Do Graphic Designers Use Stock Images?

Incorporating stock images into your graphic design project can be tempting because there are so many of them readily available. Plus, the process of transforming them into something of your own can be really satisfying. Still, you may be wondering if it’s cheating. Do actually professional graphic designers use stock images in their projects? 

Graphic designers use stock images all the time. The key to doing so professionally is that they use the image as an element of their own design. They essentially transform it into something more than it was before. Still, they have to be mindful of licensing agreements when they do so. 

If you’re curious about how graphic designers choose stock images and then incorporate them into their designs, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide below we will talk about whether graphic designers can use stock vectors and images as well as why they would want to do so in the first place. On a practical level, we’ll discuss how and where you can get and use them.  

Do Graphic Designers Use Stock Vectors? 

So can professional or semi-professional graphic designers actually use full-fledged stock vector images in their designs or is that considered some kind of cheating? 

Graphic designers not only can use stock vectors, but they do it all the time. Of course, in doing so they have to pay attention to their licensing agreement as it may put limitations on how a particular image can be used. 

An important thing professional graphic designers will do with their stock images is trying their best to transform them so they don’t look like stock images at all. 

Why Do Designers Use Stock Images? 

So if they don’t want the images to look like stock images–even though they are–why do graphic designers use them in the first place? 

While there are many more reasons why graphic designers use stock images than the ones listed here, these are three of the main reasons: 

  • They are convenient: Stock images are readily available in both paid and free forms. They are quite convenient for incorporating something new into a design. 
  • They come with many options: There are endless options when it comes to stock images. This can be attractive for a graphic designer looking for some new inspiration.
  • They are great for multiple purposes: Stock images can be used successfully for anything from online projects like blogs and websites to marketing and advertising campaigns. They can be transformed for creative projects or just used for personal reasons. The possibilities are endless. 

From their convenience to the fact that they go well in almost any graphic design project, stock images are a favorite for a reason. 

Can I Use a Stock Photo As My Logo 

With excellent new logo design software like Placeit popping up more and more burgeoning graphic designers are trying to figure out what is acceptable to use for making a great logo. In the case of stock photos, is it okay to use them as a logo, or does it not transform them enough? 

You can, in fact, use a stock image as your logo. Still, it may not be the best idea because you cannot have a stock image trademarked or copyrighted. This means that at any time someone else could start using it as their own as well. 

Where Do Graphic Designers Get Their Images?

Now that we’ve seen stock images can not only be used but are encouraged as well, let’s discuss a little bit about how to get them in the first place. So really, where are some places where an up-and-coming graphic designer can get some high-quality stock images for their next big project? 

The list below contains some great starting points if you’re looking for a place to snag some stock images for your next graphic design project: 

It’s important to note that the first three sites on the list are paid, while the last three are free. We recommend that you play around with the free sites first to get an idea of what incorporating these images is like then set your attention to the paid ones. Still, you can really jump in wherever you like if you already have a vision.  

So Really, Do Graphic Designers Use Stock Images?

It’s true, even professional graphic designers put stock images to use all the time because they are convenient, full of options, and useful for many different purposes. Of course, a good graphic designer will find a way to transform them a little bit as a component of a larger project so that it becomes their own. 

You too can use stock images if you would like. There are plenty of websites ranging from free to paid for you to check out. Which one will you be visiting?