17 Best Stock Photo Sites for Graphic Designers

Our review and assessment of Envato Elements highlighted its exceptional value to creatives mindful of their expenses. Envato Elements emerges as the most economical subscription service for royalty-free stock photos, with prices starting as low as $16.50 a month or $11.50 for students. This minimal monthly charge unlocks unlimited access to over 13 million assets available on the platform. Since it’s a popular site, you’ll need to devote more time to finding images that haven’t already been overused in other print designs. Fortunately, there’s a large enough selection that buying the right stock photo usually isn’t very difficult. Everybody knows deviantART is a great place for artists (both novice and professional) to show off their work—but many don’t realize that it’s also a fantastic source for stock art.

best free photo stocks for designers

That’s why graphic designers prefer to use stock images that only cost a few cents each. Yes, graphic designers use stock photos because they’re more compelling and much less expensive than taking photos themselves or hiring a professional photographer. Also, they make sure that your brand looks consistent across different platforms.

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Free Media Goo has a memorable name for a not-so-memorable site; it certainly has some good features, but is more a niche search engine. The site was created by web developers best stock photography for designers for web developers, hence the presence of free Flash and audio as well as stock photos. Alongside free stock photos, the site also has free textures, audio and Flash movies.

best free photo stocks for designers

Born of a pilot project with the Library of Congress, Flickr Commons has a noble mission, which is to share as many public photographs with the world as possible. And every one of them is classified as having no known copyright restrictions. Founded in 2011, the platform offers a wealth of media from public archives, some of it more than a century old. If you stumble upon a rare image that’s too small or overprocessed, Vintage Stock Photos can help you re-scan and remaster it. Vintage Stock Photos is a wonderful photo resource for creators with a soft spot for nostalgia.

The Public Domain Review

The site is easy to navigate, and if you’re looking for inspiration, you can explore the Topics tab to find curated, themed design resources to get the creative juices flowing. The thing I appreciate about Flickr is that it places artists front and center. When you navigate to Flickr’s homepage, you’re invited to join the community, and you can start searching not only by image keyword, but by people or group. Click into any contributor’s profile to see a “Photostream,” or a feed of their latest and most popular images.

best free photo stocks for designers

With millions of hand-selected, high-quality photos, vectors, videos, and illustrations, it’s easy to understand why. In business for over 25 years, Getty Images offers unique media captured and created by world-renowned photographers, videographers, and illustrators. The platform also offers several customized services for all types of visual content. The free stock photos you’ll find at Deposit Photos are professional-quality high-resolution images. Like Adobe Stock, Deposit Photos is another leading stock photo site that offers a nice selection of free stock photos, videos, and vectors. The selection of free vectors and videos is limited, but almost 70,000 photos can be downloaded for free.

SplitShire – Unique, Professional, Personally-Curated Stock Images

One downside to Adobe Stock, and Adobe as a whole, is their slightly unsatisfactory customer support, which, however, fares better than Getty Images. Despite having chat and email support options, live chat representatives frequently struggle with resolving issues and often pass on inquiries to other team members. Browsing, searching, and downloading are standard fare, but as an added bonus, Burst and Shopify offer advice on things like how to turn your online business ideas into reality. The Public Domain Review is also an online magazine, with essays and other collections. Highly regarded by specialized critics, the site attracts droves of researchers, writers, scholars, and art history lovers. There are a number of different categories and collections you can browse through, and of course, you can also search the site.

best free photo stocks for designers

In addition to more than 200 million premium royalty-free images and resources, Adobe Stock also offers nearly one million free stock photos, plus a selection of free vector illustrations and free videos. Currently, we rate Shutterstock as the best stock photo site for designers. The enormous collection of images with over 100,000 new photos added weekly is an absolute dream for designers and marketing teams.

Burst – Free Stock Photos with the Business Owner in Mind

PikWizard is under the same ownership as DesignWizard, which offers online design software. Conveniently, you can take a photo from PikWizard straight to the DesignWizard editor. You won’t find a massive selection at Gratisography, and that’s not what this site is all about. Instead, you’ll find interesting photos that stand out from those at other sites. Another benefit of using the freebies from Adobe Stock is that all of these resources have passed Adobe’s review for quality of potential legal issues. This quality curated collection focuses on workplace photos and nature imagery, but is lacking on people pics.

  • The appealing $16.50 monthly fee is linked to a yearly commitment, with the cost rising to $39 for those opting for a month-to-month subscription.
  • Thus, once your subscription ends, you can’t use a previously downloaded asset for new projects, though its use in existing projects can continue.
  • Photos serve a variety of niches including marketing and social media, digital ads, broadcasting and streaming, editorial content, and so much more.
  • Keyword tagging is good and the resolution is invariably 640px x 480px, so they’re not ideal for print design.

Flickr is a great way to discover talented photographers, learn more about the field, and refine your own artistic eye. Best premium resource for unique photo assets, worry-free licensing, and affordability. The whimsical, quirky, and entertaining photos you’ll find here are unlike any others. The site was founded in 2011 by Ryan McGuire, and most of the photos on the site were taken by Ryan. You don’t need to be logged in to download at Pixabay, but there are a few advantages to creating a free account and logging in. If you try to download more than a few resources without being logged in, you’ll have to complete a CAPTCHA before each download.

Best stock photo sites for designers

If you want your print media project to feature original illustrations instead of photographs, consider using Illustration Ltd. Although the website functions more like an illustration showcase (with watermarks on downloadable images), the platform makes it easy to commission illustrators for original works. Shutterstock’s prices are comparable to Thinkstock; a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.

best free photo stocks for designers

Since images have such a massive impact on your overall design, it’s essential to use high-quality photos and graphics. While their library is not as large as some of the other providers, their team of professional, well-known contributors makes this site a true gem. Designed by a team of German technology experts, Pixabay has grown from a small crowd-sourced photography project to one of the most reputable, fully-stocked stock image sites on the web.

These platforms provide millions of high-quality images, vectors, and illustrations that can be used in designs. By purchasing licenses for these images, designers ensure they are using them legally and ethically, adhering to the terms set by the image’s creator or rights holder. If you’re a designer, content creator, or social media influencer, you know how important high-quality photos and visual resources are to your work.