Graphic Design Trends

Trending This Week: Website Heroes with Stock Images

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 14, 2017 No comments

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

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

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

 
Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this website design.

 
Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this website design.

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

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

 

Get Heroic Stock Images

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Website Heroes with Stock Images

Trending This Week: Impressionist Paintings in UI Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 7, 2017 No comments

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

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

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

Stock Images

Download the stock image used in this design.

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

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

Explore Impressionist Art

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Impressionist Paintings in UI Design

Introducing BunnyBlocks: All the Stock Media You Need for an Awwdorable Easter

by Caroline Mercurio on April 6, 2017 No comments

Ah, Spring. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and adorable baby bunnies are making their annual entrance into the world. When you think about it, bunnies really are the mascot of the month, and with Easter just around the corner, it’s needless to say that we’ve got bunnies on the brain.

Last month, our sister site VideoBlocks published an article on the so-called “stars of the internet”—cats. But here at GraphicStock, we think it’s time to make a case for why bunnies should be the true icons of the world wide web. We even spoke with their regional ambassador, Sir Benjamin Frankrabbit, who laid out concrete evidence of the bunnies’ superiority and tactical plan for digital domination.

Joking aside, these little guys are pretty cute—and very on-trend for the Spring season. So whether you’re a Bugs Bunny fan or more of a Peter Rabbit kinda guy or gal, we’ve got all the bunnies to get you—and your clients—through the season.

 

What’s Up, Doc?

Is it just us, or do these guys look like they’re up to no good?

 

When you get caught with your hands in the Easter Basket.

Purchase this footage of an Easter Bunny with Easter eggs.

 

I see you…

Purchase this close up of a baby bunny.

 

Bunnies: Being adorable since 1950.

Purchase this vintage 1950s footage of a bunny rabbit and a rooster on a farm.

 

Om nom nom!

Purchase this footage of two bunny rabbits eating.

 

Wait, what? Nice try, Bruno.

Purchase this footage of a cute pug dog wearing bunny ears.

 

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

 
 

 

Yes, There’s a Bunny in a Box

We don’t think we need to say more.

 

Surprise!

Bunnies

Download this photo of a baby bunny in a box.

 

Okay, now where are the good jelly beans?

Bunnies

Download this photo of a white rabbit with Easter eggs in a basket.

 

Zzzzzzzzz…

Bunnies

Download this photo of a baby bunny being held.

 

Tell it to the tail.

Bunnies

Download this Easter Bunny card vector

 

Rock on!

Bunnies

Download this photo of a baby rabbit listening to music on headphones

 

Find Ferocious Furballs

 

 

See You at the Sock Hop

So let’s face it—bunnies are not the most talkative of the fur-babies. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love a good sock-hop. Rock out rabbit-style with these springy, upbeat, and utterly bouncy tunes.
 

Tunes for a Hoppin’ Good Time

 
It’s their theme song, after all.

Download this Rabbit Tracks music.

 
I said a hip, hop!

Download this Hip-Hop loop.

 
Sing a song of Springtime.

Download this Spring Song music.

 
Time to get bouncy.

Download this Built With Springs Music.
 

Rabbity Sound FX

Just because they aren’t chatty doesn’t mean rabbits don’t make any noise. From a cartoon “boing” to the crunch of a tasty carrot, here’s just a taste of our bunny-riffic sound effects.

 
Munch munch munch…

Download this eating hard vegetables sound effect.

 
Boing!

Download this cartoon spring jumps sound effect.

 

Rock Out With Rabbits

 

So now that bunnies are in your life—literally and digitally (you’re welcome)—how will you celebrate the season? From memes to mascots, bunnies have all the star-power of kittens and then some! Keep calm and hop on.
 

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Caroline MercurioIntroducing BunnyBlocks: All the Stock Media You Need for an Awwdorable Easter

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.

 

Discover More Floral Images

 

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Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Simple, Stunning Floral Typography with Photoshop

Trending This Week: Monochromatic Illustrations With Stock Vectors

by Caitlyn Hampton on March 31, 2017 No comments

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

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

 
Stock Vectors

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

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

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

 

Explore Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Monochromatic Illustrations With Stock Vectors

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 1 comment

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