With all the different types of digital stock media – it can be difficult to know what they are referring to. Here are some terms & definitions to better understand this stuff.
If you are not a graphic designer – some digital media terms can get a little confusing!
Audio: Like video clips, audio clips are not available on all stock media websites. Unlike video clips though, audio needs are often very specific to the intended use – which is why it is not being offered by all stock providers.
License: Basically what you are allowed (and not allowed) to do with the media.
Credits: Many stock photo sites offer subscription-based, meaning you can download an unlimited (or specified) amount of assets in a certain time period, some you will have the option to use credits to purchase digital assets instead.
Digital marketing: Any marketing that appears online – including website, banner ads, social media graphics, and email, etc.
DPI (Dots Per Inch): The number of pixels per square inch for a file or graphic. Helps determine the best resolution.
Editorial license: A photo that may be used for anything non-commercial – like a blog post or presentation.
Illustrations: Computer generated or artist drawn rather than photographed. Most vector based illustrations cost more because you or your designer can select and work from, edit, and manipulate rather easily – rather than starting from scratch.
Pixel: A unit of measure used in digital media.
Resolution: How many DPI a photo has. (Usually 72dpi for Web & 300dpi for print are standard).
Royalty Free Images: Images or other media that can be used without having to pay a royalty with each use.
Stock photography: Photos that are taken for resale or reuse by others.
Subscription Service: Programs that allow users to pay a set fee per month (or per year) in order to receive a designated number of daily downloads or total number of downloads. Subscription services are generally the best for those looking to download larger amounts of content.
Traditional marketing: Any type of marketing that is non-digital like TV, Radio and Print.
Vector Images: Usually created in Adobe Illustrator uses paths (points, lines, and shapes) to create art that is clean, camera ready, and can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality or fidelity. Vector images are generally utilized for printed projects because they can be resized without being distorted. These images are more costly to use but often the best choice for printed media or for promotional use.
Video: Not all stock media companies offer video clips; however, they are becoming increasingly popular. Video clips can vary in size and quality and generally cost more than other types of media.
I hope the digital media terms here will help you better understand what designers and vendors are talking about or requesting.