All posts tagged icons

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

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.


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Caroline MercurioHow to Design Unique Resumes with Stock Vectors and Icons

100 Free Flat Icons

by Maddie Stearn on February 10, 2015 No comments

Icons are an instrumental part of the web design process because they help determine how people use a site. When navigating a webpage, users will often search for visual cues before reading any text—perhaps even clicking on an icon or image before reading a single word on the page. That’s exactly why it’s important to have clear, well-designed icons to help visitors easily navigate a site. If a user gets too confused or frustrated, they’ll usually go elsewhere.

The recent trend toward flat images has made icons sharper and easier to recognize. Flat icons also help make a webpage look cleaner and less distracting, allowing for easy navigation and a pleasant user experience. The enormous selection of stock icons is also a plus—you never know when you’ll need a miniature pie chart.

100 Free Flat Icons

Beyond web design, icons are great for good, old-fashioned posters and signs. Whenever you need to show where something is located, icons are there to save the day. Someone suffering from caffeine withdrawal may not have time to read the word “coffee” on a sign, but they’ll surely understand an arrow next to a coffee icon.

Prepare for your next project by checking out all 100 of the flat icons that went into making the graphic above. Who knows, maybe you will need that pie chart after all.

See More Flat Icons


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Maddie Stearn100 Free Flat Icons

Flat Design Backgrounds: How to Make the Hottest Design Trend Work for You

by Caroline Mercurio on May 5, 2014 No comments

Flat Design Backgrounds: How to Make the Hottest Design Trend Work for You

Flat design is all the rage for its minimalism, but getting it just right can be hard to do. These quick tips will help you capture the look in seconds.

Flat Design Cheat Sheet

Flat design is a direct move away from all the fancy 3D effects that have been in use over recent years, made most well-known by Apple’s icons on their iPhone and iPad devices. The clean, 2D look of flat design is supposed to be simple, powerful, and easy on the eyes. Yet if not done just right, it can also look childish and unprofessional. One way to avoid that is to start with a flat design background done by the experts. Try to grab something simple, but eye-catching, and you will be surprised how much a little font with your tagline and perhaps a brand image and link is all you need to finish up the image and look like a design hipster in the process. That’s the beauty, and the point, of flat design. You are being complex by being simple, and letting the human brain naturally engage the shapes and colors without overwhelming the audience.

Flat Background

Stock Media Stock Up

Another approach to looking like a flat design guru is to layer your choice of background with some flat design images, such as these. You can create a simple message with the images, arranging them as you wish, and allowing the audience to “read” your symbol-based language. This isn’t as childish as it sounds: the brain reads symbols differently than it does text, essentially paying more attention to your words when they aren’t words at all. So take advantage of it, and create a flow to your communications that naturally engages – and converts – your reader.

Flat Design Cover Templates

Avoiding Icon Overload

Finally, the best kept secret to great flat design is to take your flat design background choice, and invest in some awesome icons for it. Outsource your icon creation to the graphic design experts, and your site can be instantly navigable to users of all levels of sophistication. That’s the other great benefit to flat design: it allows the customer or visitor to feel smart and welcome, and gives their attention to what you want to say and sell, rather than to figuring out what all the fancy buttons and boxes mean. Flat design icons allow you to pack your site with ways to get a second or third click from a visitor without cluttering the look of the page.

Flat Icons: Don't Overuse

While often misunderstood, flat design is still a powerful tool for converting visitors and engaging them, if you use it right!

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Caroline MercurioFlat Design Backgrounds: How to Make the Hottest Design Trend Work for You

Hello Spring! A Beautiful Graphics Gallery

by Caroline Mercurio on March 1, 2014 No comments

Hello Spring! A Beautiful Graphics Gallery

Birds, bees, beautiful flowers- is it spring? Why yes it is! There is no better time of year than to celebrate with graphic design elements!

GraphicStock.com is a subscription-based website that provides members with unlimited downloads of stock graphics, stock images, icons, buttons, backgrounds, textures and more.
[portfolio_slideshow id=775]

Image Details

  • Format: Vector
  • Categories: Textures, Presentation, Graphic Design, Creative Projects, Spring, Florals, Easter


Thinking Spring Graphics Gallery

Colorful inspiration for cards, websites, or any presentation background. Download these vectors with your Graphic Stock account to customize the colors, text, font, and layers to match your spring designs!

A Beautiful Graphics Gallery

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Caroline MercurioHello Spring! A Beautiful Graphics Gallery

15 Minutes to a Custom Holiday Card

by TJ Leonard on December 19, 2013 No comments

In some cases, starting from scratch is justifiable (see: freshly ground coffee). But in a lot of cases it’s wholly unnecessary—even if your aim is to create something original.

If you’re getting paid by the hour to design a customized holiday card with no cap on your budget, then by all means take your time and reach for your set of watercolors. But if you’re like most of us and often find yourself forgetting to breathe between mid-November and the first of January, you should probably save yourself the time (and money) this season by reading on . . .

Below is a completed design I started and finished this morning over half a cup of coffee by utilizing stock elements:

Final (1)

Designing a card like this from the ground up can take the better part of a day—or it can take a few minutes, depending on your resourcefulness. And in both cases you can still walk away with something supremely individualized and organic if you leverage a few easy tips for repurposing royalty-free content:


Tip #1: Sharpen Your Search Terms

The first key to any composite project is to start with the right images—and to do this, you first need to find these images (ideally,

with some efficiency). Before you start searching through vast libraries, take a moment to consider your search terms. For general holiday cards, terms like “Christmas” are too restrictive and leave room for a lot of great content to fall through the cracks.

I knew I wanted to start with something wintry for this card, so I simply searched for “winter” and found these fantastic snowflakes on the very first results page:


The same image is also cross-indexed under “Christmas,” mind you, but I would’ve had to search through pages of elves and reindeer to find it, so try general terms first and then narrow from there.

Oftentimes, I’ll start with even wider search terms like “icons” or “seasonal” to find matching content in bulk. I didn’t end up using the image below this project (as I later stumbled upon something I liked even better, which I’ll get to . . . ), but it was a great thematic find that came up on the first page of my “icons” search—and I’m going to keep it in my library for future projects.

*Stringing terms together like “winter icons” or “seasonal icons” is another great way to narrow your results.



Tip #2: Select and Modify

I loved the snowflakes in my wintry background find, but I didn’t want the deep blue or the vertical layout; instead, I downloaded the vector file (.eps) and grabbed the white layer only—then pasted this onto a horizontal layout, added softer colors, and stacked the snow for added depth. (Using .eps files makes it easier to grab individual elements, but you can also use .pdf, .png, or .jpg files and employ your favorite selection tool to grab an element.) By stacking the layer twice, I was also able to feature only the more interesting part of the snow—just the accumulating flakes without the solid border of white—and add more depth.

Remember that you don’t ever have to yield to the boundaries of an available download (color, size, orientation, etc.); just take what you want and leave the rest.


Tip #3: Look for Pre-Styled Text Too

Career designers amass libraries spanning thousands of fonts (most of which they’ve had to either purchase or create themselves)—and, consequently, they have years of experience and education in selecting these fonts. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to settle for Times New Roman, Comic Sans, or whichever stock fonts you have available; oftentimes you can find the text you need pre-styled.

I searched “Happy Holidays,” for example, and immediately found these banners—and, as a bonus, decided to use the snowcapped tree branches instead of the icons I found and referenced earlier.


After grabbing the branch layer, I grabbed the text as well and turned it red to accent the birds—and then, once again, I stacked the image and turned the second layer white to create a quick “snowcap” effect.

It’s really that simple. Fifteen minutes of playing around + one background + one banner = a whimsical customization I’m really quite happy with.

If you’re already a member of Graphic Stock, this content is already yours for the taking—along with 150,000+ alternate images. And if you’re not yet a member, take advantage of their 7  Days of Free Downloads . . . with up to 140 downloads during the trial by my calculation that is enough to create about 47 of these cards, given you don’t sleep much . . .


About the Author

Andy DiGuiseppi is the creative consultant behind DiGuiseppi Studios, where he specializes in branding, graphics, and all things design. Connect with him at www.Diguiseppi.com.



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TJ Leonard15 Minutes to a Custom Holiday Card