Why Use Stock Images for Graphic Design
Stock images are a perfect way to find the resources for your graphic design projects without wasting hours on it. Learn about what are stock images and how helpful these resources can be in this article!
Credit for Photos: Unsplash, MockoFun
When you are thinking through the next design project, images are the first thing that comes to mind. And it is understandable - they are the backbone of eye-catching visuals. Of course you can make custom images using your favorite editing software or just taking photos. But if you don't want to spend your precious time on these processes, use stock images. In case you have never done it before, this article will be super useful. Get to know what stock images are and how to use them!
As you decide on the stock image you're gonna use for your design, the next thing you need to consider is choosing the perfect font for your project. It happens often to find an ideal type while scrolling a website and to have no idea what its name is. In such cases, you can use a font finder by image, which helps designers get the typeface they are looking for.
What are Stock Images?
Stock image definition: A stock image is a photo that is already shot and made available for others to use. Stock images usually come along with the appropriate permission that is called license.
Are stock images free to use?
What images are free to use is a question asked by many people. You have to be very careful when using images for commercial purposes. You have to know if you have the right to use those images.
Stock photos are copyrighted, meaning someone owns them. So, in order to use these stock images legally, you need to have permission. The permission is known as a license and it's actually a written contract that authorizes you to use the photo in certain ways. Don't use a stock photo (especially for commercial purposes) if you don't have a valid license.
How do stock images work?
All starts with the photographer taking different kinds of photos.
Then, he uploads the images on stock image websites like Getty Images or Shutterstock. These sites are online sources of images available for people and companies to download.
The photographer must upload high quality photos to avoid rejection. If the images are not free, the website protects each image with a watermark.
If you are a talented photographer you too can sell stock photos online on different platforms like Shutterstock, iStock Photo, Etsy, Getty Images and so on.
What are stock photos used for?
So, what is stock photography? Stock photography is the supply of photographs which are often licensed for specific uses. The stock photos are used for a wide range of projects and here are just some of them:
- Marketing and advertising
- Magazine publishing
- Personal projects
- Commercial and for-profit projects
- Social media graphics
- Blog posts and websites, etc.
Stock images are pictures that have commercial use permission. They are frequently used to inject personality and energy into an image by marketing firms and people that require a shot for graphic design without having to do their own photoshoots. They're typically not bound to a certain location or time, so you can find everything you may need.
Stock photography has been developing since the 1920s. At that time it was already a business for photographs, and because of this the term "stock photography" frequently refers to an industry rather than a specific image.
According to The New York Times, as of 2005 "most" book cover designers prefer stock photography agencies over photographers in efforts to save costs.
Here are some free stock images websites like Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels, etc. These sites offer free images for commercial use, no attribution required.
Types of Stock Images
Finding a professional photographer when you're crafting a new project can be out of your price range. Using stock photographs in this situation might be a perfect method to complete your assignment.
When you want to upload some high-quality pictures, it might assist to have some understanding of the various licenses that are available:
- Free photos license: This license grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer.
- Royalty-free photos license: these pictures are typically sold by stock photography companies. They grant the purchaser permission to use the image a specific number of times and in a specific number of different ways. By doing business for them in the background, the user of the shot just needs to pay for the image once.
- Rights managed photos license: These are images that are paid-to-use and frequently only available for a short time or for a single project.
- Extended or improved licenses: These licenses grant additional freedoms to the licensee, such as permissions for resale and business purposes. This is a choice available on a lot of stock picture websites.
The benefits of stock images
You might wonder why use stock images for graphic design? Below you have numerous reason to choose stock photos for your projects.
1. Cheaper and less time-consuming
The fact that stock photography may save both time and money is a big factor in its popularity.
You don't even need to deal with image processing or spend money on expensive professional photography equipment. This is particularly useful if you have a small staff and graphics are not essential to your product or service.
It still gets very expensive even if you aren't taking the shots yourself and are thinking about hiring a professional photographer. Compare all of this trouble to the ease with which you can add a high-quality, ready-to-use stock photo to your designs, social media posts, and artwork presentations.
2. Wide choice
You have a ton of possibilities when using stock photographs, which is another major benefit. You're sure to discover something that meets your needs among the tons of free and paid stock photographs available.
3. Many ways of usage
Stock images have the advantage of being great material for any design project you are working on.
If you offer creative services, for instance, you may substitute stock photographs for actual ones to show your clients what the finished product would look like. This method of doing your task is not only inexpensive but also quite efficient.
You can create stunning mood boards using stock photographs that convey a certain color palette, feeling, and overall appearance and feel.
Stock pictures may be an excellent resource for making engaging collages that give your design color and personality. Depending on the number of photos you wish to use for your website, presentations, or social media graphics, you may pick the collage layout.
Tips on how to use stock images effectively
Stock pictures, when used properly, may significantly enhance your designs. But making the wrong choice is just as simple, especially if you don't bear in mind certain fundamental design principles. To help you get the most out of your stock images and learn how helpful they can actually be, here are a few design pointers and techniques.
1. Make it pertinent.
The significance of selecting the appropriate stock photo can not be overstated. It may either make your design appear fantastic or terrible.
Finding photographs that are pertinent to your subject is the key. Imagine you are promoting a new bakery for your client. Ideal stock images for its menu, website or social media postings should be focused on delicious food, good service and a cozy atmosphere (or another concept your customer chose). The improper stock images, such as those of people in business attire or in any items unrelated to the bakery, can rapidly make the promotion seem pointless.
Learn more about brand imagery and how you can effectively use stock photos to increase brand awareness.
2. Don't forget to include negative space
In photography, positive space is where the actual subject is, while negative space (also called white space) is the area surrounding the subject. Negative space gives the eye a place to rest and it balances the composition.
White spaces come in some stock photos, but you have to create them for those that don't. The ones with plenty of visually busy elements may rapidly make your design appear cluttered. You end up with an ugly, crowded artwork after adding some text on top.
Make sure to provide enough white space or margins around any vibrant or exciting stock photos you want to include in your design so they have room to breathe.
The stock photo's extra negative space around the edges improves the overall aesthetic of the artwork and makes it simple for the reader to move between the various parts.
3. Adhere to your brand's standards.
Stick to your brand rules when working with stock pictures, whether you're writing a blog post, making an investor pitch deck, creating a promoting program or putting together your company's annual report.
Avoid using images with themes, colors, or emotions that conflict with each other. That might progressively taint the reputation you worked so hard to develop for your brand.
4. Frame the photos.
A stock photo that is just placed on top of an artwork might seem strange. By enclosing it in frames, you may integrate it. You may play with the image artistically, frame it into a form, and add strokes or padding to it.
Use these Photoshop border actions to frame your photos quickly. You have lots of photo border effects to choose from but don't forget that less is more so keep it clean and simple.
This is particularly useful if you want to incorporate many stock photographs into your design but are having difficulties with their various orientations - some may be in portrait mode, while others may be in landscape mode. By cropping and giving each image a certain form, inserting photographs into frames enables you to use several stock photos in a single design.
If you like the retro vintage style, use a polaroid mockup as it is a great choice for framing photos in a fun creative way.
5. Add text to images.
There are stock images that already have text in them. For example photos on neon signs, notebooks, scramble words, street signs, etc they have text messages like you can see in the example below.
If you have images without text you can add text online using photo editors like MockoFun.
Include a quote or a caption on a stock image. Why? First of all, to enhance its value, to make your content more memorable and to get more shares on social media.
Now you know what stock photos are, how to use stock photos legally and what are the benefits of using images in your projects.
Stock images are a simple way to find resources for your graphic design project. Here you can learn all the pros of using them for your ideas!
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