Copy space – finding it and using it

Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) abstract head portrait, Lake Kerkini, Greece, March
Nature Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Find images with copy space for your marketing with our handy search tips.

One of the most commonly asked questions from our customers is: “What’s the best way to find images with copy space?” We’ve put together some of our top search tips as well as some guidance on getting the most out of your images once you’ve found them.

Let’s kick things off with our tips for searching for images with copy space

Use search strings

One of the most effective ways to find images with copy space is to enter this search string in the search box:

(copyspace or “copy space”) not cutout not “cut out” not “white background” not “on white” not isolated
Click here to check out the results this search returns >
This is a great option if you’re just starting off your search and don’t have a specific idea of the type of image you want.

View of young woman running on sidewalk in morning. Health conscious concept with copy space.
Ammentorp Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

If you know what type of image you’re looking for, all you need to do is add a keyword such as ‘landscapes’ to the start of the search string above. For example:

landscapes (copyspace or “copy space”) not cutout not “cut out” not “white background” not “on white” not isolated
See the search results here >

Sunset at tropical beach, Maldives Island landscape
Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

Make use of keywords

Using keywords like ‘texture or pattern or background or wallpaper’ can generate a strong set of relevant search results. Just be careful to choose an image that doesn’t look too ‘busy’ so you don’t detract attention from the text you add.

Painted Metal Garage Door, Close-Up
Glasshouse Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Use our search filters 

Narrow your search down further by making use of our search filters, which you’ll find on the top of the search results page. You can filter by location, orientation, colour, number of people and even date taken, so there’s lots of choice to help you find the perfect image.

Find out more about our search filters in our blog ‘how to use the search filters on Alamy’.

Explore our image categories

Our curated image categories can be a real time-saver if you’re looking for a copy space image with a particular theme. We’ve picked out these three categories that naturally lend themselves to images with copy space.

Book covers
Images for print

What makes a good image for adding copy to?

  • White or solid colour backgrounds– you’ll usually find these in studio shots and cut-outs
  • Natural backgrounds like blue sky, water, grass and sand
  • Textured or patterned backgrounds

Check out our handpicked lightbox for some copy space image ideas.


There are a few questions that crop up when people are overlaying copy on to their images for the first time, so we’ve done our best to answer a few of them.

Q: The image is perfect but the copy space isn’t wide enough or in the right place…
A: Don’t worry. An image with a simple background like blue sky is easy to extend during editing. You can also look at other editing techniques like flipping the image to get the copy space on the side you need it.

Q: Part of the image is great, but it’s not exactly what I need…
A: You don’t have to use the whole image, use multiple images to create exactly what you’re looking for. That way you can also create as much copy space as you need.

Q: The background on my image is textured so it’s hard to read the copy.
A: You can add a transparent layer to the image, this will make it easier to read the copy without losing the impact of the image.

Beech leaves, Fagus sylvatica.
Derek Croucher / Alamy Stock Photo

Q: Are there any guidelines about where to put the text?
A: It depends on the individual image and the space that’s available but you should consider wrapping your text around large objects in the image, and if your image has clear lines or borders make sure your text lines up to them to keep it looking clean. Dark copy on a lighter background is easiest to read.

Other useful info about buying images for advertising…

  • If you’re looking for a particular brand colour, you can use our new colour filter to insert colour codes or select a colour using the wheel.
  • If you’re using your image commercially* it needs to have all the necessary releases*. You can find out more over on our releases page.
  • To make sure you have the correct rights to use you need to make sure you buy the right license type.

New to image buying? You can find more general search tips over on our picture research page.

Related blogs:

Quick definitions:

Model ReleaseA legal release form signed by the person or people in a photograph, giving permission for the photographer to use or sell the photo in one form or another.
Editorial useEditorial use generally means when an image or clip is used to illustrate a newsworthy article, a critique or an educational text.
Commercial useCommercial use generally means that an image is used to sell a product, promote something or raise money for a cause. This includes use in advertising, marketing, promotion, packaging, publication covers, advertorials and consumer or merchandising products.


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