Design

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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: 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: 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

A Beginner’s Guide to Designing Website and Mobile App Mockups

by Caroline Mercurio on February 21, 2017 2 comments

As a designer, you’re really good at what you do. When a client comes to you with a clear vision for their business but zero idea of how their website should look or function, you know how to deliver amazing results that double or even triple their ROI. Yet sometimes your clients need a little more convincing—a little extra push—to really seal the deal. Or maybe you’ve got quite the collection of website or app designs for your portfolio, but want a flashier, more engaging way to present these designs to your future employers and clients.

Enter product mockups. By providing important visual context for your designs, mockups are key to helping your client fully grasp your collaborative vision when a simple screenshot or Photoshop file just isn’t quite cutting it.

Mockups provide context for your designs and help clients envision your final product in a real world setting. They can also help model your responsive design solutions—allowing you to showcase your ability to design for mobile screens, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Using mockups to showcase your designs is an effective way to highlight your talents. Luckily it’s easy, too—which is why we made this beginner’s guide to show you how it’s done.

For this example, we used this mockup kit along with resources from our library of stock graphics.

 
MockupsDownload the stock graphics used in these designs.

 

Step One: Download a Mockup Kit

 
Mockups
 

The internet boasts a plethora of design resources all at your fingertips—and often for free. Our suggestion? Simply google “free photoshop mockups.” You can also use well-known resources like Mockup World, which is what we used for the designs in our guide to designing swag and our Pantone spring color guide.

Once you’ve chosen your desired mockup, simply download the file, unzip it, and open it in Photoshop. Most photoshop files for mockups have highly organized groups and layers, and should be easy to decipher. Take a moment to understand the layers of your chosen mockup kit—a good kit will name its layers clearly.

 

Step Two: Insert Design

 
Mockups
 

Most kits will name the layers you want to edit something obvious like “Put Your Screen Here” or “Edit This Layer.” The editable layer will be a linked smart object, so double click it and it will open another Photoshop file.

 
Mockups
 

After you create your design and export it as a jpeg or png, simply drag and drop it into this photoshop file, resize it as needed, save it, and then it will automatically populate the the original composition.

 

Step Three: Save and Export

Now you simply save the composition to whatever file type and size you desire. It really is that easy to elevate your designs so that your clients or future employers will be that much more impressed.

 
MockupsDownload the stock graphics used in these designs.
 

Need new stock graphics to inspire and amp up your next designs? Check out our top 20 graphics for web design.

 

Start Designing with Stock Graphics

 

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Caroline MercurioA Beginner’s Guide to Designing Website and Mobile App Mockups

Get Your Swag On: Designing Swag with Stock Graphics

by Caroline Mercurio on February 14, 2017 No comments

T-shirts, hats, mugs, bags, pens, or socks—if you can think of it, you can put your logo on it. Swag is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. If it’s wearable or useful, you can guarantee great swag will get your brand in front of new eyes and help create lasting awareness. To spark your inspiration, we’ve outlined three ways companies can use swag to show off the strengths of their business and values—whether you’re a small business owner or Mark Zuckerberg himself, these top swag tricks will help you elevate your brand to the next level.

Keep in mind, you can’t just slap your logo on a coffee mug and call it a day, not if you want to make a significant impact—you don’t want to devalue your brand with common promotional products. Push the design of your swag to the next level and incorporate stock graphics, vectors and photos to help the inner spirit of your brand shine.

Your company’s brand is more than just the logo and colors—it’s a personality and a vision. Highlight your brand’s internal values that don’t always get to shine so brightly to the world outside your office. Swag is an excellent marketing tool, but it’s also an important way to create a strong working community among coworkers and teammates.

 

#1 Swag for Facebook

Consider Facebook, for instance. They have five core values that drive their inner company workings and their hiring process. While they aren’t always advertised to the external world, it’s a huge part of their company culture and brand. As an example, we created a quick swag design encapsulating one of their values—in the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “Move fast and break things.”

 
Stock Graphics

Download the stock image of a blur speed effect used in this design.

 

#2 Swag for Google

Google is another company with strong internal values. They are innovative, creative, and they push boundaries. One of their ten core values is, “You can be serious without a suit.” They believe work should be challenging—but also fun. To reflect that playful attitude and boundary pushing mentality, we imagined a fun baseball cap that proudly boasts the value.

 
Stock Graphics

Download the stock illustration of an astronaut used in this design.

 

#3 Swag for Slack

Slack is another company with strong internal values that don’t always see the light of day. They focus on three keywords: diligence, curiosity, and empathy. Slack’s brand always portrays a fun and playful attitude—similar to Google—but with a little more youth and edginess due to their bright, saturated, and hip brand colors. We imagine that their swag should be playful and maybe even downright silly—like this bag.

 
Stock Graphics

Download the cat vector illustration used in this design.

 
There are so many possibilities when it comes to designing swag—especially when you have unlimited downloads from our library of royalty-free stock images. Try not to limit your designs to a simple logo. Think edgier, more fun, more creative. Whether the swag you’re designing is for your customers or your employees, the more unique the design, the more effective your swag will be in spreading your brand’s message and increasing awareness.

Ready to take your company’s swag to the next level? Explore our library of stock images, or check our Top 30 Favorite Label Vectors for Branding for more swag inspiration.

 

Start Designing

 

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Caroline MercurioGet Your Swag On: Designing Swag with Stock Graphics

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.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
Download these stock labels.

 

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stock vector labels
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

Stock Yourself: How One GraphicStock Member Got YouTube Famous

by Caroline Mercurio on February 10, 2017 No comments

Sometimes it’s hip to be “stock-y.” Music videos used to cost thousands of dollars and required high-tech hardware and editing programs. But now in the age of low-budget DIY creativity, YouTubers like Joe Penna—known as MysteryGuitarMan on his channel—can make engaging videos with just a few stock images and a talented hand in Adobe Photoshop, all without ever having to leave their homemade studio. Joe’s specialty is bringing the absurd to life with animation, special effects, and music.

Take a look at “Stock Photo-shop” and see for yourself:

 

 

Joe’s music video for “Believer” by the band Paper Lions features stock photos from GraphicStock, with Joe lip-syncing the lyrics. He even made sure the lighting on his face matched the lighting in the photo. The well-paced video over the infectious tune was uploaded on December 15th and has garnered over 300,000 views so far. The video was well-received by subscribers, who have been anticipating a new video from Joe since his previous upload two months prior.

We love seeing projects that our creative community makes—from fun music videos by YouTubers like Penna to exciting designs like last year’s Creative Rewards winner. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to provide high-quality stock content that fits any creator’s budget. The possibility are endless!

 

Discover Stock Images

 

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Caroline MercurioStock Yourself: How One GraphicStock Member Got YouTube Famous

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