Caroline Mercurio

7 Big Graphic Design Trends to Watch for in 2017

by Caroline Mercurio on December 13, 2016 1 comment

As the wild year of 2016 wraps up—crazy, we know—it’s a good idea to start looking forward in the world of design to see what graphic design trends are coming our way. We’ve been dreaming and imagining how we can incorporate stock photos and vectors. into new and exciting design themes. While we’ve seen some great trends over the past year, 2017 is promising to take design to a fresher, bolder level.

Learn how you can incorporate these trends into your designs using stock media from our royalty-free vector and photo library.

 

Material Design

Material design may just be the biggest and boldest of design trends to really try to grasp and understand. This style guide was created by Google to try and simplify the way designers design and users interact with the Internet. The core concepts of this trend are “material as a metaphor; bold, graphic, intentional; and motion provides meaning.”

 
Graphic Design Trends

Download this Infographic Chart Template.

 

What does all that mean? The visual aesthetic communicates clearly with your user. Draw inspiration from real-world materials—particularly paper and ink—to keep your designs grounded in reality, yet lightweight and minimalistic. Paper is tactile, casts shadows, but is also incredibly flexible. Design with those principles in mind and think about how you’re weaving together the fabric of the Internet.

 
Graphic Design Trends

Download these Web Infographic-Ready Button Vectors.

 

Be bold with your colors, contrast, and typography. Don’t shy away from imposing a strong hierarchy. Your design should guide the user’s behavior. Utilize motion in your designs—literal and implied—to communicate with your users. Always be thinking: How can I influence my audience to act the way I desire? Google’s Material Design aesthetic is very similar to Flat Design 2.0, but it takes intentionality to another level.

 

Bold Photography and Sleek Text

 

Download these images of A Fit Woman Running and the Determined Female Athlete in the Bleachers.

 

This may be the year of brave designers. Bold photography in coordination with sleek text is gaining momentum as a trend. This combination is often found in advertisements for brands that embrace adventure. Some examples include activewear brands like Nike and also fashion brands like Everlane, amongst many others. (Have you seen our tutorial on how to create striking text portraits?)

This combination exudes class, yet also excitement. It communicates a clear message, but doesn’t bore the audience. “Bold and sleek” works well for an audience with a short attention span as it gets straight to the point. This combination works great for display ads, social media promotions, and graphics where a small amount of information needs to be conveyed instantly. Incorporate bold borders to better emphasize your information and draw greater attention.

 

Modernized Retro

In our recent post about the hottest trends of 2016, we coined the term “Retro Nouveau” in order to distinguish what was commonly known as retro (20s-70s) from what newer retro designs are emulating (80s-00s). However, modernized retro is a whole other ball game. Consider it as a way of simplifying and modernizing any particular graphical element that stood out from any time period of the past.

 
Graphic Design Trends

Download this Nautical Vector Illustration.

 

For example, you could focus on modernizing old product labels that utilized badges and flowy script. Or possibly choose to recreate incredibly detailed artwork and icons and choose to scrape them down to their bare essential geometry. Maybe a color palette of the past inspires you—creams, reds, and baby blues, anyone?—and revitalize those little details in your new design. Breathe fresh life into old graphic classics and make something into your own.

 

Saturated Colors

 
Graphic Design Trends

Download this saturated image of a vivid sky at sunset.

 

Pantone often leads the way with seasonal color trends. In 2017, expect vibrant and bold colors that are incredibly true to their dominant hue. This trend started to sneak its way into a variety of design elements earlier in 2016, but should really pick up speed with the new year. Look for colors found in nature and intensify them. With photography, be bold and up the saturation of your images.

 
Graphic Design Trends

Download this image of a beautiful lake landscape with long time exposure.

 

In terms of designing with color, choose loud and deep colors—not necessarily bright. Look for colors that are heavy on the hue rather than brighter in lightness. In your graphic designs, utilize contrasting colors similar to what is suggested in material design. Allow each color to fearlessly draw attention to specific areas of your design.

 

Function First

Above all of the previously mentioned trends, function is the key player for 2017. As new technologies emerge like augmented reality, it’s important for designs to be clear about the action that is desired from a user. In fact, utilizing all of the above trends can help achieve this goal.

Utilize the presence of shadows and motion to indicate clear “clickable” portions of your web designs. Bold photography combined with minimal text can help relay an important message that needs to be quickly discerned. Modernized retro can help encapsulate a distinct feeling or sense of nostalgia you wish to associate with your product. Saturated and contrasting colors will draw attention to the most prevalent portions of a design. Think function and clarity in addition to aesthetically pleasing design.

 
http://blog.graphicstock.com/graphic-design-trends/50-perfect-stock-photos-for-social-media-images/

Download this Abstract Geometric Background.

 

As technology adapts further and further, user experience is a necessity to keep in mind. As a result, many designs will have to be approached with practicality at the forefront of their concepts. Similar to how skeuomorphism helped ease the transition into smartphones and touch screens, designs for new technologies will need to be approached in a way that makes the most sense for new users—which is really all of us.

 

Magical Realism

 

 

Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. 2017 is not the year to be afraid; it’s the year to push boundaries. If you’re looking for some photos that can really set your designs apart, look no further than these magical realism photos–sure to cause a double-take.

They make an excellent backdrop for graphic posters, social media, and event promotions–really any project that you’d like to feel magical and inspiring. Want to add another touch of mysticism to these works of art? Try adding a grunge texture overlay to roughen them up a bit.

 

Social Media Madness

 
Graphic Design Trends

Download this image of Dramatic Sunbeams in the Sea.

 

Instagram and Snapchat took over in 2016 and new social media apps are keeping the momentum going into the new year. However, one thing is for sure: social media is more powerful than ever for business. And it’s really not as simple as it seems.

It can be hard to nail down what sort of content will perform successfully. Your social media posts are worthless without captivating graphics. Stock media can provide the perfect backdrop for any variety of social media content. One of our favorite combos? A stunning landscape with a motivational quote to accompany high-performing hashtags such as #motivationmonday, #thursdaythoughts, and #fridayfeeling. Need some help finding your perfect image? Explore our 50 favorite picks for social.

 
Are you ready for 2017? Try your hand at designing with these trends using stock vectors and photos. What better way to start the year than with a new creative project?

 

Download Trending Graphics

 

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Caroline Mercurio7 Big Graphic Design Trends to Watch for in 2017

20 Stock Photos That Will Actually “Un-Stock” Your Advertising

by Caroline Mercurio on December 7, 2016 No comments

In advertising, you need to lead first with visuals to grab your audience’s attention. Yet not every creative team has a photographer on call with an unlimited travel budget to supply a steady stream of fresh and innovative images. Instead, the majority of marketers and designers turn to stock photographs for high quality content.

Unfortunately, some of these photos can seem “stocky”—too posed, too cliched, and too unreal—for consumers to truly connect with the message. That’s why we’ve picked 20 of our favorite photos to “un-stock” your advertising, as well as explaining the four best types of photos to look for when picking fresh visual content for your advertising.

 

Authentic Portraits

Day in and day out, customers are bombarded with photographs of retouched models in highly-posed situations. Advertising that uses images of everyday people in realistic contexts can connect with audiences at a human level, resonating with consumers’ desire for authenticity.

Portraiture with subjects who develop strong and honest rapports with the camera evoke a sense of believability and earnesty. Direct and emotive gazes without false smiles are crucial for these types of advertising portraits.

 
1.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of an elderly man at work.

 
2.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a happy boy laughing.

 
3.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a woman and her husband.

 
4.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a young woman working out.

 
5.
Stock Photos

Download this lifestyle portrait of a pedestrian in the city.

 

Street Photography

The city is in the zeitgeist. Because we live in a constantly connected, digital world, metropolitan imagery has begun to resonate more and more with audiences, regardless of where ever they actually are.

Aesthetically, street photography appeals to viewers because of the wide array of textures and diversity of subjects it offers, as well as the frequent contrasts between structured, urban environments and their human inhabitants.

 
6.
Stock Photos

Download this street photograph of people in a crowd.

 
7.
Stock Photos

Download this photograph of graffiti on the metro.

 
8.
Stock Photos

Download this photograph of a young skateboarder in the city.

 
9.
Stock Photos

Download this photography of a tourist photographing a Vatican street.

 
10.
Stock Photos

Download this photograph of people on a busy street.

 

Flat Lay

Although seemingly more posed and polished than many of the visual trends we’ve highlighted, flat lay photography is having a moment. The style has it’s own kind of authenticity—the illusion of two dimensional space and the style’s fusion of geometric layouts with organic shapes appeals to an innate desire for simplicity and order.

Flat lay is especially popular for food advertising, but the aesthetic lends itself to any number of objects, from tools to plastic packaging. Using flat lay photos like these will keep your advertising fresh and on trend.

 
11.
Stock Photos

Download this flat lay laptop photograph.

 
12.
Stock Photos

Download this flat lay fresh fruits in a cone photograph.

 
13.
Stock Photos

Download this pills on a plate flat lay medical photograph.

 
14.
Stock Photos

Download this ice cream packaging bags flat lay photograph.

 
15.
Stock Photos

Download this flat lay tools photograph.

 

Quirky Subjects

A sense of humor, especially one that’s just slightly off-beat and not overly cliched, can really help cut through the noise in today’s oversaturated advertising landscape. Fun, quirky subjects with visually striking compositions do this by connecting with audiences through one of the most basic languages there is—humor.

To capture this trend, focus on images that feature off-center composition, bright or contrasting colors, and subjects that are just slightly weird or odd without being completely unrelatable. Think of a Wes Anderson film, but for advertising.

 
16.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a business person exercising.

 
17.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a grumpy middle aged woman with hair rollers.

 
18.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a senior cook.

 
19.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a thinking student in a cap.

 
20.
Stock Photos

Download this quirky photograph of a man with a red nose.

 
Ready to start creating? Download all 20 photos and more—or, if you’re looking for even more inspiration, take a look at our guide to the Hottest Design Trends of 2016.

 

Un-stock Your Ads

 

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Caroline Mercurio20 Stock Photos That Will Actually “Un-Stock” Your Advertising

50 Perfect Stock Photos For All Your Social Media Images

by Caroline Mercurio on December 2, 2016 No comments

Imagery is your most powerful tool on social media. Whether you are new to social branding or a seasoned Instagrammer, stock photos can help establish your online identity. On Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any other channel, engaging graphics appeal to your audience and increase engagement—which means more clicks, shares, favorites, and—ultimately—sales. In short, better social images mean better business.

But how do you create compelling images efficiently? To make sure you won’t get slapped with a copyright violation or end up with a low-quality graphic, the answer is simple: use stock graphics. It’s something professional graphic designers have been doing for ages.

To make it easy for you, we’ve curated 50 fan-favorite photos for social media designs. Take a look at our top 10 and then click the button at the bottom of the post to download the entire collection!

 
1. Backgrounds
Sometimes you want an image to speak for itself—but other times you need an eye-catching background for your message. That’s where photos like this come into play.

Stock PhotosDownload this Mosaic Background stock photo

 
2. Landscapes
Can you even look at this without feeling a sense of calm? From gorgeous seascapes to snowy mountaintops and everything in between, landscapes are perfect for any number of social media projects.

Stock PhotosDownload this Vintage Apple Orchard stock photo

 
3. Travel
Anyone up for a little #TravelTuesday? Help your readers escape their desk for a few minutes and travel the world with stunning photos of monuments around the world.

Stock PhotosDownload this Statue of Liberty stock photo

 
4. Business
We all have to make a living somehow, so it makes sense that stock photos depicting common business themes are popular on social media. Besides, who wouldn’t want their desk space to look this zen?

Stock PhotosDownload this Laptop stock photo

 
5. Fitness
Fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry—it’s no wonder that photos inspiring us to hit the weights make up a huge number of the images we see online every day (#fitspo). Stand out from the pack with visually interesting shots that look beyond the abs.

Stock PhotosDownload this Kettle Ball Workout stock photo

 
6. R&R
In this day and age, we all need to stop and catch our breath sometimes. Steal a few minutes of zen with calm-inducing photos like this one.

Stock PhotosDownload this Hot Stone Treatment stock photo

 
7. Flower Power
What is it about close-ups of flowers? The compositions are eye-catching and incredibly beautiful. So go ahead—stop and smell the roses.

Stock PhotosDownload this Monarch Butterfly and Flower stock photo

 
8. Holidays & Celebrations
Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, or any of the hundreds of other holidays people around the world celebrate each year, these popular photographs take full advantage of the season.

Stock PhotosDownload this Holiday Beverage stock photo

 
9. Cute & Cuddly
It’s just a fact—cat’s rule the Internet. But don’t forget about dogs, and owls, and alpacas. Yes, we said alpacas. They’re really cute, okay? Give your audiences something they’ll love with these heartwarming images.

stock photosDownload this Cat in Sunglasses stock photo

 
10. Food
There’s a reason that Instagram food blogging is a thing. We’re obsessed with food. It can be anything—even brussels sprouts. If it’s well plated and lit perfectly, we want to eat it, and show it to our friends so that they can fantasize about eating it too.

Stock PhotosDownload this Cherries on a Wooden Background stock photo

There is no end to what you can create and share with our top 50 stock images for social. If you are looking for a little more guidance on formatting your social images, check out our post on Facebook Image Sizing.

Feeling inspired? You can download the entire curated collection as part of your GraphicStock subscription.

 

Explore our Top 50 Social Images

 

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Caroline Mercurio50 Perfect Stock Photos For All Your Social Media Images

The Top 20 Nature Vectors for Winter-Inspired Designs

by Caroline Mercurio on December 2, 2016 No comments

With winter nature vectors, you can decorate almost any object and create your own digital projects. These snowy and festive images can help bring together your designs with winter-inspired scenery and graphics. So whether you’re hoping to create a winter snowscape scene to frame on your wall or design your very own holiday sweater, you can easily find winter nature vectors to personalize.

To help you along, we’ve curated our top 20 landscape and animal-themed winter vectors—use them to customize your winter gifts, create holiday cards, add a dramatic winter landscape to your computer desktop, develop your own social media banner, or print your own wrapping paper.

 

Landscape Nature Vectors

A landscape vector sets a scene and creates a mood for your design. Use one as a backdrop for other vector graphics or select a landscape to stand on its own. You can scale the vector to any dimension without distorting the imagery, so these vectors work well for projects as large as a billboard or as small as a mouse pad.

Beginning artists often use assets by other artists to inspire them or to add dimension to their work. Instead of creating an entire winter landscape scene from scratch, choose a pre-made landscape and add other elements as you see fit. For example, you might add galloping reindeer to a snowy hillside or add text to a simpler landscape.

You can also use landscape nature vectors as artwork for your walls. Adjust the vector as you see fit, then export the vector from Adobe Illustrator as a JPG. From there, you can scale the image to suit the dimensions you want for your artwork.

Use these landscape nature vectors to spark your imagination.

 
1.
Nature Vector

Download this seamless winter vector

 
2.
Nature Vector

Download this abstract winter birch trees vector image.

 
3.
Nature Vector

Download this bright night with moon vector image.

 
4.
Nature Vector

Download this festive pine tree landscape vector image.

 
5.
Nature Vector

Download this wintry Rocky Mountain landscape vector.

 
6.
Nature Vector

Download this winter landscape vector image.

 
7.
Nature Vector

Download this snowman in the sun vector image.

 
8.
Nature Vector

Download this multicolored winter background vector image.

 
9.
Nature Vector

Download this snowy landscape vector image.

 
10.
Nature Vector

Download this winter landscape vector.

 

Animals in Nature Vectors

Cute animals never fail to draw smiles when they’re used in artwork and other projects. Animals that often make appearances in winter nature vectors include squirrels, deer, birds, and polar bears, but you can find almost any animal in a winter-related scene.

Some animal nature vectors feature a single animal with a transparent background—you can insert these animals into any design to add visual interest. Other animal vectors feature multiple animals, often in detailed scenes—use these vectors by themselves or add other elements to make the image your own.

Animal nature vectors also work great for holiday cards, storybooks, party fliers, and other projects that you might undertake during the winter. Kids often respond well to animals, so products or gifts for children tend to feature them.

Explore some of our most popular animal nature vectors with winter themes.

 
11.
Nature Vector

Download this winter frame with birds vector image.

 
12.
Nature Vector

Download this wildlife winter vector image.

 
13.
Nature Vector

Download this winter branch with red bird vector image.

 
14.
Nature Vector

Download this snow geese in winter landscape vector image.

 
15.
Nature Vector

Download this winter background with swan vector image.

 
16.
Nature Vector

Download this wintry lovebirds vector image.

 
17.
Nature Vector

Download this reindeer with winter background vector image.

 
18.
Nature Vector

Download this cat with snowy home vector image.

 
19.
Nature Vector

Download this fox with snow mountains vector image.

 
20.
Nature Vector

Download this snowy owl vector image.

 

How to Work With Winter Nature Vector Art

When you’ve chosen your winter nature vectors, download them and open them in Adobe Illustrator or other vector editing program. You can change the vectors or combine them for whatever project you’ve chosen. Use the software’s tools to change colors, move objects to different positions, and make other adjustments. Once you’re happy with your design, save the changes so that you can always access your vector file later. You can also save the original to ensure nondestructive editing.

At this point, you can open the image in Adobe Photoshop or other image editing program to make any final edits. Some designers prefer to work exclusively in Illustrator, while others shift back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop to take full advantage of each program’s tools.

Winter nature vectors can add more variety to your digital assets and allow you to speed up the design process. Can’t decide which of these 20 winter vectors you like the most? Download them all from our royalty-free stock image library—all with unlimited downloads when you have a GraphicStock membership.

 

Discover a Winter Wonderland

 

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Caroline MercurioThe Top 20 Nature Vectors for Winter-Inspired Designs

What Thanksgiving With Family Is Actually Like, Told In Stock Photos

by Caroline Mercurio on November 15, 2016 No comments

Ah, Thanksgiving…It’s that time of year when family near and far draw together to enjoy a day of love, laughter, and feasting. But the idyllic gatherings shown in most stock photos don’t always capture the reality of “quality time” with relatives. Old sibling rivalries rise to the surface, and the in-laws ask awkward questions at the dinner table. But what’s Thanksgiving without a little family drama?

Inspired by our own fond memories of Thanksgivings past, we gathered the stock photos that more accurately represent the family feasting. For comparison, here’s how we like to imagine the holiday in pictures, followed by the more realistic version.

How We Like to Imagine Thanksgiving

 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos
We think of all those we hold dear. We share memories and photos of all the things we are thankful for. Maybe we raise a glass to the years gone by or to the new year about to unfold. It’s a holiday in every sense of the word.

Or not.

What It’s Really Like

For many of us, Thanksgiving is the day when we’re are obligated to spend 12-48 hours with people who share our DNA—and not much else. Add to the fact that it’s an election year and…well, pass the punch, please.

If this sounds all too familiar, take a deep breath—you are not alone. To help you get through the day, we have put together a collection of images that are basically all of us on Thanksgiving. So come November 24, find a quiet corner (lock yourself in the closet if you must) and pull up this post for a quick Thanksgiving giggle.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Come on, Aunt Nancy. We all know what’s really in that mug.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Somehow it doesn’t matter if he’s watching the game or the parade—Pops will still spend the next 5 hours yelling at the TV.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

What do you mean you’re changing your major from Engineering to Interpretive Dance?!?

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Don’t mess with big bro, little guy!

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

NEVER tell Christine that her corn muffins are dry.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

I can’t talk right now—Jason found chocolate and now he’s naked and destroying mom’s white couch.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Fluffy is secretly plotting vengeance.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Too…much…pie…

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

So when am I getting grandchildren?

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

You’re my only hope, Pinot Noir. Never leave me.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

And Aunt Helen is trying to use the rolling pin on her hair. Things just took a turn.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Please just eat your fruit. Literally anything that’s not chocolate. I’m begging you.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Yep, gave up and went to the bar with Uncle Larry.

 
 
Thanksgiving Family Stock Photos

Sweet mother of turkey. Let’s eat!

 
 
Sometimes a little laugh and some commiseration is all we need to get through the holidays. Even though they make us crazy, today is about family, and we know we sure will be sad when we say goodby on Friday. So give everyone a hug and dig into that beautiful bird. Cheers!

 

Make Your Stock Thanksgiving Story

 

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Caroline MercurioWhat Thanksgiving With Family Is Actually Like, Told In Stock Photos

Tutorial: How to Make Awesome Infographics with Vector Templates in Illustrator

by Caroline Mercurio on November 10, 2016 No comments

In the digital age, we need our information to be visually striking and easy-to-understand, which is why infographics are so popular. Useful for presentations and web-based projects, infographics combine our desire for brevity and our need to visualize information. To save time, designers often use customizable vector templates as the basis of their projects.

GraphicStock has a wide variety of vector graphics that can help bring your data to life. This quick and simple tutorial will show you how to edit pre-made vector infographics with your own information using Illustrator. And if you want to give your project some extra edge, check out our pro-tips at the end of the tutorial.

 

Step 1. Choose the vector template that best represents your data.

 
Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
Download this modern infographic layout.
 

You can choose your own, or use the one we’ve downloaded for this tutorial. Whichever one you choose, make sure it will best present the data you’re working with. For numeric data, charts, and graphs are your best bet, while more text-based data is best presented using vectors like the one in this example, which groups text into small, manageable pieces.

Step 2. Remove the sample text.

 
Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
 

As you may know already, vector images are layers comprised of groups made of different paths, or individual objects. In Illustrator, you can bring up the list of layers, groups, and paths by pressing F7 on your keyboard. From there, you can expand each layer to reveal the groups within the layer, and then the paths that make up each group.

Double-click on the text you want to replace. In your Layers window, the group and paths that make up this text will be highlighted. Most vector images that contain text will have each individual letter as its own path.

Since each path is grouped, you can simply click the eye next to the group of text paths in the Layers window, which will make it invisible. Or, you can simply select the text in your template and press Delete.

Repeat this step for any text in the image you want to remove and/or replace. If you accidentally delete a group or path you wanted to keep and can’t find it in your Layers window, just press Command+Z to undo.

 
Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
 

Step 3. Add your own text.

Now that the sample text has been removed, it’s time to replace it with your own. Select the Type Tool and click on the image where you want to place your text. With this particular image, we found it helpful to type outside the blue areas, then use the Selection Tool to move the text to the pertinent area. Type your text, then highlight it and use the drop-down menus at the top to adjust your text as needed.

 
Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
 

To create a new text area, click the Selection tool, then re-click the Type Tool and click on a new area on the image.

Pro-tip: Change colors of elements in your infographic.

 
Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
 

The right colors can make or break an infographic. You’ll want to use bright, vibrant hues to grab and keep your reader’s attention. Yet, you’ll also want to ensure that the color you’ve chosen for your text doesn’t clash with the background color, or make your text unreadable. These adjustments can be time-consuming, so if you plan on changing colors with text in the foreground, do this step first before adjusting text colors.

First, select the shape or object where that you want to change. Make sure the entire shape is selected and not just part. Then, double-click the Fill square and choose your color. Click OK. Repeat as needed for each object you want to apply a color change.

In this particular template, the colored bars have a gradient effect. Make sure the Fill box also has a gradient effect or your entire bar will become a single shade of the color you choose, plus obscure your text.

Pro-tip: Insert additional graphics or a logo.

 
Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
 

Tutorial Infographics Vector Templates Illustrator
 

If you’re making your infographic for business purposes, you’ll want to brand your infographic with your company logo. Even without a logo, infographics are best served with additional designs—but never in a way that detracts from the main focus.

In this case, we’ll dress up our project with a couple of computer images as well as the GraphicStock logo. Adding these images to the infographic template is super easy. Simply click File, then Place, and then select the image you want to insert into your infographic—EPS, AI or SVG files work best.

You can use the Selection tool to move and adjust the size of your graphics or logo if necessary, and repeat for other graphics as needed.

And there you have it! You’ve now created an infographic using a vector image as your base that is endlessly customizable. If you want to practice on this image or on another one of our templates, here are 20 of our most popular infographic vectors. Pick your favorite or download them all.

When you’re done, share your project with us in the comments or upload it to Instagram and make sure to tag @GraphicStock_.

 

Discover More Infographics

 

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Caroline MercurioTutorial: How to Make Awesome Infographics with Vector Templates in Illustrator

Tutorial: How to Create a Dazzling Holiday Card with Your Annual Family Photo

by Caroline Mercurio on November 1, 2016 9 comments

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and pretty soon Christmas music will start streaming in through your radio. Every holiday season, we decorate our refrigerators and mantles with cards from family and friends wishing us health and happiness through the cold winter months. This year, stand out from the crowd with a beautiful, one-of-a-kind holiday card that you can personalize to exactly your taste.

We’ve created this quick tutorial for designing a custom photo card that will dazzle everyone on your mailing list. All you need are a few easy-to-edit graphics and you best family pics, and you’re ready to get started. Here’s what we used:

 
And here’s a preview of our final product:

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 

Let’s Get Started

 
Step One: Create a Canvas

First, we need to create our canvas. Start by opening a new document, and set the dimensions to 5”x7”, with 300 px/inch.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Two: Build your Border

Now that you have your canvas, select the shape tool and set it to the rectangle shape. Draw a rectangular fill shape ½ inch in from all sides.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Once you have your shape, select the “Paint Bucket” tool to fill the square with an ivory color.

A popup will ask you to rasterize the shape, click “okay” and then click inside the shape with your paint bucket.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Three: Add Some Sparkle

The holidays are a festive time of year, and how often do you have free reign to add some gold glitter to your life? We decided to use a gold glitter background for the border, and that’s just what you’re going to do next.

We used this gold glitter background. Simply go to File>Open, then select your image. Once it is open in a new Photoshop screen, select the “Move Tool” and drag it into the canvas. From there you can resize the image as you see fit.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

You will notice that it is currently in front of that pretty ivory rectangle we made. To fix this, go to your layers panel, and pull the layer labeled “Rectangle” above “Layer 1.”

 
Step Four: Add the Banner

For our banner, we started with this red satin image. Open and drag it into your canvas the same way you did for the gold background.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Next you will need to crop out a long rectangle. To do this, you first need to set your primary color to black. Then, Using your marquee tool, draw a rectangle over the area you want to save. With this selected, go to the layers panel and select the “add vector mask” button at the bottom of the panel.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Now you should have a long, thin red banner. Move the banner to the center of the canvas.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

We added an additional satin effect by going to the “fx” button at the bottom of the layers panel and selecting “satin.” Make sure the color is set to a burgundy red and adjust the settings as you see fit. You can see here the settings we used to give the banner a rich, velvety texture.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Five: Add Your Family Photo

For our “family photo,” we used this stock image.

Insert your photo into your canvas as you did the other images, and crop as necessary using the vector mask and marquee tool like you did with the red satin banner. Move your image into place.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

We didn’t want to crop off the top of the frame any further, so we let the image stay a slightly larger than the frame and moved the banner in front of the image to cover the extra. We did this by dragging the layer above the photo in the layers panel.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Six: Edit Your Photo

Go ahead and apply any edits you would like to your photo. We chose to desaturate this image so that it wouldn’t compete with the bright gold and red in the design. You can do this by selecting Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Seven: Start Adding Text

Let’s start by adding text to the lower portion of the canvas, just to get the words in there and figure out what and how much we want to say.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

To make the card look really beautiful, we need to lay out our text in an interesting way and add exciting fonts. Play around with this and let your creativity really shine.

Don’t be afraid to rotate the text and use a couple of sizes and fonts. We also chose to move the “sentiment” up into the ribbon banner for better balance.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

Finally, to help the text really pop, we added drop shadows to some of the text layers. With the text layer you want to edit selected in the layers panel, click the “fx” button at the bottom of layers panel, and select “Drop Shadow.”

Here you can see the settings we used for the banner text.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
Step Eight: Send it to the printer

We recommend using a professional printer with a high quality cardstock to really make your card stand out. Or if email is more your pace than snail mail, save your cards as high quality PNGs or PDFs to share virtually with all of your loved ones.

Holiday Card Photoshop Tutorial

 
That’s it! This beautiful card is simple, elegant, and entirely yours. Customize this design however you like–or if you are feeling inspired, you can start your own from scratch. With thousands of photos, vectors, and graphics, your options are endless.

What will you design? Share your finished project with us on Instagram, (simply tag @graphicstock_), and let us know how it goes in the comments section below.

 

Send Holiday Wishes

 

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Caroline MercurioTutorial: How to Create a Dazzling Holiday Card with Your Annual Family Photo

Welcome to GraphicStock! Find Out What Makes Us Different with This Short Video

by Caroline Mercurio on November 1, 2016 No comments

When you become a GraphicStock member, you get unlimited access to our library of 350,000+ royalty-free photos, vectors, and illustrations. It’s the easiest way to find and download high-quality stock images. Learn more about what makes us different from all other stock sites with this quick explainer video.

 

 

Ready to get started? Discover some of the graphics that our members have ranked highest, like our top 20 landscape backgrounds and most popular vector poster templates—all included with your subscription. No matter what your next creative project is, we have stock graphics to help bring your vision to life. And remember, once you download an image, it is yours to keep and use forever.

 

Explore Your Creative Library

 

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Caroline MercurioWelcome to GraphicStock! Find Out What Makes Us Different with This Short Video

20 Best Graphics for Web Design—Icons and Images that Will Optimize Your Website

by Caroline Mercurio on October 27, 2016 2 comments

In our visual world, there is a lot of overlap between graphic design and web design. Vector Graphics for websites can be a great tool to create visual interest—an important skill for any effective web designer. As Saul Bass once said, “Design is thinking made visual.” Nowhere is that more true than in web design, where the newest technologies meet audience interaction on a constantly changing basis.

It’s a tall order to fill—especially in our media-saturated market—but stock graphics can help you create a professional-looking website with minimal effort. To help you get started, we’ve gathered our top 20 graphics for web design so that you never have to sacrifice function for form. You can download all 20 as part of your GraphicStock membership.

Explore the images that our community ranks the highest for web design:

 
20.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Glossy Download Buttons Set

 
19.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Infographic Chart Template

 
18.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Stamp Vector Element

 
17.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Abstract Blue Background

 
16.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Colorful Pie Chart Graphic

 
15.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Infographic Template Layout

 
14.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Paper Banners Stock Image

 
13.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Abstract Paper Speech Bubbles Stock Image

 
12.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Vintage Label Design Set

 
11.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Vector Template and Design Element Set for Infographics

 
10.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Pattern of Geometric Shapes

 
9.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Web Mail Icons Set

 
8.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Wedding Graphic Set

 
7.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Blue Retro Quality Guarantee Label

 
6.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Retro Premium Quality Labels Set

 
5.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Vertical Numbered Banners Set

 
4.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Blue Infographic Vector Template

 
3.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Background Vector Template

 
2.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This Watercolor Background Template

 
1.
Graphics for Web Design

Download This World Map Infographic Elements Graphic

 
Use icon graphics in place of text to lead readers through your web page, punch up your backgrounds with a retro pattern graphic, or even add an eye-catching infographic to drive home your page’s mission. With everything you see and so much more—including thousands of photos, backgrounds, and illustrations—there’s no market you can’t conquer.

To get even more design inspiration, take a look at our guide to the hottest design trends of 2016

 
We’d love to see what you end up making! Share your next project with us in the comments, or upload it to Instagram and tag @graphicstock_.

 

Get All 20 Web Graphics

 

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Caroline Mercurio20 Best Graphics for Web Design—Icons and Images that Will Optimize Your Website