Graphic Design Trends

Trending This Week: Linear Vector Icons in Web Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 24, 2017 No comments

In web design, vector icons not only make your page look on-trend, they’re also great to convey a large amount of information in a way that’s both efficient and visually appealing—a rare combination in the world of design. Since users tend to rapidly skim pages, well-designed icons make your message easier to pinpoint by breaking up the content of a page so that viewers can quickly identify your services or products.

Take a look at our example below. This attention-grabbing homepage is noticeable for all the right reasons—with one quick glance, you get all the important details without any visual or verbal clutter.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the icons used in this website design.


 

So now you see why icons are a win-win for content and design, but the tricky thing about icons is that they can be really tough to design well. They require time and an attention to detail that can take hours or even days to get just right—even if you’re a professional designer.

The good news? We recently acquired a new collection of stock vectors for our library, including dozens of high-quality icon designs. They will take your web pages to the next level and save you hours upon hours of work. Check out some of our favorites here and if you want to see how to use icons in a resume, check out this post.

 
Stock Vectors
 
So what do you say—are you ready to take your website designs to the next level?
 

Explore New Icons

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Linear Vector Icons in Web Design

Trending This Week: Geometric Illustrations and Grunge Textures

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 17, 2017 No comments

With flat design being all the rage recently, it’s hard to find a digital design with texture and depth. But trends are always evolving and revolving, so it came as no surprise when we noticed a deviation from this new norm. This textured landscape illustration by Berin Catic caught our attention. It still uses similar concepts to flat design—simple geometric forms, distilled down from their complex shapes in reality—however, with one distinct difference: the use of grunge textures. We couldn’t help but notice that this style can be easily recreated using stock images.

 
Stock Images Using Grunge Textures

Download the grunge texture and landscape vector used in this design.

 
Stock Images Using Grunge Textures

Download the grunge texture and landscape vector used in this design.

 
To recreate Catic’s look, we used simple geometric shapes, added a grunge texture with the blend mode set to Soft Light, and finally added a color overlay with the blend mode set to Hue. You can color each shape differently; however, we chose to use a color overlay for a monochromatic look.

 
So what do you say—would you add texture to your illustrations or are you a flat design for lifer? Let us know in the comments and get started with your next work of art!

 

Discover Dimensional Grunge Textures

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Geometric Illustrations and Grunge Textures

Trending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 9, 2017 No comments

If you thought you’d seen all the trends there could be by now, think again. There is a new design style in town—actually, it’s kind of old—and it’s making websites look bad. Known as brutalist web design, this “back to basics” trend is a reaction to the user-friendly, “too perfect” web pages that have overtaken the digital world as designers and browsers become more comfortable pushing their creative boundaries. Given the renewed popularity of brutalism, we beg the question: Can web design ever be too good?

To achieve this retro look all you have to do is forget everything you’ve ever learned about web design best practices. In brutalism, there really aren’t any rules. One of the key components is how easy it should be to code your web design in HTML. We took this as a hint to have some fun and go a little crazy with bright colors, fun stock vectors, and of course we can’t forget monospace fonts.

 
stock vectorsDownload the stock vectors used in this design.
 

The brutalist design style was originally an architecture movement from the 1950s through the 1970s, and it descended from the modernist movement. The aesthetic was about showcasing the raw concrete and not trying to gloss over how a building was actually made and structured. Brutalist web design boasts the same philosophy—don’t hide the structure of your website—or rather the HTML. It truly is web design at its core. Think Craigslist. No CSS, just functionality.

So, what do you think? Are you willing to jump on the brutalist band wagon or would you rather stick with more modern times?

While trends may come and go, if you’re looking for some amazing stock vectors for your next web design project, check out our 20 best graphics for web design.

 

Get Retro Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

Trending This Week: Designing With Purple

by Caroline Mercurio on March 2, 2017 No comments

Purple is one of the most interesting colors to work with, and it appears that the rest of the design world agrees. As the meeting point between warm red and cool blue, purple plays between the two tonalities to create countless colors in-between. You can mix a cool indigo by using a stronger dose of blue, or you can warm things up with a heavy dose of red. Even better, use several shades of purple together to keep your designs fresh and modern. No matter what hue you choose, this royal color always makes a bold statement.

Mustering up our courage, we decided to create our own eggplant-hued designs with stock images and an easy to achieve color overlay.

 
Stock Images

Download the stock images used in this design.

 

First we pulled our quote from one of our favorites by designer Sam Winston, “Design teaches you to study the voice rather than what to say.” Then to create this inspirational poster design, we simply downloaded our stock image of choice, added a shade of purple on top, and switched the color layer blend mode to multiply—play around with a variety of other blend modes like overlay, hue, color, etc. when creating your own design!

This season, designers are being fearlessly bold and not shying away from strong use of bright colors. We hope this post has inspired you to embrace the same level of bravery—and if you want to learn more about designing with color, check out our Color Theory 101 and our Visual Guide to Pantone’s Spring Colors.

 

Be Bold with Stock Images

 

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Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Designing With Purple

Trending This Week: Ironic Poster Designs Using Stock Graphics

by Caroline Mercurio on February 23, 2017 No comments

The design world has a lot of dos and don’ts—do keep graphics balanced and aligned, don’t use Comic Sans, do design with strong contrast—and most importantly, do keep a clear message. But the beauty of art and design is the freedom to break the rules—at least when it’s done in a purposeful and effective way. Inspired by Nick Slater’s poster designs, we chose to focus on one key element in our design: irony. When done with finesse, this technique can convey a sense of humor and self-awareness that creates an approachable personality—all through design!

As we’re all painfully aware, irony is a term that is often misunderstood—just listen to Alanis Morissette’s song Ironic, for example. But for our purposes it’s quite simple: have the design of your poster contrast with the message. In Mr. Slater’s design, he mixed the message of “Quiet Work Area” with loud colors and playful design elements. The result is fun and approachable. When your message and design contradict, your humor shines through.

Feeling inspired ourselves, we decided to create our own ironic poster using stock graphics.

 
stock graphics

Download the retro, geometric seamless pattern used in this design.

 
As this fun poster shows, we don’t always have to take ourselves so seriously. Using irony in your designs and creative work can help set you apart from other companies and solidify your brand identity. We were so inspired, we even gave ironic messaging a shot in a recent video for our sister site, VideoBlocks.

 

 
Think you can pull off an ironic design statement?

 

Get Ironic with Stock Graphics

 

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Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Ironic Poster Designs Using Stock Graphics

Trending This Week: Retro Destination Postcards from Stock Vectors

by Caroline Mercurio on February 15, 2017 No comments

Designers can be inspired by just about anything—and what’s more inspiring than traveling to a new destination? This week we caught onto a trend that really captures the wanderlust hibernating within each of us: destination illustrations influenced by the look and feel of retro postcards. Designer Ludmila Shevchenko grabbed our attention with her colorful, geometric design of Lofoten—a wanderlust-worthy destination far away—so we decided to recreate the look using stock vectors from our library.

Check out this rendition inspired by the snow-topped latitudes of Denver, Colorado.

 
stock vectors

Download the stock vector illustration we used in this postcard design.

 

To create this simple geometric design, we selected elements from the original vector to refine the image to what we had envisioned, and then added additional elements within Adobe Illustrator. You could also choose vector elements from our stock image library and combine them with your own shapes and designs.

With stock vectors you can design an actual postcard—yes, on real life paper. You can also create an illustration for your website or brand collateral, and you can also add these illustrations within your app or web design. The options are limitless!

Ready to design your own retro destination postcard? Check out our collection of travel-ready vectors.

 

Download Wanderlust-Inspiring Stock Vectors

 

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Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Retro Destination Postcards from Stock Vectors

Trending This Week: Dimensional Designs

by Caroline Mercurio on February 9, 2017 No comments

With all love for flat designs, renegade artists are starting to think outside the second dimension to rise above the noise. There are times when 3D really works–like whenever you want a futuristic, animated effect—and we have plenty of stock vectors and images that make it easy to replicate this trend. Dropshadow may be on the outs, but dimension is back in style. Take a look at a few examples from our library:

 

 

Dimensional graphics allow you to create an illusion of depth where there is none, bending space and shapes at your will. The result is trippy—in a good way—especially if you used bright, courageous colors. Pixar relies on physics within their animation technology to build life-like characters out of inanimate objects and imaginary whims—this trend allows you to take a similar approach in design. Go wild! The laws of physics should never limit your creativity.

If you make something amazing using dimension, let us know about it. We’d love to hear from you on Twitter or Instagram!

 

Download Dimensional Graphics

 

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Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Dimensional Designs

#InstaFamous: The Top Hashtags for Designers on Instagram

by Caitlyn Hampton on February 1, 2017 No comments

Instagram is one of our favorite platforms for engaging with all types of creatives (spoiler: we post a lot of our favorite stock images). As a purely visual-driven social media channel, it’s an excellent way to get your design work out in front of unfamiliar eyes and embrace the impact it can have on your recognition and reach. Think of it as a tool for engagement and connection, rather than just another way to interact with friends and brands. You can create a community while advertising your talent and expertise—it’s a win-win!

Hashtags are an essential tool for getting the most out of Instagram. While it’s not nearly as important as posting quality graphics in the first place, using effective hashtags will allow you to reach more eyeballs. It’s how others discover your feed and follow topics of interest.

We researched the top hashtags for designers to help you build your brand using Instagram…and maybe even become #InstaFamous. It’s important to have a healthy mix of broad tags and also more niche tags. The more popular tags expand your audience, while the more specific ones lead to greater engagement.

These are our top picks:

Most Popular Design Hashtags

 
#graphicdesign #design #art #graphic #typography
 

General Design Hashtags

 
#designer #designers #creative #creatives #artist #artoftheday #picoftheday #digitalart #graphic #graphicart #graphics #workspace
 

Graphic Design Hashtags

 
#photoshop #illustrator #posterdesign #vector #vectorart #visualstyle
 

Branding Hashtags

 
#brand #brandidentity #branding #logo #seo
 

Illustration Hashtags

 
#illustration #cartoon #animation #aftereffects #gif
 

Typography Hashtags

 
#font #typeface #handdrawntype #calligraphy #handmadetype #lettering #typedaily #typedesign #typegang #typespire #typography
 

Web Design Hashtags

 
#web #webdesign #ux #ui #webdesigner #developer #webdeveloper #wordpress
 
These hashtags will put your work in front of a wide audience and, if you play your cards right, may even rank top in discovery—leading to potentially thousands of likes and follows.

Need some high-quality graphics to help get started on your designs? Explore our library of over 350,000 royalty-free images. You can use them for Instagram memes, and just about any other project!

Get #InstaFamous Graphics
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Caitlyn Hampton#InstaFamous: The Top Hashtags for Designers on Instagram

Trending This Week: Stained Glass Meets Mid-Century Iconography

by Caroline Mercurio on February 1, 2017 No comments

Calling all designers and creatives! This is our first post in a new weekly series in which we highlight design trends and industry tips that catch our eye and inspire us to do what we do best: create cool projects with stock graphics. Our first choice to kickstart this series? A fun linear illustration reminiscent of stained glass windows—brought into the modern world. We came across designer Justin Pervorse’s label design, and instantly envisioned a twist of our own (featured below).

We won’t say linear icons are an overused trend because, frankly, we’re quite the fans. However, it’s greatly appreciated when we find new creative utilization of these bad boys, like Pervorse’s design. This stained-glass inspired trend involves a bright, bold color palette; minimal, linear icons; and mis-mashing them together in a mosaic, blocked-off fashion. Keep the icons you use on brand and on message—whether that’s funky and whimsical, or a little more polished and streamlined. We used our stock vectors to get the look.

Here’s our take on stained glass meets mid-century iconography:
 
Design Trends
 
The creative community is abundant with talent, and designers are cranking out awe-inspiring works of art left and right, week after week. As fellow creators, it’s our job to stay abreast of the hottest trends coming down the pipe, so we are constantly keeping an eye out for some amazing designs that push the envelope. So keep an eye out for our new weekly series—bringing you inspiration from the design community and the resources to make it happen.

Want to give the stained glass trend a whirl? Try downloading and experimenting with the minimal icons we used in our design.

 

 

Get Trendy Graphics

 

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Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Stained Glass Meets Mid-Century Iconography

A Visual Guide to Pantone’s Spring Colors: 10 Ways to Apply the Palette

by Caroline Mercurio on January 30, 2017 No comments

Hope isn’t just a feeling this season—according to the color experts at Pantone, it’s also a palette. Based on the prominent colors used in this year’s New York Fashion Week, Pantone’s most popular colors for Spring 2017 involve a playful yet thoughtful mix of vitality and relaxation. According to Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute Leatrice Eiseman, “designers applied color in playful, yet thoughtful and precise combinations to fully capture the promises, hope, and transformation that we yearn for each Spring.”

To help encapsulate the aspirational essence these colors represent in your next designs, we’ve compiled a guide to understanding the meaning behind each color choice—and we’ve created a few designs using resources from our library of stock images to get you started.

Pantone's SpringImage courtesy of Pantone

 

1. Primrose Yellow

 
Pantone's Spring
 
This vibrant yellow is bold and unabashedly cheery—especially as it skews more towards orange-yellow than green. Reminiscent of warm, sunny days, this color can be especially impactful when you want your designs to draw instant attention.

If the brand you’re designing for is a playful one, then this color is just right—but use it with care. When paired with white text, it can be difficult to read and therefore quite inaccessible for those with limited eyesight. It’s best used sparingly as an accent color—but then again, rules are made to be broken.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

2. Pale Dogwood

 
Pantone's Spring
 
This beautifully subtle pink is soft and relaxing. It is innocent and pure, like a softly lit spring morning, which probably explains the name. This color is so unobtrusive, it could easily be used as a neutral in your designs. Let it lead from a place of support: the background.

For a brand that is calm and feminine, this color is ideal. It makes an excellent supporting color for bold and loud colors. For a minimalist feel, pair it with grayscale photos and rich black text to let your content carry the weight of your message.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

3. Hazelnut

 
Pantone's Spring
 
As the most neutral color of the bunch, Hazelnut truly represents the earthiness of Pantone’s collection. It’s grounding, calming, and provides roots for punchier colors to contrast with. Described as “unpretentious and with an inherent warmth,” this color eases you into the transition of the seasons, with warm days spent outdoors just on the horizon.

As a neutral, this color is another excellent supporter for pairing with others. If you’re going for an approachable, earthy look in your design, Hazelnut can be more warm and friendly than the popular light gray as a neutral.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

4. Island Paradise

 
Pantone's Spring
 
A strikingly vibrant and appealing color, Island Paradise mimics the pristine aqua waters of islands far off. It exudes an air of paradise and inspires tropical escapes far away from the colorless cold winter.

Blue colors generally evoke a sense of calm, peace, and responsibility for brands, but this brighter and more energized aqua radiates excitement. It has a freshness that is playful and fun. For a happy and bright brand, let Island Paradise take center stage. Try a monochromatic look with varying shades of blue—like Lapis Blue and Niagara—to really dive into Bahamian waters. Or try a look that pops by pairing it with Pink Yarrow and Flame.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

5. Greenery

 
Pantone's Spring
 
As the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year, this shade of green is all about breathing new life into the spring season and reinvigorating our passions. It’s about experimentation, exploration, and adventure. This green is fearless and borrows some of its boldness from the hints of yellow found within.

Use this color in your designs if you want to create a feeling of freshness and vibrancy. Green in branding can create a sense of balance and harmony—yet this hue is also energizing and invigorating. Pair it with a minimal and clean design that emphasizes the use of negative or white space to really nail a refreshing look and feel.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

6. Flame

 
Pantone's Spring
 
Arguably the hottest color of the bunch, this color is also the loudest and most intense. More approachable than reds in general, orange has a friendly and energetic appeal—a common theme throughout Pantone’s collection. This shade is “gregarious and fun loving” and adds heat to the spring collection to balance out some of the more peaceful and relaxing colors.

Don’t be fearful of the bold and bright Flame color. In fact, if you’re going to give this color a shot, go all the way and flood your designs with it. With a color like this, it’s asking to make a statement. If your brand is strong and determined, this could be the color for you. Try using it in marketing pieces that have an informal voice and approach or for an intense call to action.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

7. Pink Yarrow

 
Pantone's Spring
 
This pink is lively, whimsical, and quite the showstopper. It isn’t shy and it doesn’t mind taking center stage—which is exactly how you can utilize it. This bold, bright, and saturated hue is captivating and will immediately draw attention to wherever it is used in a design.

Highlight an important call to action with Pink Yarrow—or emphasize an area where the message is particularly important. But keep in mind that this color is not the most traditional or conservative. If you use it in your designs or for branding, understand that you’ll be giving the impression of youth and a casual approach to business—think T-Mobile, which emphasizes targeting youthful and open-minded consumers.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

8. Niagara

 
Pantone's Spring
 
Niagara was coined as speaking “to our desire for ease and relaxation.” It was awarded as the most prominent color of Spring 2017. While it’s one of the more muted colors of the collection, its strength lies in its comfort and dependability.

Used alone, the mood it elicits is one of relaxation, comfort, and dependability, which makes it an excellent partner for pairing with bright Primrose Yellow. Or if you want to keep your designs calm, it could work very well with Pale Dogwood.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

9. Kale

 
Pantone's Spring
 
Though the actual vegetable probably reached peak trendiness back in 2014, Kale as a color is making its way into fashion and design strongly this spring. Another green in the collection to emulate the beauty of nature and the desire to get outdoors, Kale is more muted and reserved than its Greenery counterpart. It makes an excellent backdrop and could almost get away with serving as a neutral.

For a complimentary collision in hue and saturation, try pairing Kale with Pink Yarrow—it will look modern and bold, but also quite fun. For a monochromatic look, work with Greenery and Kale. Or for a sweet and inviting combination, try Kale with Pale Dogwood.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 

10. Lapis Blue

 
Pantone's Spring
 
Lapis blue is one of the more modest and traditional colors in Pantone’s collection. It radiates inner confidence and a calm, stable energy, yet it holds its own against some of the brighter colors like Primrose Yellow, Flame, or Pink Yarrow.

Paired with a heavy use of white space, Lapis Blue works well along side any of these brighter colors—especially when used in the style of Material Design for websites, web applications, or mobile apps. The heavy saturation of the color makes for an excellent contrast with white space and therefore makes a hierarchy of information easier to accomplish—a must-have for successful visual design.

Pantone's Spring

Download the GraphicStock images used in this design.

 
Want a little more in-depth analysis to color theory before you begin your designs? Check out our Color Theory 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Complementary Colors, RGB, and More.

And did you know that with Graphicstock you can search by any color for completely customized results—just by using the hex codes we provided!

 

Get Colorful

 

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Caroline MercurioA Visual Guide to Pantone’s Spring Colors: 10 Ways to Apply the Palette