Advice on vintage illustrations and online business

7 replies

I enjoy looking at vintage illustrations, like those found in various children's books and on greetings cards and wonder if anyone has any advice on how to earn money with these images? Is there a way to monetise a website that displays these images? Or should they placed on products and sold through various stores?
#advice #business #illustrations #online #vintage
  • Profile picture of the author Ged3
    illustrations on children's books and greetings cards may be covered by copyright law.

    You would need to check. If it published before 1923 it could be in the public domain then you
    may be able to copy it but you may still need to check first as I am no lawyer.

    Public domain include work that was published before 1923 that is no longer protected by copyright laws - sometimes much more recently that is now in now in the "public domain".

    People have made a lot of money from public domain works, that include images and books, there is a goldmine of material that you can use.

    There are sites you can download public domain images to use, it may be better for you to
    search for images to use from one of these such as the

    Always check the rights you have with sites like the above to make sure you can legally use them and see what the terms and conditions are.

    Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by writetoearn View Post

    how to earn money with these images?
    There are tons of ways to monetize vintage images. Here are just a very, very few:
    1. Greeting cards
    2. Calendars
    3. Wall prints
    4. Playing cards
    5. Invitations
    6. Announcements
    7. Posters
    8. T-shirts
    9. Mugs
    10. Book Illustrations
    11. Thank you cards, note cards
    12. Memes
    13. Sell in topical bundles on Etsy, eBay, etc
    14. Sell individual images on these same sites
    15. PowerPoint templates
    16. Postcards
    17. Flea markets
    18. Framed classical art
    19. Screensavers and backgrounds
    20. Web site images
    21. Flyers
    22. Business cards
    23. Email marketing promotions
    24. Labels, stickers, decals
    25. Puzzles
    26. Newsletters
    27. On social media
    28. Mouse pads, phone cases
    29. Company SWAG and promotions
    30. Banners
    31. Bumper stickers
    32. Coasters, menus, book marks
    33. Gift tags
    34. Rack cards
    35. Sell to graphic artists
    Tons more alternatives - just be a little creative.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author SiteNameSales
    You can find a lot of public domain, free to use vintage art online at the New York Public Library Digital Collection.

    Off the top of my head I'm thinking of t-shirts and mugs and other tchotchkes . You can have your own website or sell on Ebay.. There are also WP plugins for some print-on-demand businesses. I think Shopify has a list. Also check out sites like Zazzle and Spreadshirt (has a great free store option).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Dami3n
    The only way to make money from something like this is branding. Some on items and products. You could create a website and charge people to use them. But that would mean creating them yourself or paying someone for the sole rights to re sell their work.

    A simple google search for "PUBLIC Domain Vintage Illustrations" Will help you out. But if you plan on selling on a large scale make sure you have evidence that these are public domain so yo don't get stung down the line.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blue Horizons
    I have several stores on Zazzle.Check them out.They offer hundreds of products you can choose from to place your retro illustrations on and sell them.You get a commission (set by you) when someone orders one of your products.

    That's only the beginning though.You have to market the products in your store on your own website /blog and social media such as Pinterest,Twitter and Facebook etc.If you just place the illustrations on different items and wait for sales from the Zazzle marketplace to come in,you wont make much money,so yeah it can be time consuming and lots of work.Your best bet would be to pick a niche and focus your efforts on it.

    As already stated by others,make sure any images you use are in the public domain.Cafepress is another POD(Print On Demand) site that many people use.
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