Maddie Stearn

Top 20 Creative Professional Photos for Digital Advertising

by Maddie Stearn on June 23, 2017 No comments

Once upon a time, stock photos of “professionals” only featured smiling, grey-suited executives. The smiling businessmen would shake hands, talk on the phone, and point at computers, but something was missing from the story…Where was the rest of the world? Our stock image library is filling that gap, highlighting a wide range of professions as well as the different ways that people conduct business.

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all stock photos. The world is rapidly changing, and our stock image library is changing right along with it. Employers value collaboration and creativity like never before, and people are finding new ways and spaces to do business.

Advertisements for the present day need to keep up with the ways that businesses and professions are changing, so our stock image library is here to help. To find inspiration for your next digital advertising campaign, check out our top 20 creative professional photos.

 

Top 20 Creative Professional Photos for Digital Advertising

 

1.

stock image libraryDownload this image of coworkers using a tablet outside.

 

2.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a graphic designer.

 

3.

stock image libraryDownload this image of coworkers collaborating.

 

4.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a photographer.

 

5.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a woman sketching outside.

 

6.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a photographer using a laptop.

 

7.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a man writing in the park.

 

8.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a hairdresser and client.

 

9.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a woman drinking coffee at her desk.

 

10.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a home office with a cat.

 

11.

stock image libraryDownload this image of hands playing a piano.

 

12.

stock image libraryDownload this image of coworkers looking at a laptop.

 

13.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a woman working in a modern office.

 

14.

stock image libraryDownload this image of colleagues working late.

 

15.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a man typing on a laptop.

 

16.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a woman using a tablet and drinking coffee.

 

17.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a woman outside typing on a laptop.

 

18.

stock image libraryDownload this image of colleagues outside with tablets.

 

19.

stock image libraryDownload this image of a man on the phone drinking coffee.

 

20.

stock image libraryDownload this image of an artist.

 

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Maddie StearnTop 20 Creative Professional Photos for Digital Advertising

Tutorial: How to Turn Photos into Watercolor Paintings

by Maddie Stearn on June 19, 2017 No comments

We all know that watercolor paintings can be stunning, but they can also be incredibly useful. One of the easiest ways to unstock your advertising is to alter stock photos, and this watercolor alteration is a great way to get more bang for your buck. The technique is quick, simple, and cost-effective—simply pick any image from our stock photo library to get started.

This watercolor technique is also a great way for beginners to get their feet wet with Photoshop. In this tutorial, we’ll show you that you don’t need to be a seasoned designer to make dramatic alterations to photos.

To make things even easier, we created a gallery of stock photos that can transform beautifully into watercolor paintings. You can also check out the stock photo of boats that we used for this tutorial.

 

Step 1. Open Your File in Photoshop and Unlock the Background Layer.

 
stock photo library
 

Step 2. Convert the Photo into a Smart Object.

 
Right click on Layer 0 and select Convert to Smart Object.

stock photo library

 

Step 3. Open the Filter Gallery.

 
Go to the top menu and select Filter > Filter Gallery.

stock photo library

 

Step 4. Play with the Adjustments.

 
Select the Dry Brush filter, then play around with the adjustments (Brush Size, Brush Detail, and Texture).

stock photo library

 
It’s as simple as that!

stock photo library

 
Ready for your next Photoshop challenge? Check out some of our favorite Photoshop tutorials for beginners.

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: How to Turn Photos into Watercolor Paintings

Tutorial: Create Bold Photo Collages in Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on June 2, 2017 No comments

Say goodbye to the cut-and-paste collages of the past and hello to the bold, trendy Photoshop masterpieces of the future. That might be a bit of an exaggeration (we’re still big fans of crafting over here), but the Photoshop collage trend is exploding and we can’t get enough of it. We’re not the only ones—advertisers are eating it up like it’s cereal. No, that’s not a saying, but we’re about to show you how to make a pseudo-cereal collage in Photoshop that will have your clients’ mouths watering.

Photoshop collages and stock images go together like milk and cereal, and armed with these tools you’ll be creating your own delicious designs in no time. Like a certain popular breakfast food, stock photos won’t break the bank either.

We’re done with the food analogies, so go ahead and check out this gallery of stock images to get started on your own Photoshop collages. You’ll also find the materials used in this tutorial, including the following images:

 

Step 1. Open Your Stock Images in Photoshop

Open all four images in Photoshop and and unlock the background layers.

photoshop collages
 

Step 2. Erase the Backgrounds

Using the Eraser Tool or the Magic Wand Tool, erase the backgrounds of the mountain, the milk, and the pitcher. Do NOT erase anything from the photo of cereal with the bright pink background.

photoshop collages

In this granola photo, we just want the stream of milk, so we’re going to erase every element that does not have milk on it. For this image, we used the Magic Wand Tool to erase the background since it was able to make large selections and accurately avoid the milk. (To use the Magic Wand Tool, just click on a piece of the background and the tool will make a selection out of similarly-colored areas in the image).

photoshop collages

Once the background is mostly erased, you might find that the checkered grey-and-white background makes it difficult to see the milk. To make sure that you’re erasing accurately, you can add a new layer in a different color to the background. Create a New Layer and move it below the layer with the milk. Set the foreground color to black, select the Paint Bucket Tool, and click anywhere in the background of the new layer (Layer 1). Now, zoom in on the milk and use the Eraser Tool to erase the non-milk parts of the image.

Note: You want to keep the areas where the milk is on the granola (pictured below). Erase any granola that does not have milk on it.

photoshop collages

For the image below, erase everything but the pitcher and the stream of milk.

photoshop collages
 

Step 3. Place the Mountain

Once the entire background is erased from the mountain image, use the Selection Tool or hit Command/Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select the mountain. Copy the mountain and paste it onto the cereal image (the one with the pink background).

Place the mountain over the cereal.

photoshop collages
 

Step 4. Resize

With the mountain still selected, go to Edit > Transform > Warp. Use the warp tools to change the size and position of the mountain so that it covers the majority of the cereal and slopes naturally into the bowl. The mountain will still extend below the rim of the bowl, but we will fix that later.

photoshop collages

This is what the mountain should look like after you’re done warping:

photoshop collages
 

Step 5. Add a Layer Mask

With the mountain layer still selected, create a new Layer Mask. Invert the layer mask by hitting Command/Ctrl + i on your keyboard. Set the foreground color to white, select the Paintbrush Tool, and paint the areas where you want the mountain to appear. This will cause the mountain to appear only where you want it to. The key is to not paint below the rim of the bowl.

photoshop collages
 

Step 6. Fix It Up with the Paintbrush

Use the paintbrush to cover the last few rogue cornflakes. Select the cereal layer, click on the Eyedropper Tool, and select part of the pink background that is close to the cornflake. Select the Paintbrush Tool and paint over the top of the cornflake. Use the Eyedropper Tool again to select part of the bowl that is close to the cornflake, then use the Paintbrush Tool to paint over the rest of the cornflake.

photoshop collages
 

Step 7. Add Milk and Smudge

In the milk file, select the milk (Command/Ctrl + A) and paste it onto the cereal file. Move the milk so that it is on top of the mountain peak.

Now, select the cereal layer (Layer 0) and click on the Smudge Tool. Click on an area just to the left of the milk stream in Layer 0 (NOT the milk in Layer 2), and drag your mouse to the right. This will smudge the milk out of the way. You want to smudge it so that the milk stream from Layer 0 is hidden under the milk in Layer 2. This trick is a little lazy, but it gets the job done.

(Note: The pink background color has a subtle gradient, so that’s one reason why using the smudge tool is so helpful. As we smudge the poured milk in Layer 0, we’re also making sure that the pink gradient isn’t interrupted. If we were to simply select the milk from Layer 0, delete it, then fill in the empty space with pink, the result would be noticeably different from the rest of the background.)

photoshop collages

See, all hidden!

photoshop collages

 

Step 8. Add Drops for Effect

You can already see some flecks of milk in the original pink cereal image, but you can easily add more if you’d like. Set the foreground color to white and select the Paintbrush Tool. Open the Brush Presets folder and select a brush tip that you think would work well and adjust the brush size so that it’s close to the size of the other flecks. Then, just experiment with the size and placement of your brushstrokes.

photoshop collages
 
photoshop collages
 

Step 9. Add More Milk

In the pitcher file, select the pitcher of milk (Command/Ctrl + A), copy it, and paste it onto the cereal file. Place the pitcher layer below Layer 1 and Layer 2. Move the pitcher around as needed.

To blend the two streams of milk, click on the Smudge Tool and select Layer 2. Smudge in the direction of the milk until the two streams are blended.

photoshop collages

There you have it! With a little fancy footwork, you’ve turned a mountain into cereal. Click below to check out more stock images for your next Photoshop collage.
 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Bold Photo Collages in Photoshop

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Creatively Crop for Images That Pop

by Maddie Stearn on May 26, 2017 No comments

It can sometimes be hard to unstock your advertising, but there’s one unexpected technique that can really come in handy: the crop tool. This simple feature is often overlooked as just a way to fix image dimensions, but in reality the crop tool is so much more. You can easily create dynamic portraits by experimenting with different ways of framing stock images.

We’re going to take cropping to the next level by showing you how to combine creative cropping with warped text. You’ll be able to create minimalistic, fresh photos that are sure to unstock even the stockiest of images—or take already visually striking images and give them even more of an edge.

As always, we’ve come prepared with a full gallery of stock images that are certified fresh and perfect for testing out this cropping and warped text technique. You can also find the stock photo of a woman with sunglasses that we use in this tutorial.

 

Step 1. Open the file in Photoshop

 
fresh photos

 

Step 2. Straighten the layer

 
This step isn’t necessary for all images, but we wanted to straighten the sunglasses here to make the photo easier to crop.

Unlock the background layer by clicking on the lock icon next to the layer name (“Layer 0”). Click and hold the Eyedropper Tool and wait for the other tool options to appear. Select the Ruler Tool.
 
fresh photos
 
Find a line in the image that you want to make level (i.e. the line is angled right now, but you want it to be level). For this image, we drew a small line across the bridge of the sunglasses, since we want the sunglasses to be level instead of angled. Once you have drawn the line, click the Straighten Layer button.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 3. Crop the image

 
Now you’ll need to crop the image to get rid of the empty space that Photoshop created when straightening the layer. We also decided to crop the image to only show the woman’s head and neck so that we could highlight the sunglasses.

We’re not quite ready to finish cropping the image, so don’t cut the sunglasses in half yet. If we did that, we would also be cropping the woman’s fingers. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the image will look more polished if we keep the fingers fully intact. In the next few steps we’ll show you how to fix this problem.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 4. Duplicate layer

 
Right click on Layer 0 and select Duplicate Layer.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 5. Select and delete

 
Select the bottom layer (Layer 0), then click on the Selection Tool. Select the area of the image that we will eventually be cropping (from the middle of the sunglasses to the top of the canvas). Once selected, delete the area inside the selection. Note: Nothing will look different because we still have the duplicate layer on top.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 6. Erase

 
Now select the top layer (Layer 0 copy) and click on the Eraser Tool. Start erasing the top of the image, but avoid erasing the woman’s index finger.
 
fresh photos

Once the rest of the top is erased, zoom in and erase the area surrounding the woman’s index finger.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 7. Fill background

 
Select the bottom layer (Layer 0) and click on the Paint Can. Set the foreground color to white and click on the canvas. This will fill in the top part of the image with white, but the index finger will remain visible.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 8. Add text

 
Select the Text Tool and write your message. We put the words “creative” and “cropping” in two separate layers because they need to be warped separately.

You will want to adjust the length of the words to align with the length of the lens frames. To do this, select the text layer (in this case we selected the “creative” layer) and hit Command/Ctrl + T on your keyboard.

Finally, right click on the text layer and select Rasterize Type.
 
fresh photos

 

Step 9. Shape the text

 
With the now-rasterized “creative” layer still selected, click Edit > Transform > Warp.
 
fresh photos

 
Experiment with warping the text until it matches the shape of the sunglass lens. You could also draw a temporary circle to help guide you. To do this, create a new layer underneath the text (but on top of the two background layers), click on the Shape Tool, and draw a circle that is the size of the sunglass lenses. Once you are done warping the text, you can delete the circle layer.
 
fresh photos
 
Repeat steps 8 and 9 with the “cropping” text layer.
 
fresh photos

 
There you have it! This simple cropping and warping technique is sure to come in handy when you need to make stock photos your own. Just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean that your images can’t look custom-made—plus this fresh technique is perfect for vibrant, creative summer projects!

 

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Maddie StearnPhotoshop Tutorial: How to Creatively Crop for Images That Pop

Tutorial: The Simple Way to Create Low Poly Portraits in Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on April 27, 2017 No comments

Low poly portraits have become hugely popular for their minimalistic, edgy, and three-dimensional look. And while you may not recognize the term “low poly,” you’ve probably noticed these geometric portraits popping up everywhere—whether it be in advertising campaigns, illustrations, or even decorative art. Considering the popularity of low poly images, this technique is a great design hack to have under your belt, and it’s surprisingly easy to replicate.

Stock images pair perfectly with this design technique because of their versatility and color variation. Your end product will also look completely different from the original, so you save money but won’t risk running into the same image anywhere else. Our stock image library is also easy to search, so you can quickly find images that are perfectly suited to the low poly technique.

To make the process even easier, we’ve curated a gallery of stock images that work especially well as low poly portraits.

 

Step 1. Open Stock Image in Photoshop & Unlock the Background

 
We used a stock photo of a flamingo for this tutorial, but you can also check out the gallery mentioned above for even more stock images.

Open the image in Photoshop and unlock the background.

step 1 unlock

 

Step 2. Select the Entire Figure

 
Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool and start outlining the subject of your portrait. It’s totally fine if your outline is a little boxy or sharp—this will just add to the geometric effect of the final product.

step 2 outline

Be careful to include as little of the background as possible. Cutting off the edges of your subject a little bit won’t hurt and might make it easier to avoid including any background colors. You can see in the image below that I outlined the flamingo from the inside to avoid including any of the blue water from the background.

 

Step 3. Open in a New Photoshop Document

 
When you finish creating the outline, you will notice a moving dotted line surrounding your subject. This is the selection area. Cut this selection (Command/Ctrl + X) and paste into a new document.*

*If you want to keep the original background, create a new layer and paste your selection onto this new layer. This will prevent any background colors from merging with the subject when you start creating the low poly effect.

low poly

 

Step 4. Make a Triangular Selection

 
Select your subject’s layer (in this case, the flamingo layer). Make sure that the Polygonal Lasso Tool is still selected, and pick an area to draw a triangle. For each of your triangles, you want to select areas that have similar coloring.

Now, draw your triangular selection.

low poly

 

Step 5. Filter the Selection

 
With the triangular area selected (you should see the moving dotted line), select Filter > Blur > Average. This creates an average of all of the colors within your selection area.

Once the selection area is “averaged,” you can draw your next triangle. Make sure that one side of your triangle lines up with one side from the original. This will prevent any gaps between triangles.

Now that you’ve already used the Average command once, you can simply hit Command + control + F (Ctrl + Alt + F on PCs) on your keyboard. This keyboard shortcut repeats whichever filter was last used.

low poly

 

Step 6. Repeat Forever (Not Really)

 
This is the time-consuming part of the tutorial. The low poly technique itself isn’t hard at all, but making all of those triangles does take a chunk of time. Settle in with a good podcast or TV show in the background and the time will quickly fly by.

low poly

 

Tip 1: Filling in the Gaps

 
You might notice gaps between some of your triangles. These are easy to fix—just draw another triangle that covers the gap. (The gaps also might not even be visible once you zoom out to look at the final product.)

low poly

 

Tip 2: Getting the Details

 
Make smaller triangles to capture the more detailed areas of the image. Luckily, you don’t have to use small triangles for the entire portrait. The low poly effect looks best with a wide range of triangle sizes.

low poly

Keep on making those triangles until you’ve covered the entire image.

low poly

 

Now give yourself a huge pat on the back (and maybe take a break from the computer screen). You’ve successfully created a low poly portrait! This is an incredibly useful technique to have in your design arsenal, so congratulate yourself on a job well done.

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: The Simple Way to Create Low Poly Portraits in Photoshop

Tutorial: Create Simple, Stunning Floral Typography with Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on April 6, 2017 No comments

Do you need seasonal, standout creative that leaves a lasting impression? Ad agency bigwigs and book publishers often rely on floral typography when they need bold, organic imagery—but with our straightforward tutorial, you too can add this advertising “secret weapon” to your arsenal.

Floral typography describes the design technique of layering text and floral images to create a multidimensional effect. Yet, the name can be a little misleading since we’re not talking about text made from flowers; the text just lives amongst the flora and fauna. The trend has even expanded beyond florals to include other foliage as well as abstract designs.

Businesses have latched onto the trend, and many spring design campaigns make use of floral typography. The technique varies widely from design to design, so businesses can easily diversify their materials. Small businesses need not cringe in fear; floral typography is pretty simple to replicate, and stock images make the entire process even smoother.

Anyone can master the floral typography trend with a little practice. Armed with this tutorial and stock images, small businesses can easily keep up with the big guns without breaking the bank.

To get started, check out our hand-curated gallery of stock floral images from the GraphicStock library.

 

Step 1. Create New Photoshop Canvas

Create a new canvas in Photoshop and paste your floral image onto the canvas (we used this stock bouquet photo). Resize as needed by clicking Command/Ctrl + T.

(For clarity, we named the layer with the flower image “Floral Layer.”)

floral typography

 

Step 2. Duplicate Layer

 

Right click on the Floral Layer and select Duplicate Layer. In this example, we named the new layer “Floral Layer copy.”

floral typography

 

Step 3. Add Layer Mask

 

Select the new layer and click the Add Vector Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

floral typography

 

Step 4. Invert Layer Mask

 

Select the layer mask (not just the layer) and click Command/Ctrl + i to invert the layer mask. The layer mask icon will turn from white to black.

floral typography

 

Step 5. Draw a Rectangle

 

This step is optional, but framing your text can add a nice touch to the design.

Select the Rectangle Tool and draw a new rectangle. Use the Properties panel to adjust the fill and line colors, as well as the line thickness.

floral typography

 

Step 6. Move Layer and Adjust Opacity

 

Select your rectangle layer in the Layers panel on the right and move the rectangle between the “Floral Layer” and “Floral Layer copy”.

With the rectangle layer still selected, lower the opacity so that you can see both the rectangle and the flowers underneath it.

floral typography

 

Step 7. Paint

 

Make sure that your foreground color is set to white and your background color is set to black. To adjust these colors, simply click on their respective boxes and select the desired color.

Select the layer mask and then click the paintbrush tool. Begin painting over the areas of the rectangle that you want to erase. If you erase too much, simply hit the X on your keyboard and paint over the area you want to correct. Hit the X again to switch back.*

The hardest part is deciding which flowers should cover the rectangle. Try to pick flowers that are in the foreground (as opposed to the fuzzier flowers in the back). This will help add dimension to your design.

(*The X command switches the foreground and background colors. You paint with white to erase and black to correct.)

floral typography

 

Step 8. Add Text

 

It’s actually more efficient to add the text when you create the rectangle, but the order doesn’t really matter. Just make sure that, when you do create the text layer(s), you place them between the “Floral Layer” and “Floral Layer copy” just like we did with the rectangle layer.

Again, adjust the opacity on the text layers so that you can see both the text and the flowers beneath.

floral typography

 

Repeat Step 7

 

Use the paintbrush to erase/repaint pieces of text to make it look like the text and flowers are overlapping. This is a little trickier than the rectangle because you don’t want entirely cover any of the letters. Try to find where the letters overlap with stems and the edges of petals.

floral typography

 

Once you are done painting, your image is complete!

floral typography

 
There you have it! You’ll be a floral typography pro in no time. It just goes to show that with a little practice, and some stock photos, your small business can have a big impact—and while you’re at it, incorporate some Spring sunshine with these stunning floral stock photos.

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Simple, Stunning Floral Typography with Photoshop

Tutorial: Create Photoshop Brushes with Stock Images

by Maddie Stearn on March 5, 2017 1 comment

“If I can’t paint with real brushes, why should I paint with Photoshop brushes?”

The idea of painting in Photoshop can be daunting, especially if you gave up on watercolors in elementary school. But here’s a secret that your 5th grade art teacher never told you: Photoshop will help you fake it ‘til you make it. While this is probably not a great lesson to teach 5th graders, as adults sometimes we need to figure out how to work within our limitations.

Watercolors are popular graphic design trend, but in real life they’re messy and difficult to master. Budding graphic designers shouldn’t be discouraged; with stock images, you can create custom Photoshop brushes that will make it look like you know how to paint.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to quickly make several watercolor brushes in Photoshop using stock images and vectors. You can even use these same steps to make any custom brush.

 

Step 1. Pick Your Watercolors

 
You should have your watercolors ready before you begin the tutorial, so here are some stock watercolor images from the GraphicStock library to get you started.

 

Step 2. Convert Your Images to Black & White

 
Open your images in Photoshop, then add a black and white adjustment layer. You can also add a brightness/contrast adjustment layer to vary the depth of color. You should also make sure that the background is as white as possible.

We recommend adjusting the image size so that your bush doesn’t start out too large (but you can always play around with the brush size later). To adjust the image size, go to Image > Image Size.

photoshop

 

Step 3. Create the Brush

 
With the brush tool selected, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Name your brush, then click OK. Repeat this step for all of your watercolor images.

photoshop

 

Step 4. Test Your New Brushes!

 
Open a new Photoshop document and select the paint tool. Open the Brush Presets browser (go to Window > Brush Presets) and select any of your watercolor brushes. Adjust the brush size using the slider or using the bracket keys on your keyboard.

Finally, click once on the canvas. You do not want to click and drag because that will just create a large blob.

Now start experimenting! Switch among your new watercolor brushes while adjusting the color and size. In the next step, we’ll show you how to adjust the angle of the brushes to prevent the image from looking too patterned.

photoshop

 

Step 5. Adjust the Brush Angle

 
To simply flip your watercolor horizontally or vertically, go to the Brush Presets tab and check the Flip X and Flip Y boxes, respectively. You can also adjust the brush angle in this tab.

photoshop

If you want to add some more variation to the size and position of your brush, click on the Shape Dynamics tab on the left. Experiment with the sliders and start clicking on your canvas. If you adjust the Size Jitter, for example, the size of your brush will change every time you click on the canvas.

photoshop

When you’re done, you’ll have a custom watercolor painting! Pat yourself on the back and relish not having to clean up any paint.

Using these same steps, you can easily create any custom Photoshop brush. Or check out our hand-picked gallery of stock watercolor images to find more inspiration for your next Photoshop brush.

 

Brush Up with Stock Images

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Photoshop Brushes with Stock Images

30 Vectors for Labeling Everything—Market Your Product Like a Pro

by Maddie Stearn on February 11, 2017 1 comment

Everything has a label—and small business owners understand this particularly well. From the product itself to social media campaigns, labels are everywhere. Labels also help combat brand fatigue by spicing up marketing materials. When your business has a sale for every major event in the year, labels are a godsend.

The takeaway? Your labels need to be certified fresh.

Stock vector labels are enormously useful for creating a wide variety of product labels. Not to rip off Portlandia, but name an object and we’ll say, “Put a (stock) label on it!” The possibilities are endless.

The GraphicStock library has thousands of labels that are also vectors, so they’re completely customizable. In our image above, we put our own spin on a label from a customizable template pack. You can find that label and more in our hand-picked gallery of 30 popular stock vector labels.

 

1.

stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

2.

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3.

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4.

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15.

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Download this stock label.

 

 
Feeling inspired? Make sure to visit our royalty-free vectors library to see all 30 vector labels.

 

Download All 30 Labels

 

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Maddie Stearn30 Vectors for Labeling Everything—Market Your Product Like a Pro

The Top 20 Invitation Templates for Smart Party Planning

by Maddie Stearn on January 27, 2017 No comments

Planning a wedding can be intense. Scratch that—planning any event can make even the coolest cucumber go mad. You might think that weddings take the cake in the stress department, but plenty of work goes into planning work events, baby showers, birthday parties—and basically every other kind of party. But don’t let that get you overwhelmed. While sending out invitations for an event is often the first stop on a planning checklist, it doesn’t have to be complicated. When it seems like you have thousands of tasks to complete, stock invitation templates can help you stay time-efficient, trendy, and sane. They’re a quick, cost effective option that will save time and money on your event. So, now you can focus on ordering cheese puffs and deciding who sits next to grandma instead.

To make things even easier, we’ve compiled our top 20 best invitation templates for parties, weddings, baby showers, and birthdays. Just pick a template, print it with your event details, and head to the mailbox.

 

Party Invitations

 

1.invitation templates

Download this stock party invitation.

 

2.invitation templates

Download this stock party invitation.

 

3.invitation templates

Download this stock party invitation.

 

4.invitation templates

Download this stock party invitation.

 

5.invitation templates

Download this stock party invitation.

 

Wedding Invitations

 

6.invitation templates

Download this stock wedding invitation.

 

7.invitation templates

Download this stock wedding invitation.

 

8.

invitation templates

Download this stock wedding invitation.

 

9.invitation templates

Download this stock wedding invitation.

 

10.invitation templates

Download this stock wedding invitation.

 

Baby Shower Invitations

 

11.invitation templates

Download this stock baby shower invitation.

 

12.invitation templates

Download this stock baby shower invitation.

 

13.invitation templates

Download this stock baby shower invitation.

 

14.invitation templates

Download this stock baby shower invitation.

 

15.invitation templates

Download this stock baby shower invitation.

 

Birthday Invitations

 

16.invitation templates

Download this stock birthday invitation.

 

17.invitation templates

Download this stock birthday invitation.

 

18.invitation templates

Download this stock birthday invitation.

 

19.invitation templates

Download this stock birthday invitation.

 

20.invitation templates

Download this stock birthday invitation.

 

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Tutorial: Create Custom Seamless Patterns in Adobe Illustrator

by Maddie Stearn on January 3, 2017 No comments

Let’s talk patterns—sometimes it’s good to repeat yourself. From paisley medallions to bricklay to interlocking geometrics, there’s no end to repeating designs to choose from when looking for the right background or texture. And there are certainly plenty of stock seamless patterns out there—but what if you have a specific design in mind? In those cases, it’s helpful to know how to create your own custom seamless patterns.

Adobe Illustrator’s pattern tool makes creating seamless patterns incredibly easy–so easy, in fact, that the hardest part is deciding what to put in your design. Luckily, our library of stock vectors can help with that part of the process. We’ve even curated a gallery of vectors to help spark some creative inspiration.

To get started, pick a shape or design that you want to use in your pattern. It’s also easy to pick and choose elements from existing patterns or preset design elements. For this tutorial, we used these stock owl vectors and stock animal vectors.

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Step 1. Open the Files in Illustrator

Open all of the files that you’ll be using to make your custom design.

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Step 2. Select Objects

Use the group selection tool to select the first object for your design. If you select more objects than you intended, just Shift+Click on the elements that you don’t want to include in your final design.

Once selected, copy the element and open a new file (of any size) in Illustrator. Paste the element into the new file. Continue to copy all of your desired elements and paste them into the same Illustrator file.

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Step 3. Create a Custom Design

Experiment with the placement and colors of the objects until you’re satisfied (this is the difficult part).

Here is the design that we created and the hexadecimal codes for each color:

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Step 4. Add a Background (optional)

If you’d like to add a background, draw a rectangle that covers the entire canvas. Expand the Layers tab and find the rectangle layer. Double click on the empty space just to the right of the eye icon. A lock icon should now appear in that space. Locking the rectangle layer will ensure that you will be able to select your design elements without the rectangle getting in the way.

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Step 5. Use the Pattern Tool

Select your entire design and click Object > Pattern > Make. Click “OK” on the box that pops up.

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Step 6. Experiment with Placement and Spacing

The pattern tool has some great functions, so we recommend that you do some experimenting. In the images below, we highlight some quick and easy changes you can make to your pattern to achieve the desired placement and spacing.

Tile Type
This function allows you to change the alignment of each “brick” in your pattern, In this case, we decided that we liked the “Brick by Row” option best for our owl pattern.

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Brick Offset
This function is only available for the Brick by Row and Brick by Column tile types. The Brick Offset button determines the location on the canvas where each row of the pattern starts. Click through the different options to get a feel for how this tool works.

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Width and Height
This option allows you to change the width and height of the spaces between each brick in your pattern.

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Copies
This function allows you to see what your pattern would look like with different dimensions. Each option measures your pattern by bricks, so for our current example, the 7×7 option will show 7 owls x 7 owls.

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Dim
The “Dim” option has no effect on your final pattern, but you might find it useful as you experiment with the size and spacing of the bricks. The lower the percentage, the dimmer the rest of the pattern becomes while the highlighted brick retains its original luminosity.

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Step 7. Click “Done”

Once you are happy with the spacing and placement of your pattern, click “Done.”

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Step 8. Put Your Pattern to Use and Start Creating!

This is where we get to test out our custom pattern. Select the rectangle tool, then select the last swatch under “Swatches.” This swatch is the new pattern that we’ve just made.

Once the swatch is selected, simply draw a rectangle. If you adjust the size of your rectangle, the pattern will automatically fill the entire area.

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But how can we tell that this is a seamless pattern? Simply copy and paste the rectangle you just made. Align the rectangles and you’ll see that the pattern lines up seamlessly!

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There you have it—your pattern is complete!

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Now you can let your creativity run wild and create your own seamless patterns. There’s no need to feel limited by existing designs—just pick and choose what you like to create something completely new. To get you started, you can check out our hand-picked gallery of stock vectors, all royalty-free with unlimited downloads when you’re a GraphicStock member.

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Custom Seamless Patterns in Adobe Illustrator