Graphic Design

All posts tagged Graphic Design

Trending This Week: Colorful Patterns and Negative Space

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 28, 2017 No comments

Color and minimalism aren’t two words you generally think to pair—but in the case of this week’s trend, vibrancy and balance work together to create a fun new design aesthetic perfect for the warmer months. From magazine layouts to user interface designs, this contrasting combination has been popping up everywhere—and lucky for you, this is one trend that isn’t difficult to incorporate into your own designs.

By combining stock photos and plenty of negative space with a nice dash of a designer-friendly typeface, we can apply this technique to a variety of mediums. Check out our take on the trend below.

 
Royalty Free Stock Photos

Download the royalty free stock photo used in this design.

 
Bold color can work beautifully if it’s done tastefully, but remember—white space is your friend and smart layout design is critical for keeping everything organized. With a few simple refinements, loud colors can even work on smaller screens without being too overwhelming.

 
Royalty Free Stock Photos

Download the royalty free stock photo used in this design.

 

What’s your take on this bold design trend? Try it for yourself! We’ve got thousands of patterns and backgrounds to inspire and get you started. What will you create?

 

Explore Bold Backgrounds

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Colorful Patterns and Negative Space

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.

 

Get Geometric with More Graphics

 

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

Trending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

by Caitlyn Hampton on April 21, 2017 No comments

Designers have many tricks up their sleeves and one of the simplest is color blocking—a technique in which large blocks of bold color are photoshopped into the background.

Following brand guidelines can be tough. Style guides are strict and limit everything from the typefaces you’re allowed to use to the colors you can apply. In short, professional design projects can leave your creativity feeling a little stifled—but don’t despair! Color blocking is a great way to spice up your designs while staying on-brand and on-trend. Using the right stock graphics combined with a bold color blocking technique, you can breathe life back into your designs.

From display ads to website heroes, color blocking allows for some freedom by providing plenty of white space in your design.

 
graphic images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
In our display ad examples, we chose a yellow background to provide contrast with the model’s red hat, resulting in vibrant, playful ads that encourages potential customers to take notice.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
We used the golden ratio in order to determine the size of the yellow block, positioned the model to cover a portion of the split between the two sides, and maintained her shadow in the cutouts to create some depth between the model and the background.

 
Graphic Images

Download the graphic image used in this design.

 
By using color blocking, we were able to choose a loud, bold color, and play with the layout design of the ad. All our brand guidelines were met, and creativity was still able to spread its wings.

Now it’s your turn—we’ve gathered some of our favorite stock graphics for use with this technique. What will you create?

 

Get the Graphics

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Color Block Designs with Stock Graphics

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

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

Our Spring Coloring Book—13 Stock Vectors That Turn Winter into Spring

by Caroline Mercurio on March 16, 2017 No comments

While it might seem like much of the world is still facing frost and snowstorms, the first day of spring is nearly here. To help celebrate the changing seasons—and the flowery foliage that comes with it—we’ve rounded up some of our favorite line art drawings from our library of stock vectors that truly capture this time of year.

What exactly makes these drawings so perfect for the first day of spring? Each image is a delicately drawn snowflake that—if you look closely enough—is entirely made up of flowers. (Metaphorical much?)

Best of all, the black and white line art style of these snowflakes make them ideal for coloring. And let’s be real, who doesn’t enjoy a chance to color every now and then? With Photoshop, it’s entirely mess-free—no crayons, markers, paints, or colored pencils to clean up after. Just pick your color and use that much-loved tool: the paint bucket.

Here’s an example of how we’ve colored one of these floral snowflakes.

 
Before:
Stock Vectors
 
 
And after:
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
Not certain which colors to pick? We used a palette inspired by early spring blooms, like the warm yellows of daffodils and the vibrant purples of crocuses. Look to nature for your own inspiration—or make sure your choices are 100% on-trend and check out our guide to Pantone’s picks for this spring.

 
Try out your own palettes with these 13 floral snowflakes.

 
1.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
2.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
3.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
4.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
5.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
6.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
7.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
8.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
9.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
10.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
11.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
12.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
 
13.
Stock Vectors

Download this floral snowflake stock vector.

 
Pick your favorite or download them all—with unlimited downloads from our royalty-free library of stock vectors, the possibilities are endless!

 

Get Coloring

 

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Caroline MercurioOur Spring Coloring Book—13 Stock Vectors That Turn Winter into Spring

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