follows is a set of links to places where a person can find free graphic material to construct an attractive web page of his/her own. From these sources, one can find buttons, arrows, lines, pictures, icons, backgrounds, clip art, etc. It is possible to make an attractive web page using only the materials contained within the Netscape web page editor, but it is fun to find other material to make the pages more exciting and more tailored to one's individual tastes.

A web page etiquette tip is in order, though. One must give credit to the sources from whence one gets any borrowed graphics (whether they are free or not). The proper way to document the sources on the web page is to given links to the source. For instance, the lines and the icons on this page come from NiftyPics, one of the links listed below. Note that the link is highlighted in a different color from the rest of the text.

Another important thing to remember is that the page needs to be readable. In other words, too many icons, bars, lines, etc. are not in order. Busy and complicated backgrounds also hurt the readability of the page.

One needs to save the graphics to the A: drive (the same disk that will contain the page) and link the graphics from your page to the a: drive also. That way, the graphics should show up on the page when the instructor loads it in his computer.

Having said that, look at the links given and have fun designing the page. Design is important. Remember, though, that the text on the page is more important, especially the introduction, criticism, and rating of the links you include.

The Links

The first link refers to a page of links. The Free Stuff Center- Graphics Section can take you to 36 sites featuring free graphics to use on the web page. The sites vary in quality and in quantity of images offered, and the Free Stuff site will not show the graphics. It is a useful first place to look.

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If you want lots of choices for icons (the little pictures such as the apple on the page), one good place to visit is the Absolutely Free Icon Library. This site offers 23 pages worth of different icons, about 50 to each page. So the selection is good. One drawback to the page is that the icons are not sorted by category, so you will have to spend some time looking for a suitable icon for your page. That limits its usefullness, but the selection is wide and varied.

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For a black and white clip art selection, as well as some animated GIF graphics, you might want to look in Caboodles. The site does have a wide variety of images. The main drawback to this page is that the clip art files are indexed, but not described or listed in categories. It will be somewhat time-consuming to find an appropriate image on the page.

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NiftyPics offers a small selection of animations, pictures, backgrounds, lines, icons, etc. The images appear on the screen, so there is no need to wade through an written index of images to see what you might want to use. It seems like a good place to visit. I found what I wanted there. It's easy to get around in, also.

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If you want to add animated GIFs, then the Black Widow's Web would be a good place to look for ideas. This lady from the United Kingdom has many animations sorted by categories. The animations appear on the screen. The page is a bit slow to load because of the animations, but it's fun to explore. She also includes links to her friend's sites.

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The largest collections of images, bars, bullets, backgrounds, images, etc. that I was able to find is the A-1 Icon Archive, which has thousands of various images. The selection is very good, and the navigation around the site is easy. The images do come in sets, but the images for each set appear on the screen for easy saving. It would be a very good site to find graphics for the web page.

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Here then are places to find the graphics that can make your page more exciting and attractive. Have a good time hunting for the elements and designing the page. I look forward to reading them.

Dr. R. M. Johnson

25 January 1999