Caitlyn Hampton

Trending This Week: Boost Brand Identity with Graphic Backgrounds

by Caitlyn Hampton on June 9, 2017 No comments

A logo doesn’t have to be the hero of your brand identity. In fact, you know by now a brand is made up of many more elements—but were you aware that patterns can be another amazing visual identity tool? Patterns and graphic backgrounds can help create cohesion and consistency across your various touch points. They aren’t entirely new to the brand identity world, yet they have gained popularity in recent times as another effective method for conveying your brand’s personality—and can even become more recognizable than your logo itself. Not to mention they are unique and engaging.

This trend is a flexible one. It can be applied to a variety of mediums—try it on banner ads, stationary, packaging, website backgrounds, and even store-fronts. Stock vectors and illustrations make it easy to find a ready-made background that can be easily customized. With vector files, you can apply your brand’s color palette in a simple way that helps with cohesion and brand recognition. Check out the variety of designs we created using one stock graphic background below.

 
graphic backgrounds

Download the graphic background used in this design.

 
For a look that varies, play with the scale of your patterns. Consider cropping it up and close and personal, or even minimizing the size of the elements so that they almost create an optical illusion.

Patterns can communicate a part of your personality that a simple logotype or mark could not. They can represent seasons or special campaigns your company runs. The opportunities are nearly endless—how can you imagine incorporating graphic backgrounds into your own brand’s design?

 

Discover Graphic Backgrounds

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Boost Brand Identity with Graphic Backgrounds

Trending This Week: Textured Paper Text Effects

by Caitlyn Hampton on June 2, 2017 No comments

When we told you that paper textures are trending in the design world, we weren’t joking. This week we not only found another nifty paper-inspired effect, but also a tutorial to show you how to apply the technique to your own designs. Maybe it’s Google’s Material Design guidelines or maybe it’s a desire for nostalgia—but we can’t seem to get away from this real-world material making its way into the digital realm. And we’re more than okay with it.

 
Stock Images

Download the seamless floral background used in this design.

 
This week we noticed the paper trend getting away from the grungy, textured look—instead, this tried-and-true texture took on a light and airy feel reminiscent of spring and warm weather. Using the tutorial below, we created our own rendition of the design by using a floral background in place of a solid one. Check out our design using vectors from our royalty-free stock images.

 

 
Ready to create your own floral, paper-inspired designs? Make old-school new again and find your inspiration with our vast collection of floral backgrounds and patterns, paper textures, and so much more.

 

Explore Floral Patterns

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Textured Paper Text Effects

Trending This Week: Edgy Summer Event Posters

by Caitlyn Hampton on May 19, 2017 No comments

Killer graphic design isn’t just reserved for your day job. As the weather continues to warm up, people are getting in the party mood—and what better way to get your friends—and even strangers—to your epic events than with edgy, eye-catching posters and fliers?

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite stock images perfect for this party-ready aesthetic. From bold, geometric shapes to artistic and striking design elements, these posters are sure to draw the crowds. Use them for your next event, for an upcoming live show, or even for a pending design meetup.

 

 

These posters are completely customizable—so go wild and make them entirely your own! Ready to throw your big, summer bash?

 

Explore Trendy Posters

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Edgy Summer Event Posters

Trending This Week: Playful Illustrations in Label Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on May 12, 2017 No comments

According to Ernest Hemingway, the best way to overcome a creative block is to start with one true sentence. It’s an exercise in finding the essence of the creation so stubbornly locked away in your head. For designers, that same brain freeze can feel like a death sentence, especially when you’re 5 hours from a deadline. But don’t despair—Hemingway’s advice may be more applicable to design than it first appears. When you aren’t sure where to start, just stay true to the nature of whatever product you’re designing for. Which takes us to the trend we fell in love with this week: playful illustrations in label design.

When designing for beverage labels or food packaging, the goal is to convey which emotion you want associated with the product. We need to ask ourselves, what do these products truly mean to our customers? Do those crunchy, salty chips fill them with joy? Does looking forward to that after-dinner ice cream get them through the long workday? You get our point.

So what did we want to convey with our beer label design below? A playful throwback that takes you back to your nerdy, youthful days—but with an adult twist. To capture that carefree vibe, we took these spacey vectors from our library of royalty-free stock graphics and had a little fun ourselves.
 

Stock Vectors

Download the colorful flat science and technology vector icons used in this design.

 
If you’re not a pro illustrator quite yet and need a little help getting your designs together, don’t panic. This is one reason why stock vectors are so useful. We simply took the collection from the icons below and transformed them into the design on the right to make our label.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the colorful flat science and technology vector icons used in this design.

 
Feeling inspired by our playful design? Packaging design is a great way to flex your creative muscles and adopt an aesthetic you don’t usually aim for. Now it’s your turn—what’s the truth behind your next project?

 

Get Spacey with Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Playful Illustrations in Label Design

Trending This Week: Paradise Patterns in Graphic Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on May 5, 2017 No comments

As the weather heats up, so do design trends—and there’s nothing hotter than playful patterns that take you to the tropics. Everywhere we look, we’re seeing palms and sunny Summer motifs—vectors that reflect the shedding of winter layers and evoke the tranquility of warm weather adventures. Stay on-trend—and on time—with vacation-worthy stock images. To get you started, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites.
 

 

This torrid trend is completely versatile—use it for apparel design, packaging design, web design… the list goes on. Whether you’re looking to refresh your company’s swag or add fresh new designs to your lineup, these stock images can be customized to fit any form.

How will you turn up the heat? We applied the quirky fad to our own fun idea—a t-shirt mock-up made with stock images. Who’s up for a trip to the Bahamas?

 
Stock Images

Download this seamless stock image background of palm leaves.

 
So what do you say—are you ready to let some sunshine into your designs? If so, make sure to check out more of our top picks for Summer stock images. See you in paradise!

 

Explore Warm Weather Patterns

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Paradise Patterns in Graphic Design

Trending This Week: Colorful Patterns and Negative Space

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 28, 2017 No comments

Color and minimalism aren’t two words you generally think to pair—but in the case of this week’s trend, vibrancy and balance work together to create a fun new design aesthetic perfect for the warmer months. From magazine layouts to user interface designs, this contrasting combination has been popping up everywhere—and lucky for you, this is one trend that isn’t difficult to incorporate into your own designs.

By combining stock photos and plenty of negative space with a nice dash of a designer-friendly typeface, we can apply this technique to a variety of mediums. Check out our take on the trend below.

 
Royalty Free Stock Photos

Download the royalty free stock photo used in this design.

 
Bold color can work beautifully if it’s done tastefully, but remember—white space is your friend and smart layout design is critical for keeping everything organized. With a few simple refinements, loud colors can even work on smaller screens without being too overwhelming.

 
Royalty Free Stock Photos

Download the royalty free stock photo used in this design.

 

What’s your take on this bold design trend? Try it for yourself! We’ve got thousands of patterns and backgrounds to inspire and get you started. What will you create?

 

Explore Bold Backgrounds

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Colorful Patterns and Negative Space

Trending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 21, 2017 No comments

Designers have many tricks up their sleeves and one of the simplest is color blocking—a technique in which large blocks of bold color are photoshopped into the background.

Following brand guidelines can be tough. Style guides are strict and limit everything from the typefaces you’re allowed to use to the colors you can apply. In short, professional design projects can leave your creativity feeling a little stifled—but don’t despair! Color blocking is a great way to spice up your designs while staying on-brand and on-trend. Using the right stock graphics combined with a bold color blocking technique, you can breathe life back into your designs.

From display ads to website heroes, color blocking allows for some freedom by providing plenty of white space in your design.

 
graphic images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
In our display ad examples, we chose a yellow background to provide contrast with the model’s red hat, resulting in vibrant, playful ads that encourages potential customers to take notice.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
We used the golden ratio in order to determine the size of the yellow block, positioned the model to cover a portion of the split between the two sides, and maintained her shadow in the cutouts to create some depth between the model and the background.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
By using color blocking, we were able to choose a loud, bold color, and play with the layout design of the ad. All our brand guidelines were met, and creativity was still able to spread its wings.

Now it’s your turn—we’ve gathered some of our favorite stock graphics for use with this technique. What will you create?

 

Get the Graphics

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

Trending This Week: Website Heroes with Stock Images

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 14, 2017 No comments

You may have noticed recently that every website design is starting to look—well, quite similar. You’ve seen it before: a full-width website, with a full-width hero stock image or stock video, some short and clever H1 headline text centered over the hero, with a logo on the left, and a navigation bar on the right. Ring a bell? Now here’s the crazy thing—this is perfectly OK.

It may seem overdone, but users prefer familiar experiences across the web. As web design guru Steve Krug says, “Conventions only become conventions if they work.” And the truth is, this layout has proven itself effective by allowing users to navigate the site as easily and intuitively as possible. As a business owner or UX designer, you want to make it easy to engage new customers. Simply put, websites shouldn’t leave people scratching their heads and trying to figure out how to find what they want.

The formula is a simple one: with an eye-catching hero and an attention-grabbing H1 copy, you can communicate your brand and product—and users can navigate your website without interference. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out a few of our eye-catching designs made using stock images below.

 
Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this website design.

 
Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this website design.

 
Small businesses have a hard enough time acquiring new customers and expanding their reach as it is. As a web designer, it’s your job to make customer conversion as seamless as possible so your clients can make the big money. This design layout achieves just that.

 
What do you think of this design trend? Does it make you yawn or simplify your job? Whether you’re staying on trend or designing the next big thing, get all the hero images you need.

 

Get Heroic Stock Images

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Website Heroes with Stock Images

Trending This Week: Impressionist Paintings in UI Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 7, 2017 No comments

Degas, Renoir, Monet—these are some of the greatest impressionist painters of all time, and their emotive paintings still inspire artists and designers to this day. But you probably wouldn’t expect impressionism to show up in stock images, would you? Well prepare to be surprised! In our new Future of Creativity Collection, imagination meets tech—and we’re adopting classic styles to make them something new: digital.

Impressionism is a style of immediacy and movement—of expression as much as representation. Its colors are vibrant, its brush strokes apparent. Modern artists take it to another level using heavily saturated color palettes and modern scenes.

Curious how you can use this trend in your designs? Check out how we allowed this night time cityscape to inspire our design with this music app concept.
 

Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this design.

 
Bring your designs into the modern age with sleek text treatment, heavy blurs, and less than opaque containers. Think contrast and contradiction—mix classic painting techniques with tech and let your imagination run amok. The color explosion can be contrasted with sleek design elements.

Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to let Monet and Manet back into your artist’s heart?
 

Explore Impressionist Art

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Impressionist Paintings in UI Design

Trending This Week: Monochromatic Illustrations With Stock Vectors

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 31, 2017 No comments

The tug-of-war between design and color is a tale as old as time, but at the end of the day, good design deserves a thoughtful color scheme—and vice-versa. To get the most out of this dynamic relationship, learning the fundamentals of color theory is one of the first things you should tackle as a designer. Sometimes an idea can spring from a color palette and breathe life into your designs. Other times, it’s the glue that keeps all of your ideas together.

This season, one color scheme in particular is ruling the design scene, and it’s refreshingly easy to achieve. A monochromatic color palette is a great choice for creating visual consistency while keeping your projects on-trend. Just take a look at our monochromatic book cover design below. With just a few simple stock vectors, some carefully placed text, and a Hue blend mode layered on top, we’ve created a beautiful cover design of one of our favorite books—Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the geometric seamless plaid stock vector and flat illustration stock vector used in this design.

 
Beautiful design doesn’t have to be difficult to achieve—in fact, simplicity often makes for a more effective design. Monochromatic color palettes can take retro elements like plaid and a typeface like Bookmania and make them feel modern and fresh.

 
So, what do you say—are you bold enough to start designing your own monochromatic illustrations with stock vectors?

 

Explore Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Monochromatic Illustrations With Stock Vectors