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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

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: 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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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Caroline MercurioTrending This Week: Ironic Poster Designs Using Stock Graphics

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

Welcome to GraphicStock! Find Out What Makes Us Different with This Short Video

by Caroline Mercurio on November 1, 2016 No comments

When you become a GraphicStock member, you get unlimited access to our library of 350,000+ royalty-free photos, vectors, and illustrations. It’s the easiest way to find and download high-quality stock images. Learn more about what makes us different from all other stock sites with this quick explainer video.

 

 

Ready to get started? Discover some of the graphics that our members have ranked highest, like our top 20 landscape backgrounds and most popular vector poster templates—all included with your subscription. No matter what your next creative project is, we have stock graphics to help bring your vision to life. And remember, once you download an image, it is yours to keep and use forever.

 

Explore Your Creative Library

 

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Caroline MercurioWelcome to GraphicStock! Find Out What Makes Us Different with This Short Video

Leveling Up Your Creativity: How To Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

by Caroline Mercurio on August 11, 2016 No comments

Whether you have a small business, blog, or are a budding graphic designer, Adobe Illustrator is a powerful tool that will boost your branding, marketing, and design skills. That’s why we’ve created this primer on some basic Illustrator techniques so you can level up your creativity and customize any of the royalty-free vectors from our library of graphics

But first, you may even be thinking to yourself, “What exactly is a vector?” Don’t worry, the details aren’t common knowledge. Here’s a quick rundown on Vectors 101.

What Is A Vector?

Digital art can be broken down into two main categories: raster images and vectors. Raster images (such as photographs) are made up of individual pixels and are resolution dependent. This means that they cannot be scaled without loss of quality and should generally not be used for designs that rely on scalability—or the ability to change the size of an image—such as web pages.

Vector-vs-Raster
On the other hand, vectors (such as icons or logos) consist of points, lines, curves and polygons on an algebraic grid. Wait. Hold on. Yes, we mentioned the A-word, but relax. You don’t have to know algebra to work with vectors. Basically all you need to know is that they are completely scalable and resizable without loss of quality.

In short, the pixels in raster images will lose their quality when you size them to be larger, but vectors do not. If that’s all you know about vectors, then you’re golden.

While Adobe Photoshop allows you to use vectors within the program, you can’t edit the vectors with the same freedom that you can in Illustrator; this is because Photoshop only outputs rasterized graphics. Adobe Illustrator allows you to completely customize and manipulate vectors, exporting these designs as scalable graphics.

In case you need a quick reminder for everything you just learned, here’s a ready-to-pin infographic you can always reference again in the future.

Now, let’s see what we can do with these vectors.

 

 

 

 

1. Downloading Vectors From GraphicStock

It’s important to know which file type distinguishes a vector from a raster image. As indicated in the infographic above, vectors can be an .ai, .eps, .pdf, or .svg file. Raster images can be a .jpg, .png, .tif, or .gif file.

On GraphicStock, there are sometimes a few file types to choose from when you download your chosen vector. Depending on the image, you may have the option to download a .jpg, .eps, or .png. If you would like the vector version, be sure to download the .eps file.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

 

2. Editing Vector Colors

Once you’ve downloaded the proper file type, you can open the vector in Illustrator. We’ve decided to play with this image of floral bouquets, if you would like to join in with our edits.

Take a moment to hover around the image and notice the outlines of each individual shape.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

These shapes can easily be made different colors. Let’s say you want to change all of the shapes that are the darker brown color to a golden yellow.

Step 1. Choose the Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut – V).

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

Then select the shape you wish to change the color of. If you want to select more than one shape, hold down the shift key while you click each element.

Step 2. Double click on the Color Picker.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

Step 3. Choose the color you want those shapes to become. If you want to use the exact same color as us, we chose the hex color #FFE888 which can be typed into the text area on the Color Picker. Click OK.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

And just like that, you’ve changed the a major part of the design.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

 

3. Editing Vector Colors (Alternate Method)

Confession time. That was the slightly more complicated way to change every element with the same color to another color. That method is useful for when you want to pick and choose individual pieces to alter, but there is a quicker and easier way to adjust them all.

The quicker way is to choose the shape with the color you want to replace. Then go up to your menu bar and choose Select > Same > Fill Color.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

This will automatically select every element that has the same fill color as the one you selected before. Now you can once again double click the Color Picker and choose your new color.

 

4. Selecting Individual Elements on a Page

Keep in mind while you are searching through our vector library that one of the beauties of working with vectors is you can pick and choose which elements you want to work with, and which elements you’d rather not deal with. So if you see a design that has something you like about it—but maybe not everything will work well for you—you have the option to pick and choose.

For example, we really like the image that we’re editing right now, but not all of those elements are necessary. We would rather work with one cluster of flowers rather than four, and the text can be distracting.

Step 1. Select the elements you don’t like, and simply hit the backspace. You can select multiple shapes by clicking and dragging around each group and using the shift key if you need to do this more than once.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

Now we’re left with only the elements we really like or need.

If you think you may want to use those elements later, rather than hitting delete, you can simply move them off your artboard (the white canvas) and keep them around for later.

Step 1. Hit Command + Z (Control + Z for PC users) on your keyboard until all of your deleted shapes come back. This is a keyboard shortcut for Undo.

Step 2. Re-select the items and drag them onto the gray space. Now you have access to those without interrupting your canvas space.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

 

5. Changing The Size of Elements

Adobe Illustrator can be used for more than just color adjustments. Changing the size of the vectors is also incredibly useful. Remember how we said vectors are completely scalable earlier? Let’s explore that a little further.

Step 1. Select your remaining elements on your artboard and notice the rectangle that forms around the cluster. You can select any of the corners, then click and drag to resize the selection.

Pro Tip: You can “group” your elements together by selecting all of them and typing Command + G. This links the elements together so you can move and resize them without re-selecting every piece each time.

If you want to edit each individual element later, simply double click the group to edit within it, or right click the group and select Ungroup.

Step 2. Hold down shift while you’re dragging the corner, and the proportions of the selection will remain intact.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

Notice how when you go from large to small and then back to large, the quality of the graphic is not lost. If you had done this same action in Photoshop, then the image would have lost some quality and appear pixelized.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

You can also rotate the selection by hovering just outside the corner of the selection box until a rotation symbol appears and click and drag to rotate the selection any way you want.

If you hold shift while rotating, it will snap to 45 and 90 degree angles.

How to Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

All of these functions can also be performed on each individual piece of the illustration.

 

Putting It All Together

While these tips may seem basic, they are very important in order to know your way around Adobe Illustrator and can be very useful for when you start working with the program a bit more.

You can transform an already beautifully designed vector and make it your own; and since all of our content is royalty-free, this is a great way to create easy and polished designs for your business, blog, or portfolio.

Now it’s your turn. Are you feeling inspired? What will you create? Check out the vectors below to find some vectors that could be in your next design project.

 

 

Explore More Vectors

 

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Caroline MercurioLeveling Up Your Creativity: How To Edit Vectors in Adobe Illustrator

Stock Birthday Backgrounds

by Maddie Stearn on May 1, 2015 No comments

Oh no. You forgot your friend’s birthday, and now you’re in deep trouble. But that’s not all; your friend is having a party tonight, and you don’t have a card, a gift, or any wrapping paper in your house (it’s been a rough week).

You consider drawing a card yourself, but you’re pretty sure you know how that’ll turn out. (Friend: “Oh wow, thanks for the card. I love the…spaghetti monsters?” You: “Um, I was trying to draw us.”)

Your drawing skills have not improved much since kindergarten, and your friend probably won’t be as happy to receive your artwork as your parents were.

There’s a pretty simple solution here: stock birthday graphics. GraphicStock has plenty of ready-made backgrounds that work perfectly as birthday cards, so all you have to do is print, sign, and get yourself to the party. As for the wrapping the gift, you can use another stock birthday background to create your own wrapping paper. Not only are you in the clear, but you’ve also made custom wrapping paper for your friend.

You’re on your own for the gift (may we suggest a GraphicStock subscription?), but now that you have the card and paper you’ll have an easier time finding a gift. Crisis averted.

If you’re in birthday crisis mode right now, or you’re planning ahead to avoid the scenario above, check out some of our most popular stock birthday backgrounds. They could save your friendship.

stack of birthday presents beige birthday background
three presents gold birthday card

 

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Maddie StearnStock Birthday Backgrounds

Stock Wedding Graphics for Any Season

by Maddie Stearn on March 1, 2015 No comments

If you’re planning a wedding, stock wedding graphics can help you save some serious cash. There’s no need to pay stationary stores’ high prices when you can use stock graphics to create save-the-dates, invitations, and place cards. You can also use stock wedding backgrounds in your photo albums.

Wedding graphics aren’t just in high demand for actual weddings. These graphics come in handy for scrapbooks, greeting cards, and even advertisements. We might disagree when someone says that spring is “wedding season,” because wedding graphics seem to be popular all year-round.

To help you out with all of your wedding needs, we’ve curated a selection of our favorite wedding invitations, backgrounds, and graphics from the GraphicStock library.

Stock Wedding Invitations

wedding invite polka dots wedding invite pink flowers
wedding invite colorful wedding invite frame

 

More Stock Wedding Invitations

 

Stock Wedding Backgrounds

wedding background jars wedding background pink and beige
wedding background bride and groom wedding background blue swirls

 

More Stock Wedding Backgrounds

 

Stock Wedding Graphics

wedding graphics bride wedding graphics invite
wedding graphics reception wedding graphics flowers

 

More Stock Wedding Graphics
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Maddie StearnStock Wedding Graphics for Any Season