Daniel Benneworth-Gray goes on a low-budget journey

Faced with tiny budgets for imagery for use in his work, our design correspondent Daniel Benneworth-Gray has found a treasure trove on Flickr Commons. If you have the time to look

Working with small publishers on exceedingly niche titles, I’m often faced with a meagre or non-existent image budget. When this is the case, and a type-only cover simply won’t do, I turn to my favourite trove of visual wonders: Flickr Commons.

This is where historical, governmental, educational and non-profit organisations can share their digital collections – mostly historical images scanned from books and journals that have automatically passed into the public domain. Anyone can delve into these treasures, hitherto buried in the vaults of esteemed institutions such as NASA, the Smithsonian and the Museum of Hartlepool, and have a good rummage. Entirely altruistic, this is ‘good internet’, and a boon to the humble book designer.