Sometimes it can be hard to find just the right image for something that you are writing about.
The best addition to blog posts are your own photographs or graphics but when you need a little extra something you can look to a variety of sites that offer stock photography, graphics, vectors (files that can be modified), illustrations and fonts. Many of these sites also include full sets of templates for social media, WordPress, and so many options in between.
When you first started blogging, you may feel tremendous pressure to do it all. All the writing, taking photos, editing and promoting. While unique photos that you can call your own are very beneficial, finding stock photography and other digital assets that match your brand and message are a great time saver and sanity saver when you are trying to do it all.
These graphics are most likely the face of your brand and the first impression your audience gets of your site. Whether it is a Pinterest Pin or part of Facebook or Instagram posts. It is important that these first impression images communicate your message.
The reasons to use stock photos and other Digital assets are endless but my top 4 include:
- More time to spend with my family
- More time for all the chores at home
- More time to write posts and work
- More time to engage and promote my social media posts
Types of Design Assets for Your Blog
There are a number of digital asset types that are useful in different ways. Some include:
- Stock Photos – To include in your Pins and photos for FB and IG these are a must-have for every post.
- Vector Graphics – Are the best for logos and custom designs. If you are designing a logo and want to change a part of it or looking to use graphics in a Free or Paid Printable.
- Fonts – Fonts are important to any website and graphics that promote your blog. Some fonts come standard on your blog platform (like WordPress), while others can take a little more work to include or the platform has limitations for custom fonts. Fonts are also useful for all the graphics you create for promoting tools like Canva.
- Clipart – Good ‘ole clipart is still useful from time to time. Although not usually my first choice they do have their place in the whole ecosystem of the creation process.
- Icons – Icons are usually one color assets that are very simple. These can include things like social media-specific icons or icons you can include in various ways on your website.
Graphics and photography found online can be tricky sometimes because you can not just do a Google search and take whatever images you find. Many of those are personal graphics or graphics that are not open to reuse or even more not open to using within products that are sold. As content creators, we have to be very careful in any products that we create that we have the proper license and permission to use others’ graphics. Each of these sites has various license agreements. Many have items under Creative Commons which mean that others are free to use, modify, reuse and sell but there might be specific rules on specific assets. It can be tricky!!
Free Stock Photos
Pixabay is usually my go-to for stock photography. They have an awesome searchable database with tons of stock photos that are open to being reused. Their website states that they have, “over 1.6 million royalty-free stock photos and videos shared by our generous community.” I even have some photos I have taken that I have shared – techiemamma | Pixabay!
Most images if you have an account with Pixabay are labeled Free for commercial use | No attribution required. Their full Pixabay License goes into more detail. If you do not have an account you have to complete a Captcha to download an image.
Digital assets that Pixabay offers include, photos, vector graphics, illustrations, and videos.
While Pixabay offers photos, graphics, illustrations, and videos from the community, Unsplash is just for photos. Similar to Pixabay though, Unsplash depends on the community at large to contribute their photos to add to the collections. I have some photos I have shared on Unsplash as well, Cousett Hoover (@techiemamma) | Unsplash Photo Community. Like Pixabay, Unsplash allows you to use the photos for free for any purpose without asking permission from the photographers or providing credit to them. The license information is short License | Unsplash and does encourage users to give attribution although it is not required. Each image has an option to download the code or you can copy and paste a short note to add to your blog post or creative. They provide a nice embed code that you can easily add in like the link I have below the image above.
One thing that is nice about Unsplash is that it is super easy to create collections of photos and use them in various ways. This is a collection of cool tech photos that I have found and placed together – Cool Tech | 13 best free tech, electronic, work, and office photos on Unsplash.
Pexels is very similar to Pixabay and even more similar to Unsplash. Again they have community contributed photos and allow you to download them and use them in a variety of use cases. As of this post I now have some photos on Pexels as well, Cousett Hoover · Photography
The Frequently Asked Questions – Pexels of Pexels answers a lot about their license.
They offer a number of Pexels Pro Tools Overview including mobile apps and a WordPress plugin.
This is a cool new find recently. It is one photographer that doesn’t just do stock photos but does collections of stock photos so if you like a photo but wanted a vertical oriented one it is in the collection to choose. It is a really cool idea.
Marketplaces for Design Assets
Creative Market is one of my favorite places to find just about anything from themes to fonts and graphics. Not so much photography but more illustrations, themes, fonts and even unique things like Photoshop filters.
They offer every week 6 downloads completely free. Free Goods Of The Week ~ Creative Market They also keep track of everything you have purchased or downloaded as well so you can easily download them but search later for specific items. They also offer for all of their downloads sync to Dropbox which is pretty cool so you don’t have to take up space on your local hard drive. Especially useful on a Chromebook or modern laptops that have so little disk space.
The awesome thing about Creative Market is that there are so many types of creative assets. From Canva templates to Photoshop to fonts and graphics. Just about anything can be found on Creative Market.
A new feature they released recently is called “Certified Products”. Search Certified Products ~ Creative Market Since the Creative Market has a huge community of sellers this stamp of approval from the Creative Market makes sure the asset passes several checks.
Certified products have passed our Design Curator’s extensive, 20+ point manual quality-check. Here are just a few things we’re checking for:
- Well-organized files
- Adaptable products that are easy to edit
- Software requirement clarity
- And much more!
Creative Market has a multi-tier license for their items. The License FAQ ~ Creative Market covers more information and the following from their website describes it in a fairly straight forward way.
“Both the Standard and Extended Licenses allow for Personal Use and Commercial Work of many kinds. However, if purchased Items are used in an End Product For Sale (whether by you or a client), special terms apply (a limit of 500 units sold under the Standard License, and an unlimited amount of units sold under the Extended License).”
Hungry JPEG is a new site for me. They are very similar it seems to Creative Market in that they have several assets including photos, vectors, themes, fonts, and other templates.
Similar to Creative Market they have a freebie available every week, Freebie of The Week | TheHungryJPEG.com. They also offer a free font bundle that has 15 families and 25 fonts!! If you are into fonts this is an awesome collection, Free Font Bundle | TheHungryJPEG.com. Lastly, they offer quite a few items for just $1, which is a nice little price point to get started.
Hungry JPEG especially has special items for crafters. Do you have a Silhouette or do you embroider? You can find graphics and templates specifically in those file types and needs on Hungry JPEG. This little design is so cute and would be awesome on a homemade shirt. The SVG file will allow you to import it into the cut software and go to town.
All their products come with their Complete License at no extra cost and they keep track of your purchases so you can download it as many times as you need.
Paid Design Asset Sites
Shutterstock may be one of the most popular paid stock sites around. Yes, it is paid, but sometimes with the tricky licenses, even for the free sites, it is best to know that you have full rights to the image and you are in the clear.
While some of the free sites may be great for general blog posts and social media, when doing something that is for purchase it might make better sense to go to a paid site like Shutterstock.
I recently used this Shutterstock image by Stoliarova Daria for a client who wanted a fairy as part of her logo. She will be using the image on business cards and promotional items so therefore I feel it is best to get a paid image to begin from.
The pricing for Shutterstock I think is fairly straight forward. They have subscriptions or pay per pack of images pricing. For example, the package I usually purchase for clients is either the 2 for $29 or 5 for $49 packages. This makes each image either $14.50 or 9.80 respectively.
One thing I have noticed is the size of the libraries. While some of these free sites boast thousands of photos, Shutterstock has access to over 252 million images with 150,000 new images added every day. That means that for every query you are going to get results that match so much better to what you are looking for which at times can be frustrating with the other sites. For example, try searching “toddler iPad” and see the difference in results.
I love Adobe products. I have been a long-time user of what is now Adobe Creative Cloud and even taught workshops on Photoshop, Illustrator and other applications. The downfall of Adobe is the price. Since it is the standard in the industry, they can charge just about anything they want to and since they don’t need to market to the small business the cost is usually higher.
The stock options with Adobe is no exception. They are pricey. Especially if you do not want to make a monthly commitment, their images are going to run $49.95 apiece. Subscriptions are a little more flexible with 3 images for $29 on a month to month subscription or 10 images for $29 with an annual commitment. Full information on pricing and credit packs is available on their website Adobe Stock pricing and membership plan | Adobe Stock.
In addition to high-quality photographs, Adobe Stock offers videos, 3D and templates for their products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign.
The videos are amazing quality and bring something new to your website. It is something to consider if it is something that will generate a lot of revenue, then some money might be worth it.
Icons and Vectors
Flaticon is a little different than all the others mentioned in that it focuses exclusively on vector icons. The icons are available in SVG, eps, png, PSD, and icon font. Sometimes you just want a nice little icon that will highlight a section and this site has so many options. A nice feature is that you can color the icon before downloading to match your brand and color palette.
Flaticon also offers packs of icons that go well together. The above is called “Animal head” and contains 30 icons. Each pack page begins with basic information that is helpful if you are looking for other icons in the same style or by the same publisher.
Published by Eucalyp 16 days ago
License: Flaticon Basic License
Download format: Vector icon (SVG & EPS), PNG and PSD
Style: Meticulous / Lineal Color
Flaticon now offers a subscription to its premium icons called Flaticon Premium. There are some perks including removing the need for attribution and many many more icons available. The pricing is $7.50 / month if subscribed for a year or $9.99 / month if subscribed month to month.
Sometimes you just need some clipart. Although you can find some clipart on some of these sites, the sites below are dedicated to just finding that popular form of art made popular by computers and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Even More Sites!
- Premium and High-Quality PSD files for Free Download – PSD Zone
- Free Stock Textures
Disclaimer: This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.