Now Reading
How to better search images on Google

How to better search images on Google

by Design SyncApril 27, 2015

An image is worth a thousand words.

As designers there is some point in time we will have to jump onto the internet to search for image references. We type in our search query, hit enter and click on the images tab. Voila, there is your images library of references. Digging deeper there is much more to Google’s image search engine capabilities and I’ll run you though what I know.

To make this tip and trick section a bit more interesting lets say we had a superficial project to create a poster ad selling something like… a refreshing orange juice surfacing out of the sand at a unique beach location. We have the orange juice package element, as an idea we need to search for this unique beach. We type in “beach side” on our Google search and see a number of images. Scan through, most of the images seem to be generic until the very first thing that strikes me was this old twirly tree risen from the sand. Yes this could be the image that can be explored. We click on the image and a larger popup image appears. If we want to source more we can click on View more button. Though in doing so we don’t get a lot of good result of this particular image reference. What we can do and is a key image search feature from Google is to drag this image and drop it into the search field.  It takes you to a page with the information. Now, from the information obtained, I know that this image is from Aruba, a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. From there you can take your image search further, purchase the image from a royalty-free stock library or click on the visually similar images to see more of the location from different angles. If you click on the Search tools tab you have more filter options. If you already have an image you can click and drag that image onto the search field. The image I believe will upload to Googles server to allow it to do their search. Go to to give it a go and have fun searching.

Steps by step process:
1. Go to Google Search website (or use the search field if your browser accept Google searches).
2. Type in Beach Side into the search field.
3. Click on Images.
4. Image library shows up endless of images. Look for a twirly tree on the beach. If you can’t find it simply select any image you like.
5. Drag and drop that image into the search field.
6. There you go, that search directs you to Googles search info page.
7. Click on Visually similar images link to see more images.


Google also has a feature in which you can filter out your image searchers. This can be very useful however if your using images for commercial use, it’s better to be cautious with the Usage rights drop down section even if it does allow for you to use it. The web is open to anyone uploading images onto a hosting server and for that reason the image authorisation can be distorted. Unless it is very generic and you change the image to a degree that it isn’t recognisable without infringing on any copyright issue then that is a possibility. Otherwise it’s best to purchase the image from the owner or from a royalty-free stock library. Even better it would be great to fly out to Aruba to take some photos of your own if the budget allows for it. Wishful thinking, but who knows.

Filter features on Google Image Search

Any size
Larger than…
Any color
Full Color
Black and white
A number of color checker boxes.
Any type
Clip art
Line drawing


Any time
Past 24 hours
Past week
Custom range…
Usage rights:
Not filtered by license
Labeled for reuse with modification
Labeled for reuse
Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification
Labeled for noncommercial reuse.
More results:
All results
Show sizes






Related links:
Inside Search information:
Image Search on Google:

What's your reaction?
A proud owner
Not a happy owner

Leave a Response