A guide to choose images for digital signage

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This is even more true for digital signage projects!

Visual contents are fundamental to immediately understand what the main topic of a presentation, an article, a blog post, or a website is. Also, an attractive and appealing image will catch the viewer’s eye, getting them ready to appreciate what you want to tell (or sell) them.

Fantastic images and where to find them

Are you an Insta-holic? Then you certainly prefer to use your own images. But sometimes it might be better to rely on professional image stocks featuring stunning and professionally taken photos.

For those who want to use stunning images in their digital signage projects, we’ve prepared a little cheat-sheet of the best free, paid and context-specific stock websites.

Let’s have a look.

Free stock images sites

Let’s begin with free photo stock images. There is a large range of websites within to choose, so you certainly will find what you’re looking for.


pexelsPexels provides a choice among more than 25,000 free stock photos, which is updated with more than 3,000 new images every month. Pexels’ collection is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means that you can use, copy and modify the images even for commercial purposes. The stock is conveniently arranged into searchable categories. In addition, home page immediately shows the most popular and just-added image to help and guide your choice.


pixabayPixabay is a large, free and high-quality stock of images, also released under CC0 license, where you can navigate between more than 890,000 photos. A large collection that could cater to all of your needs.



StockSnap.io provides hundreds of high-resolution images free from any restriction: pictures comes both from around the web and select photographers, and they are added daily on their database; it has an attractive and functional search engine.

Negative Space

negative_spaceNegativeSpace offers a large selection of high-resolution photos with no restriction and CC0 license. A large selection of categories and, as bonus, you can choose to receive a weekly selection of new photos directly on your inbox.


freestockfreestock.org is a simple, but useful photo stock where you can download beautiful photos, both for personal and commercial use.Website’s design is minimal but working well, as it’s very polished.


unsplashedUnsplash is where you can find more free and high-resolution photos. The Unsplash team features with 10 new photos every 10 days: they provide both curated and featured collections, within you can find stunning and jaw-dropping landscape images.

Paid stock image sites

If you’re looking for the best available on the market (and you’re willing to spend a little for it).

Adobe Stock

adobestockAdobe Stock provides a set of photos, videos, vectors and art illustrations for your creative projects, and also offers a lot of 3D resources, all of them obviously sorted by categories and subjects. Three purchase options are available to fit different needs and budgets.


bigstockBigStocks catalogue of photos and videos offers three subscription plan options. With the most affordable of them you can download 150 images/videos for  $49 per month and, with  the most expensive, 300 images/videos for $79 per month. The third, flexible subscription gets you either 50 images for $59 dollars a month, or 50 videos for $69 a month, without any daily limitation.



GettyImages offers  the most striking images from all around the world. You can find anything in here: from “Animals got air” to “Icon bridal fashion through the ages”. Obviously, such luxury comes at a cost: Getty Images is positively the most expensive on the stock of images market.


istockistock allows you to download photos, videos, vector illustrations and many more. Prices start from $11 per credit, but flexible subscription plans are also available, starting from $85 per subscription that provides you 10 images per month.

Context-specific stock images



Foodiesfeed will make you hungry. It’s a resource of realistic food images available for free or with a freemium subscription. Lots of categories (and dishes) ready for download.

New Old Stock

New Old Stock is the only website for vintage lovers. Here you can find vintage photos from public archives, which are free for non-commercial use. Otherwise you can buy one of available pro photo packs.

How to pick the right photo for your project?

With all these beautiful images to choose from, It’s not an easy task to pick the perfect photo best suitable for your needs.

Here are some tips you could find useful.

First of all, the selected photo should be of a high-resolution. Keep an eye on the file size: in fact, the larger and heavier the image is, the slower your digital signage system will run.

Keep attention to details: a good image has to be clear and focused on the subject (too many objects in the same shot can potentially distract the viewer). Also colors should be well balanced according to the light conditions of the screens’ placements.


This is not a good image: too dark for digital monitors and screens.

This is a good image: polished and bright.

An image has to be representative of the object you want to talk about. So, choose something relevant to the idea you want to communicate.

If you want to insert more than one image, be sure to choose a set of photos that have a similar style: they have to be either all in color or all in black and white, for example. Then, pay attention to the angle, filter, and chromatic scale.

Last but not the least: display them right

A carousel image slider is the perfect choice to run a beautiful slideshow in a digital signage project.

In a previous post on this blog, we talked about the 5 must-have tools of a worthy and professional digital signage project, among which we suggested Slider Revolution or Layout Slider as a good item for a carousel images slider.

Set your creativity free

Now that you have all the right tips and resources to find the perfect image(s), you can start to build a stunning and attractive slideshow for your digital signage platform.

Remember that an appealing design is fundamental in digital signage projects, because sight and sound are the most engaging senses for all of us, your audience included.

Get lost in the images’ wonderland: we hope you will return inspired and ready to develop your digital signage project.