Hello! How do you find free images for your web designing? Or do you illustrate your own images. If so, what tools do you use? Thanks.
I was wondering where you get stock photos for your design projects? Do you buy one photo at a time or get a year subscription? How should a designer make these decisions?Jen
Images! Stock photos! Vectors!
Where to find all those things is a very popular question.
I almost never use free vectors or illustrations
Honestly, it’s tough to find free, high quality resources. Sure you can search around for free illustrations, vectors, and other assets. And maaaaybe you’ll find a few good ones. But the vast majority will either be crap or have unclear licensing terms so you don’t even know if/how you can use it.
Back when I used to seek out free resources, DeviantArt was my go-to place. Honestly I’m not sure if it’s still “the place to be” for artists, but it certainly used to be! That’s where I got almost my entire collection of Photoshop brushes.
Paid images are the best, and aren’t that expensive!
…If you know where to look. 😉
The best thing I’ve discovered is Design Cuts. They have AMAZING deals. They bundle up a ton of best selling fonts, vectors, photos, and illustrations, and sell them all together for only $29. How freakin’ awesome is that?
The Hungry JPEG
Another one I’ve discovered more recently is The Hungry JPEG. Their current deal is a Floral Bundle. It comes with over 1900 illustrations and graphics, and 17 fonts. The normal price of all the assets would be $688, but it’s only $29 with The Hungry JPEG!
However, there is one AMAZING free photo resource
Unsplash.com is one of my new favourite things. It’s full of INCREDIBLE, professional quality, free photographs. You can do whatever you want with them.
However, free does come at a price. You’ll start to see some of the same images on tens or hundreds or thousands of different websites.
When something is free, you sacrifice your originality
Of course, that’s even true for paid images. Even if you pay for it, hundreds of other people could do the same. But at least it will be fewer people than if it were a free image. When something is free AND very good, people will flock to it.
So there are certainly pros and cons to using free images. Are they nice? Yes. Do I use them? Yes. But nothing beats taking your own photos if you have the opportunity!
Are you a designer? Here’s what I recommend…
If you design for clients, my best recommendations are:
- Subscribe to Design Cuts and The Hungry JPEG. Stay on top of their deals and buy the ones that are valuable/relevant to you.
- If you have A TON of clients and projects, you can consider a Shutterstock subscription. It’s really expensive for a subscription though, so you have to judge your income and needs accordingly.
- Start building up a collection of assets. I have a huge folder dedicated to all my resources. This includes my bundles and the free images I download from Unsplash. They’re easily accessible so I can browse through all my assets when I start a new client project.
- If you still can’t find what you need, check out Creative Market. Buying individual assets from a site like this will be more expensive than the bundles, but if you need something really specific then sometimes it has to be done. 😉 Creative Market has a pretty wide range of high quality, reasonably priced stuff!