Stock Vectors

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Trending Graphics: Fall Leaves That Inspire Creative Designs

by Alex Reffie on August 8, 2017 No comments

Do you know what season it is? With cool, rainy weather and falling leaves already making appearances throughout much of the U.S., it looks like autumn is getting an early start. Not that we’re complaining. Who doesn’t love fall with its vibrant colors, warm sweaters, crisp air—and yes, even its spiced lattes.

It’s a sensory wonderland out there, which is also why it’s a powerful season for advertisers, marketers, and creatives who know how to tap into it. Looking to channel a little of this magic yourself? Here are a few tips for using fall leaves vectors to transform your creative and grab attention.

Why Designers and Advertisers Love Fall

Visual cues that evoke warmth or nostalgia—such as sweaters, warm drinks, and changing leaves—can create powerful and authentic emotional connections between audiences and your brand or product. At the same time, autumn hues like red, yellow, and orange are commanding and inspiring. Don’t believe us? Our Beginner’s Guide to Color Theory explains how color choice impacts viewer perception. Or simply think about how the colors and tones of this fall vector pattern from our library evokes positive emotions like happiness and warmth.
 
fall leaves vectors

Download this seamless leaf pattern from our library

These essential cues are just what you need to if you’re looking to tap into the creative advertising magic of the season. Not certain quite how to do that? We’ve put together a few simple but impactful examples of how fall graphics can elevate your brand and marketing creative.

 

Flaunt Your Fall Colors

Sometimes subtle just won’t do, and fall is one of those times—after all, Mother Nature doesn’t hide her colors, so why should your designs? Let your visuals speak for themselves and don’t be afraid to go big. Add them to business cards, branded swag, websites, or print advertising like this patterned leaf vector.
 
fall leaves vectors

Download the seamless leaf vector pattern we used

 

Inspire with Bright Nostalgic Labels

Even the most practical marketers understand that fall is an emotional and nostalgic time of year—perhaps it’s the way back-to-school season brings up childhood memories, or perhaps it’s the nearness of traditional family holidays. Whatever the reason, autumn is the perfect season for nostalgic creative like this brightly labeled craft paper.
 
fall leaves vectors

Download the watercolor leaf vectors we used

 

Warm Up Your Brand with Golden Hues

Whether you’re marketing yourself or your newest product, fall designs and colors add personality and friendliness to your branding while inspiring feel-good vibes. We’ve used one of our favorite golden vector frames to add subtle, warm accents to this bottle label.
 
fall leaves vectors

Download the autumn floral frame vector we used


 

Use Comforting Textures and Patterns

Fall is all about texture and the tactile senses—just think of soft sweaters, warm drinks, crunchy leaves, and the many, many other organic patterns of the season. Great marketing capitalizes on this, drawing on comforting natural textures like this seamless leaf pattern to evoke a mellowed, comforting tone that resonates with audiences and customers.
 
fall leaves vectors

Download the seamless leaf vector we used

 
So how about it, are you ready for fall? Better yet, are you ready to capture your own fall design magic? Grab yourself your favorite spiced latte and download each of these vector files from our new Fall Graphics collection—or discover more autumn inspired images in our library.

 

Explore the Collection

 

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Alex ReffieTrending Graphics: Fall Leaves That Inspire Creative Designs

How to Vectorize an Image

by Alex Reffie on July 10, 2017 No comments

When it comes to design, there’s a lot of jargon thrown around that can be a bit overwhelming to a new designer. There’s the terms you may or may not be familiar with such as composition, alignment, contrast, and design elements. But go one step further and you’re seeing file formats for the design elements you need that might as well be another language—PNGs, JPGs, GIFs, Vectors, and the list can go on! To create that awesome design you’ve been sketching out for weeks on napkins and scrap paper, you need to know your file types, how to manipulate them, and which one is best suited for your design work needs.

What Is a Vector?


Vectors are images that are designed using a mathematical formula, rather than pixels. A mathematical formula—crazy, right?

This mathematical formula makes vector images infinitely scalable and resizable without losing quality. That’s why vectors are the perfect file type to use when creating a graphic or image that will require frequent resizing.

You’re a busy person so you shouldn’t have to worry about re-designing your graphic each time you need more branded material. Think vectors when it comes to a logo that needs to be on a flyer, a banner, a business card, or that cool company coffee mug you’re giving away as an incentive gift. All of these promotional materials use the same graphic but each a different size. That’s the magic of vectors.
 

How to Vectorize an Image


We want to take an image in a pixel-based format (JPG, PNG, etc.) and switch it on over to that easily manipulated vector format. Let’s try it out.

 

Step 1. Open your pixel-based file in Illustrator.

Here is the original image we used.

Vectors
Download this creative workspace with a laptop image.

 

Step 2. Switch to the Tracing Workspace.

Click on Window > Workspace > Tracing.
 
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Step 3. Select the image on your artboard.

The Tracing panel options will become active when the image is selected.
 
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Step 4. Check Preview.

This allows you to see the different options on your image before you apply them. If your image is extremely large make sure to size down the image so the tracing process doesn’t take too much time.
 
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Step 5. Check out the Presets and in the Tracing Panel.

Each preset has a specific style it aims to create so make sure to take a look at all of them to see which vibe will fit your vector design best.
 
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Step 6. Switch up the Color Slider to change the Color Complexity.

 
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Step 7. Open the Advanced panel to adjust Paths, Corners and Noise.

Adjusting your Paths dictates how closely the pixels in the image follow the paths. Putting the slider to the left for your Corners will cause them to be more rounded than they would be with the slider to the right. Use the Noise slider to control any bleeds or stray pixels your image may have.
 
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Step 8. Trace.

When you’re happy with your image, click Trace, to start creating your vector. You may need to uncheck Preview to enable Trace.
 
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Step 9. Expand the image.

Once you click Expand in your workspace, Illustrator will convert the object we just traced into a vector image. The swirly blue lines you see appear on your image are not part of a design effect. Instead, these are simply the outlines Photoshop has assigned to aspects of your image for scaling purposes. This gives you the ability to rescale individual elements within the image without altering the entire graphic.
 
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vectors

 

Step 10. Export.

Save a master copy of your new vector image that you can make future edits to by going to File > Save As… “name of file”.ai and then File > Save As Type and choose a vector format file such as PDF for print or SVG for web.
 
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vectors

 
Congratulations! You have now mastered the art of turning images into vectors. You now have the unlimited creative potential to manipulate images for your own branding and design work. If you want to learn more about working with vectors, check our Beginner’s Guide to Using Vectors in Illustrator and our tutorial on How to Edit Vectors in Illustrator.
 
Want to save even more time? Our library has an endless supply of stock vectors ready and designed to help easily market your brand. We’ve also got plenty of images for you to work your vectorizing powers on. Show us what you’ve got.

 

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Alex ReffieHow to Vectorize an Image

Vector Posters for Hot Summer Events

by Alex Reffie on July 6, 2017 No comments

It’s safe to say that summer is in full swing. The temperature keeps rising, the days feel a little longer, and your calendar is booked up with all sorts of summer festivities–not to mention your own shindigs you’ve been planning all year.

You can’t have an event without people—so you want to have a way to impress them from the start and let them know that this is not the event to miss out on. Whether it be a party, a small business launch event, or even a networking opportunity you want to spread the word about—a well designed invite or event flyer can get your event the recognition it deserves.

We know you’re a busy bee and might not have time to design your own custom event materials, so we put together 20 of our best stock vectors that are great for getting the word out about the hottest events you’re planning this summer. If you’re hosting anything from the biggest party of the season to the best backyard bash or anything in between—these stock vectors will put your party planning skills a cut above the rest. These stock vectors are bright, fun, fresh and will have your guests RSVP-ing weeks in advance.

Which of these stock vectors is the finishing touch for your event?

 
1.vectors

Download this Beach Party Invitation here.

 
2.vectors

Purchase this Abstract Stock Vector here.

 
3.vectors

Download this Electro Night Party Flyer here.

 
4.vectors

Download this Colorful Stock Vector Poster here.

 
5.vectors

Purchase this Vintage Stock Vector Poster here.

 
6.vectors

Download this Sunny Event Poster here.

 
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Download this Geometric Design Vector here.

 
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Download this Bright Party Invitation here.

 
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Purchase this Tropical Themed Event Vector Poster here.

 
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Download this Retro-Inspired Vector Poster here.

 
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Download this Classic Beachy Stock Vector here.

 
12.vectors

Download this Shining Vector Poster here.

 
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Download this Charming Bicycle Vector Poster here.

 
14.vectors

Download Beautiful Floral Stock Vector Poster here.

 
15.vectors

Download this Bold Event Flyer here.

 
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Purchase this Splash of Color Stock Vector here.

 
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Download this Fun Rocket Ship Vector.

 
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Download this Stylish Event Vector Poster here.

 
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Download this Light and Airy Style Event Poster here.

 
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Purchase this Summertime Event Stock Vector Poster here.

 
Think you’ve got what it takes to plan this summer’s biggest bash? Make sure to not skip the invites and head on over to our royalty-free library of stock vectors to find the perfect match for your vibe and audience—or explore our full collection of event posters and flyer templates.

 

Take Me to the Collection

 

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Alex ReffieVector Posters for Hot Summer Events

Trending This Week: Splash into Summer

by Alex Reffie on June 30, 2017 No comments

Hello summertime heat—did we actually miss you? The temperature may be climbing, but don’t use that as an excuse to not keep up with what’s trending and start on your next summer project. Last week we took a dive into Adobe PhotoShop and showed you how to unstock your advertising by turning them into watercolor masterpieces. Now it’s time to cool off by pairing this charming trend with a fun summer treat using stock vectors right from our library.

 
Using Adobe Illustrator, we whipped up these cute little popsicles that are a total staple to stay cool in the heat. Just a few simple steps using the rounded rectangle and ellipse shaper, our pen tool, some bright colors here and there, and—is that the ice cream truck we hear? Then we duplicated our original pops and simply placed our watercolor design over top to give them a contemporary summer feel.
 

 
Stock Vector

Our royalty-free library is packed with fresh graphics and stock vectors for the summer, and our watercolor stock vectors can add a colorful splash to any project. Here are a few of our favorites.

 
Stock Vector

Download this summery watercolor stock vector.

 

Stock Vector

Purchase this fun watercolor background.

 

Stock Vector

Download this abstract watercolor stock vector.

 

Stock Vector

Download this bright watercolor stock vector.

 

Think you’ve got some cool inspiration for your next project? Go for it. We’ve got everything you need in our library, so you can just chill out and start creating.

 

Discover More Inspiration.

 

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Alex ReffieTrending This Week: Splash into Summer

Trending This Week: Father’s Day Images

by Alex Reffie on June 16, 2017 No comments

Ahh, dads. You can’t live with them—and you certainly can’t live without them. Whether they’re teaching you how to ride a bike, cheering you on from every sideline, or embarrassing you on your first date, dads are always there for us. Father’s Day is nearly here, so it’s time to think about how you can make your Dad feel super special.

All (dad) jokes aside—we want to make sure you have the perfect way to say “Happy Father’s Day” this weekend. We’re all about embracing the quirky and lovable side of dads, so here are some great Father’s Day stock images and vectors that do just that.
 
 
Father's Day Images

Purchase this Retro Father’s Day Image here.


 
 
Father's Day Images

Download this Rockin’ Father’s Day Image here.


 
 
Father's Day Images

Download this Colorful Tie Print here.


 
 
Father's Day Images

Purchase this Vintage Father’s Day Image here.


 
 
Father's Day Images

Download this Sweet Father’s Day Image here.


 
 
Father's Day Images

Download this Father’s Day Image here.


 
 
Father's Day Images

Download this image to celebrate Dad here.


 
 
What about your Dad inspires you? Whatever it may be, use it to create something memorable for him this Father’s Day. Anything from a lively card to a collage of his favorite things—the possibilities are endless! Our entire library is filled with royalty-free stock images that would make any project worthy of a place on the front of the fridge.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

 

Find Dad Inspired Images

 

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Alex ReffieTrending This Week: Father’s Day Images

Trending This Week: Textured Paper Text Effects

by Caitlyn Hampton on June 2, 2017 No comments

When we told you that paper textures are trending in the design world, we weren’t joking. This week we not only found another nifty paper-inspired effect, but also a tutorial to show you how to apply the technique to your own designs. Maybe it’s Google’s Material Design guidelines or maybe it’s a desire for nostalgia—but we can’t seem to get away from this real-world material making its way into the digital realm. And we’re more than okay with it.

 
Stock Images

Download the seamless floral background used in this design.

 
This week we noticed the paper trend getting away from the grungy, textured look—instead, this tried-and-true texture took on a light and airy feel reminiscent of spring and warm weather. Using the tutorial below, we created our own rendition of the design by using a floral background in place of a solid one. Check out our design using vectors from our royalty-free stock images.

 

 
Ready to create your own floral, paper-inspired designs? Make old-school new again and find your inspiration with our vast collection of floral backgrounds and patterns, paper textures, and so much more.

 

Explore Floral Patterns

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Textured Paper Text Effects

Bye Bye, Clipart: 3 Tips and Tools for Avoiding the Biggest Mistakes in Slide Design

by Caroline Mercurio on May 21, 2017 No comments

Have you upgraded your slide decks recently? Though that question might earn a few eye rolls from Google Slides and Powerpoint veterans, in today’s high-def, high-res world of slick, minimalist designs and supersaturated color blocking, it’s important to take a step back and truly ask: What decade are your slide decks living in?

If the answer is anything other than right now, it might be time to step away from the clipart and rethink your approach. To help, we’ve put together this quick and simple guide using stock vectors to avoid the three biggest mistakes in slide design.

And if you like the graphics and motifs in these slide designs, don’t forget to explore more graphical elements from our royalty-free library.

 
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Tip #1 – Stay Fresh and Cohesive—But Avoid Canned Themes!

 
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If there’s one cardinal rule in slide design, it’s that you must have a unifying theme. Without visual cohesion in a deck, ideas and thoughts appear disconnected and give audiences the impression that the presenter doesn’t care whether the slides are professional and polished—definitely not something anyone wants! So it’s understandable that the vast majority of the working world relies on preset themes for their decks: it’s just easier.

Unfortunately, this is also a huge mistake. Most of the themes included in slide design programs feature fonts, styles, and motifs that are years—if not decades—out of style. And even if a theme is au courant, it’s not unique—thousands of other companies and presenters could be using the exact same theme, making it far from the best way to distinguish a business or brand.

Instead, forge your own path and create your own template that’s both unique and contemporary! (Which leads us to our second tip.)
 

Tip #2 – Keep It Simple and Be Yourself

 slide decks
 
Whether you’re a veteran slide designer or this is your first time putting together a deck, remember that simplicity is your best friend. The purpose of a slide theme is to create cohesion as well as build or evoke brand identity—not overwhelm the viewer or upstage the information being presented.

So don’t overcomplicate it and keep to this simple rule of three: palette, font, motif.
 
Palette – Start with the dominant colors or palette you want for your slides, and decide if you want those colors to pop as part of the background or through the motifs. These colors might be determined by your own brand guidelines, or you can pick them for yourself. If doing the latter, make sure they resonate with what you’re representing, whether that’s your own personal brand or your company’s new product.

(And if you’re not certain which colors to pick—there are almost 10 million in the visible spectrum, after all—you can learn more about color palettes in our Guide to Color Theory.)

For our example, we’ve picked a muted palette of neutrals (white and slate gray) with a single pop of Millennial Pink for highlights and motifs.

 
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Font – Next up, pick your font(s)—as with palette choices, these should reflect both your brand and your personal style. For cohesive purposes, limit yourself to just one or two fonts. Any more than two fonts is too many cooks in the kitchen.

The advantage of picking two fonts is that they will allow you to introduce additional visual hierarchy on your slides, with one font working as the headliner (or H1) while the other font does the heavy lifting in the body copy or supporting descriptions. This can be helpful for slides with a lot of information, making it easier for viewers to read. On the other hand, if you choose a single font, you further cement the visual cohesion of the deck.

For our slide example, we choose two commonly used fonts available through Google or Adobe Typekit: Great Vibes and Proxima Nova.
 
Motif – This is the final yet perhaps most important element when creating your own slide deck theme. A motif is a visual image or style that you pick to repeat on each slide to create further cohesion. For some decks, this means using the same color blocks or highlights on each slide, while for others it means reusing the same design element through.

For our example, we chose close-cropped color blocking for our color highlight, which we can pull through from the title slide to all supporting detail slides.

 
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A word to the wise: If you’re working on a branded deck, avoid putting your logo on every slide—it’s so 2000s. While it’s important to stamp your brand identity on each slide, this can often be done more subtly than simply copying and pasting your logo. Instead, consider pulling the palette, fonts, or design elements of your brand into your deck’s theme for a softer, more subtle approach.

 

#3 – Don’t Say It, Show It

 
Now that you’ve got the foundations of your deck established, make sure your content shines! Nothing gets an audience to tune out faster than a slide that looks like word soup.

 
slide decks

 
Overwhelming viewers with too much information too quickly—usually by using too many words or data points and not enough visualizations—is a common but completely avoidable mistake. Think about the most effective presentations you’ve seen, whether on Shark Tank or in your favorite TED talks. What’s the one thing they all have in common? Less is more.

 
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Slide decks should anchor an audience’s attention, punctuating key takeaways or questions—and what better way to do that than with visuals? We recommend using vector infographics and flat icons to help you visualize your points while engaging your audience.

 
slide decks

 

Download the contemporary flat icons in this slide.

 
slide decks

 

Download the contemporary flat icons in this slide.


 

So how about it? Are you ready to design your own slide deck? With these tips—plus a well-stocked arsenal of royalty-free design elements and graphics—it’s time to bid a fond farewell to clipart that’s straight out of the 90s!

 

Get Better Visuals

 

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Caroline MercurioBye Bye, Clipart: 3 Tips and Tools for Avoiding the Biggest Mistakes in Slide Design

Trending This Week: Playful Illustrations in Label Design

by Caitlyn Hampton on May 12, 2017 No comments

According to Ernest Hemingway, the best way to overcome a creative block is to start with one true sentence. It’s an exercise in finding the essence of the creation so stubbornly locked away in your head. For designers, that same brain freeze can feel like a death sentence, especially when you’re 5 hours from a deadline. But don’t despair—Hemingway’s advice may be more applicable to design than it first appears. When you aren’t sure where to start, just stay true to the nature of whatever product you’re designing for. Which takes us to the trend we fell in love with this week: playful illustrations in label design.

When designing for beverage labels or food packaging, the goal is to convey which emotion you want associated with the product. We need to ask ourselves, what do these products truly mean to our customers? Do those crunchy, salty chips fill them with joy? Does looking forward to that after-dinner ice cream get them through the long workday? You get our point.

So what did we want to convey with our beer label design below? A playful throwback that takes you back to your nerdy, youthful days—but with an adult twist. To capture that carefree vibe, we took these spacey vectors from our library of royalty-free stock graphics and had a little fun ourselves.
 

Stock Vectors

Download the colorful flat science and technology vector icons used in this design.

 
If you’re not a pro illustrator quite yet and need a little help getting your designs together, don’t panic. This is one reason why stock vectors are so useful. We simply took the collection from the icons below and transformed them into the design on the right to make our label.

 
Stock Vectors

Download the colorful flat science and technology vector icons used in this design.

 
Feeling inspired by our playful design? Packaging design is a great way to flex your creative muscles and adopt an aesthetic you don’t usually aim for. Now it’s your turn—what’s the truth behind your next project?

 

Get Spacey with Stock Vectors

 

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Caitlyn HamptonTrending This Week: Playful Illustrations in Label Design

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