All posts tagged GraphicStock

GraphicStock Design Challenge: “Home”

by Brian Platt on May 12, 2015 No comments

We’re giving away an iPad, a Wacom tablet, and a year’s subscription in this month’s design challenge!

To enter, just submit your best visual interpretation of “home,” using at least one element from the GraphicStock library—and we’ll select a first, second, and third-place winner to receive the prizes above (in their respective order).

Submissions should be sent to before the deadline of June 5, 2015.

Entrants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and own the rights to any copyrighted material submitted. Each entry must contain at least one element from GraphicStock’s library (please include links in your submission) and no elements from stock libraries other than GraphicStock. By submitting, entrants agree to the standard design challenge rules.

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Brian PlattGraphicStock Design Challenge: “Home”

How to Make Wood Textures with Graphics

by Brian Platt on April 29, 2015 1 comment

The above graphics can be located and downloaded by following the corresponding numbers on the image, with the ones in the list of links below:

Cover Photo edited

1 | 2 | 3 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

To download the ones in this collection, you will have to sign up for a 7 Day Totally Free Trial , where you can download up to 20 images a day. If you don’t want to be enrolled in the paid “unlimited download” membership, simply cancel before your seven day trial is up.

To start your seven day free trial, go HERE.

Now for a fun tutorial on how to use these wood texture graphics in your digital design:

1. Paste your desired graphic on top of your texture.

Step 1

2. Using the Magic Wand Tool, select the graphic you want to use as a stamp. You can always adjust the tool’s sensitivity by making the “tolerance” higher.

Step 2

3. Feather your selection anywhere from 0.2 – 3%. To do this, right click your selection and select “Feather” and plug in your desired percentage. Feathering makes sure that your selection is smooth, with no jagged lines.

Step 3

4. Press CTRL C to copy, and CTRL V to paste.

Step 4

5. It will look like you didn’t do anything, but notice how you now have a new layer? It just blends in perfectly. So you need to adjust the contrast. Select the newly pasted layer & go to the top tool bar click Image>Adjust>Brightness & Contrast. Play around with the levels until you have the contrast you want, press save & you are done!

Step 5
Step 6resized

You can use it as an additional layer to the original texture as shown in the first image, or as an individual “stamp,” as shown below.

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Brian PlattHow to Make Wood Textures with Graphics

What Times Should You Post on Social Media?

by Brian Platt on October 1, 2014 No comments

What Times Should You Post on Social Media?

Posting at specific times of the day can ensure that more people see your posts on social media. Each social media site has its own particular times, so let’s take a look at the top three social media sites:

Twitter- The worst time to post on Twitter is 8pm to 8am. The best time to post on Twitter is around 5pm, according to a KISSmetrics study.

Facebook- The KISSmetrics study also showed that 1pm is the optimal time to post on Facebook. Avoid 12am to 8am.

Pinterest- According to Social Caffeine, posting to Pinterest from 2pm to 4pm and 8pm to 1am is best, while 5pm to 7pm is the worst time to post. The ideal time to target is 4pm.

If You Are Sharing Content

If you are advertising content, such as a blog post from your site, your posting times should also collaborate with your publishing time. For Twitter and Facebook, you should post as soon as you publish your content, then again two hours later.

For Pinterest, sharing just one post about your content is enough; you don’t want your boards filled with repeat posts about the same thing, because that will irritate your followers.

Video, audio and graphics increase your post views exponentially, so consider using audio, graphics and videos for your posts from, and

Pick the Best Day

In addition to time, consider the day. According to research, the best time to post to any social media site is on a Thursday. The second best day is Friday. These days yield more social interaction than any other day of the week.

Get Help

The timing of your social media post varies, depending on the platform. If all of this seems confusing, you can use programs or apps like BOOM, FutureTweets, Klout or HootSuite. These platforms were created to manage and schedule posts; you can pick your own exact post time, or you can let the system determine when social media traffic is at its most beneficial.

No matter if you post manually or use an app, always make sure your posts have quality content. Quality content will engage visitors and keep them coming back to you for more.

To take a look at how often you should post on social media click here.

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Brian PlattWhat Times Should You Post on Social Media?

Autumn Begins

by Brian Platt on September 22, 2014 No comments

Autumn Begins

Tomorrow is the beginning of Autumn, and although we will miss the long days of summer, we are really excited for the beauty that fall brings. The golden colors of the leaves changing, cool crisp weather and of course Pumpkin Spice Lattes- fall is a great season!

Fall in North America provides us a pallet of amazing colors and hues that is perfect for a visual profession like graphic design. We at GraphicStock love to hike on the Appalachian trail, just a few short miles away from D.C. While hiking, the leaves appear on fire in the most beautiful and amazing ways.

Autumn Begins

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Brian PlattAutumn Begins

Designing an Epic Fantasy Book Cover Part II

by Brian Platt on September 14, 2014 No comments

Designing an Epic Fantasy Book Cover Part II

Part II: Unleashing the Wolf

In Part I of our fantasy book cover tutorial, we pulled fantasy themes out of a hat (planet, wolf, and dreams) and combined three stock images from our library to get us off to a great start:
Designing an Epic Fantasy Book Cover, Part I
In this tutorial, we’ll pick up on our quest by adding some stock wolf elements.

We quickly fell in love with this medieval shield art from our library and were very tempted to create our own custom sigils . . .






However, part of the purpose of these tutorials is to highlight the ease of using stock images unmodified, so we downloaded a shield with wolf art included and placed it atop our dreamcatcher.

Designing an Epic Fantasy Book Cover Part II

We then used the same strategy on our back cover, adding a quick and easy set of stock claw marks that needed no modification beyond simple cutting and pasting.

Designing an Epic Fantasy Book Cover Part II

The claw marks really pop against the all-blue background and textures, but we knew adding too many full-opacity elements might start to look a bit messy. To avoid this, we scaled back from using the entire vintage map background we’d downloaded and instead pulled only selective parts of it (its antique handwriting and grunge layers) to finish out our background.

We then blended these layers using the same techniques outlined in Part I: “Color Blend” mode, reduced opacity, and a light blue mid-tone sampled from the planet.

Designing an Epic Fantasy Book Cover Part II

Up next: Part III: Fantasy Fonts . . .

Headshot-DiGuiseppi Andy DiGuiseppi is the owner of DiGuiseppi Studios, where he specializes in branding, graphics, and all things design.

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Brian PlattDesigning an Epic Fantasy Book Cover Part II

Happy Labor Day- A GraphicStock Image Gallery

by Brian Platt on September 1, 2014 No comments

Happy Labor Day- A GraphicStock Image Gallery

Today it doesn’t matter who you are, we all can celebrate the accomplishments of the American workforce! Today we have pride and celebrate the fact that America was founded by some of the very hard working people. Labor Day started in 1894 when Grover Cleveland created a federal holiday after a failed attempt to break up a railroad strike. So whether you are a legitimate blue collar worker or like me and can’t swing a hammer to save your life take today to relax and be appreciative of those extremely hard workers who built this great country. Remember to find more images at
Happy Labor Day- A GraphicStock Image Gallery

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Brian PlattHappy Labor Day- A GraphicStock Image Gallery

How to rasterize an image

by Brian Platt on August 30, 2014 No comments

How to Rasterize an Image

It isn’t just graphic designers, artists, or those who work in front of a computer screen all day that can reap the benefits of image rasterization. People who ordinarily wouldn’t touch a keyboard and mouse would get a lot out of this task. There are a few questions to address before we look at how to go about rasterizing an image, however, the first two being: what is rasterization and why is it useful? Take a look here for our tutorial on how to vectorize an image!

The term refers to the task of converting an image constructed of vector graphics (shapes) into one based on pixels and dots. This makes the image suitable for output on a video display or printer, and is the most popular method of producing 3D graphics on a computer. The image can be refined to the choice of the user and the rasterization process provides a speedy way of creating an image that can then be altered via shading, for example, on programs such as Photoshop.

Before attempting to rasterize a favorite photo or the like, it’s worth visiting sites such as or, where you can download an unlimited number of royalty-free graphics and stock images via a subscription service. This will give you an affordable way of experimenting with textures and graphics, whilst learning how to convert vector images to raster images.

While there are numerous ways to rasterize an image, the simplest and most straightforward method is by using the Illustrator tool on the Adobe programme, Photoshop. While text can also be rasterized in order to store it in bitmap files, we’ll look here at how to rasterize images in Illustrator.

Firstly, open the Illustrator app and open the document containing the image you want to rasterize. For multiple images, click the ‘Control’ button as you select the images.

You will then be given the option to either permanently rasterize the image or simply give the appearance of a pixel-based image, known as a ‘Raster Effect’ option. For the former, click ‘Options’ in the toolbar, followed by ‘Rasterize’. You can then select Color Mode based on your Printer Preferences and resolution and background options. Simply de-select the ‘Anti-Alias’ option and click ‘OK’ to complete the process.

For the Raster Effect method, select ‘Rasterize’ from the ‘Effects’ option on the toolbar, select your options as you would for the permanent option and make alterations using the ‘Appearance’ panel, before saving.

Your results should be visually arresting, professional in appearance and entirely dictated by your own tastes.

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Brian PlattHow to rasterize an image

Turn Your Collage into Any Design!

by Bill Zhang on July 10, 2014 No comments

Turn Your Collage into Any Design!

We all love to make collages but let’s add another dimension: turning it into a simple number or letter (or whatever other shape you want).  In this short tutorial, one of our team members, Bill, is making a birthday banner for his Facebook page for his daughter’s 2nd birthday.

The first step is to make a collage.  Many free websites can create nice collages (Picasa, Canva, Pixlr) but we’ll just stick with Pixlr since that’s what we are using to edit the collage after it’s done. For a primer in Pixlr, take a look here.

How to make a simple image Collage

Step 1

Goto Pixlr Express

Step 2

Click on Collage

Step 3

Choose how many images you want (we picked 16 here)

Screen_256 Sep. 24 13.51

Step 4

Then simple click the + signs in each grid to upload images into each cell.  You can move the images around to get the perfect placement.

Screen_233 Sep. 24 13.16

Step 5

Once you are done, simple click finished and choose a name.

Now you have a simple collage of images to be used as the base for your number or character.  The next step is to fine a letter or character that can be used as a stencil or clipping mask for the collage.  Almost like we’re going to use the character as a outline to cut out the collage.  For this we’ll need to use the Pixlr editor.

1. Goto the Pixlr Editor
2. Click Open file from computer (make sure you’ve picked a graphic from GraphicStock)
3. Using the lasso tool, circle around the number you want.

Screen_237 Sep. 24 13.19
4. Copy this selection (use ctrl+c or edit > copy)
5. Go to File > New Image and click ok when the dialog comes up (it’ll automatically put in the exact dimensions)
6. Paste the number into the new blank image (use ctrl+v or edit > paste)
7. Use the magic wand tool to select the shape with a low tolerance (less than 20)

Screen_240 Sep. 24 13.20

8. Copy the selection (use ctrl+c or edit > copy)
9. Open the collage file that you had just made and paste the number onto it (use ctrl+v or edit > paste)

Screen_241 Sep. 24 13.20

10. Click Edit > Free Transform in order to resize this to the full size of the collage.
11. Using the little blue squares on the corners, resize the number to the full size of the collage.

Screen_243 Sep. 24 13.22

12. Use the magic wand tool and select the space OUTSIDE the number.  Since this is a separate layer than the collage, it will select everything outside the number.
13. In the layers toolbox, uncheck the layer containing the number.  This will make it disappear but keep the selection live.

Screen_245 Sep. 24 13.36

14. Now select the layer containing the collage (you may need to double click the little lock symbol in the layer toolbox so you can edit)
15. Press the delete key on your keyboard (del or backspace)

Screen_247 Sep. 24 13.39

16. Add text as necessary and click save!

Screen_250 Sep. 24 13.47

17.  Now we have a great birthday banner for Abby’s big day.

Abby Number 2 Collage Bday

18. You’re ready to upload it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and to email to all your friends.

Screen_253 Sep. 24 13.49





Ready to Get Started?!

Here are a few of our favorite shapes and design you can use as a stencil for your collages.  In fact, we’ll give you the numbers one we used above for free!  Just click on the link to download.  Make sure to abide by our terms and conditions of use.


Ready for more?  Take a look at all these outlines.  Sign up for a free 7 day trial and get up to 20 downloads a day to stock up on all the stencils you need.  Use the links below to view each of these shapes on our site.  The numbers correspond to their position in the collage.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Collage 2

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Bill ZhangTurn Your Collage into Any Design!

GraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds

by Mallory on June 30, 2014 No comments

GraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds

4th of July is coming up fast! Are you prepared? We pulled together 10 of our favorite 4th of July backgrounds to help you set the foundation for all of your 4th of July graphic design. Celebrate America’s independence with these vector backgrounds. Take a look and then go download them on! Happy downloading!

[portfolio_slideshow id=1384]

Check back all this week for more 4th of July themed graphics from! And don’t forget that you can download them all for free with our 7 day free trial!
GraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds
God bless America!

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MalloryGraphicStock Gallery: 4th of July Backgrounds

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part III

by Mallory on June 22, 2014 No comments

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part III Smoke and Mirrors

The outside cover of our Mad Men invitation is now complete (see Part I), and the inside (see Part II) is almost there.

Madmen_Front5  Madmen_Inside4

It wouldn’t embody Mad Men, however, without some smoke. The stock smoke texture we liked best was this one, but white smoke on a white background isn’t going to work.

Luckily, the solution is simple: just invert the image and then lower the opacity until you have a nice translucent grey.

Madmen_Inside5 Madmen_Inside6

Download some red pens royalty free from the Graphic Stock library—or add them in Photoshop using its built-in custom shape tool—along with some retro glasses, and the inside of the invitation is complete.

Here’s the final image with a gradient added to show the fold line:

Madmen_Front5    Madmen_Inside7

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part III

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MalloryCreating the “Mad Men” Look Part III