Graphic Design

All posts tagged Graphic 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

 

read more
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

 

read more
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

 

read more
Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Brutalist Web Design

Tutorial: Create Photoshop Brushes with Stock Images

by Maddie Stearn on March 5, 2017 1 comment

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

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

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

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

 

Step 1. Pick Your Watercolors

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

 

Step 2. Convert Your Images to Black & White

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

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

photoshop

 

Step 3. Create the Brush

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

photoshop

 

Step 4. Test Your New Brushes!

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

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

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

photoshop

 

Step 5. Adjust the Brush Angle

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

photoshop

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

photoshop

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

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

 

Brush Up with Stock Images

 

read more
Maddie StearnTutorial: Create Photoshop Brushes with Stock Images

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

 

read more
Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Designing With Purple

How to Design Unique Resumes with Stock Vectors and Icons

by Caroline Mercurio on March 1, 2017 No comments

Does your resume help you stand out as a creative or blend in with the crowd? Showcasing your experience and skills in a new and updated way puts your creativity at the forefront—without compromising on professionalism. Using stock vectors and icons—plus a few other design tips—you can create a more dynamic and appealing resume.

Show your future employer you’re more than just another cog in the machine with these easy to apply tips—and get the creative job of your dreams!

 

Tip #1 – Hierarchy and Simplicity Are Your Best Friends

There are some components of a resume that need greater recognition than others—your name, for example. Using the concepts of hierarchy in your resume will help the reader focus on key elements and helps draw their eye to important information. Let your name be the spotlight with bold and large text. Each section should be headed by bold keywords, with the body text taking a supporting role.

If you’re going to use color in your design, do so sparingly. While this is a resume for a creative position, function should rule over form—which is the guiding principle behind all design, anyways. Our strong recommendation is to choose one color and then play with rich black and a variety of grey shades. At most, use two typefaces—usually a serif and a sans serif. Even more simplistic is to use one font family and vary the weights to create your desired hierarchy.

Check out our focus on simplicity and color in the design below.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the icons used in this resume design.

 

Tip #2 – Keep the Layout Organized

Although it might be the least sexy part of designing a resume, maintaining a well-planned and organized layout is a very important component of your design. Recruiters and hiring managers scan dozens—and even hundreds—of resumes for each hiring round, so the information should be structured in easily digestible chunks for quick absorption.

Use a grid layout with rows and columns to make the most of the space on the page. Visual dividers combined with generous white space break up the details and provide greater clarity from one section to another. This also makes it easier for readers to quickly refer to sections of information in conversation with a colleague or during the interview.

Make sure each section of your resume aligns with another section or design element. You can see in our design below how much attention we gave to alignment. Nothing is out of place or randomly staggered into the white space. See how we streamlined our alignments in our resume example.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the icons used in this resume design.

 

Tip #3 – Catch the Eye with Stock Vectors and Icons

This is where you can have a little more fun—adding in vectors and icons to draw attention to key areas and highlight your skills. Once you have a good base of strong hierarchy, clean design, and an organized layout, adding in some design details can take away the monotony of a resume and bring a little personality to it.

You can use icons to highlight your contact information, skills, and personal interests. Meanwhile, you can use stock vectors to bring some color to the page or to show side by comparisons of how developed each of your skills are. See our use of icons below.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the icons used in this resume design.

 
Remember, a resume is how you present not only your skills and experience, but also your personal brand to a potential employer. Are you more formal and business-like? Or are you playful and fun? The right combination of fonts, colors, layout decisions and graphics can communicate your personality before someone even reads a word on the page.

What are you waiting for? Put your best foot forward and create a resume that stands out.

 

Get Attention Grabbing Icons

 

read more
Caroline MercurioHow to Design Unique Resumes with Stock Vectors and Icons

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

 

read more
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 3 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

 

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

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

 

read more
Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Retro Destination Postcards from Stock Vectors

#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
read more
Caitlyn Hampton#InstaFamous: The Top Hashtags for Designers on Instagram