Being a designer, you are likely to face situations when you have a cool concept for a project but lack money to hire an illustrator, who can embody it. The first thing that comes to mind is to try a hand at making illustrations and vector art, relying on tutorials and training guides. However, the process is bound to be very time-consuming. Alternatively, you can head to stock photo websites, find the needed materials there, and streamline the entire workflow.
Some people are reluctant to use stock art claiming that such photos can totally ruin a unique idea behind their products. While such comments were viable several years ago, modern stock websites abound with stunning, original pieces that vary in styles, sizes, colors, etc. A whole worldwide community of talented illustrators toils to upgrade the collection with high-quality images, vector art, and other objects so that any brand can find something suitable.
There are many stock photography sites that range from large-scale companies that offer illustrations as a part of their resources to startup platforms aimed specifically at illustrators. We have studied the offers in detail to narrow down the choice to the most prolific websites, where you are sure to find proper illustrations for mobile app development.
1. Adobe Stock – 200+ Million Stock Collection
Pricing: To harness the licensed content shared there, you have to choose one of the subscription plans ($0.26 – $9.99/photo). Accordingly, you will be able to make 3, 10, 40, 350, or 750 downloads per month. Besides, there are 2 commitment options – monthly and yearly. There is also a section with on-demand content. The prices start at $8.00 and reach $9.99/image. When it comes to premium content, get ready to lay out $119.88.
Adobe Stock is a popular source of assets for various creative purposes. It appeared after the company bought Fotolia and has been out there for over 7 years. The platform is replete with high-res images, footage, illustration, audio files, and vectors for any taste.
This stock images site is fully compatible with all CC apps, so examining and evaluating content in projects is a breeze. If you want to download specific files, the service will generate a license for them. In addition to standard materials, you can also use the platform for making money by selling your own works.
2. Shutterstock – Royalty-Free Stuff
Pricing: A creative team that takes care of the resource also shares content on a subscription basis. The minimum monthly fee for 10 downloads is 49 dollars. You can also choose to buy files in packs. In this case, the price is $29 for a 2-item pack, $49 for a 5-element collection, and $229 for a 25-piece bundle. If you are hesitant about the quality of the content, take advantage of a trial offer, namely, the possibility to download 10 images without spending a cent.
The main focus in Shutterstock is on copyright-free materials. However, you can also find vectors, videos, illustrations, and music here for your creative needs.
The assortment of royalty-free assets on the website transcends those available on similar platforms. If you are on the hunt for off-kilter 3D images, backdrops, etc., you should head to the site. To expedite the searching process, take advantage of filters. Thus, you can locate designs for Android devices or other specific files in an instant. Another advantage of Shutterstock is that you can access it right from Adobe apps or PowerPoint. What’s more, there are integrated tools that you can use to prepare social media posts.
3. iStock – Filters Content by Prevailing Color
Pricing: Those deciding on iStock have 2 licenses to choose from – standard for $8-$36, and extended one for $114-$216. To learn the exact cost, you should specify the size of the credit pack you are interested in. The fee for one credit varies from $8 to $12.
The bragging point of this stock photography site is an embedded filter by prevailing color for sieving through all provided content. You can also find here the white space needed for text design. The service one-ups other stock photo websites with a simple yet innovative method of navigating assets, which may be a decisive point for people pressed for time.
We have noticed that illustrations on the site are created with vectors in mind and really coincide with the “stock” concept if compared to other variants on the list. Anyway, there are lots of them and the prices are moderate.
4. Unsplash – Original License
If your finances are limited but you want to get top-notch photos for your projects, Unsplash is a great place to visit. It was created in 2013 and since then has evolved into a reliable photo stock service with manifold assets. The peculiarity of the site is that its collection is updated with 10 new images every 10 days. The developers claim that they jockey for creating a single information space for people with outside-the-box thinking.
The highlight of Unsplash is the Creative Commons Zero license for all images published there. This means you can copy, edit, and use pictures for free both for commercial and personal purposes. What’s more, it is integrated into all Ucraft websites.
5. Vecteezy – Many Free Stock Assets
Pricing: In addition to paid resources with a fixed monthly fee of $9, you can use free assets.
The collection of free files is truly mind-blowing, including top-quality stock assets for Android devices, vectors, illustrations, and 4K videos. If you are searching for a one-of-a-kind image, you should pay to get access to the Pro collection.
Thanks to limitless downloads and reasonable prices, this stock images site is extremely popular among creatives. High-profile designers, freelancers, web design companies and aspiring hobbyists typically opt for the Pro subscription to leverage unique content.
6. Getty Images – Offers Strong Legal Protections
Pricing: You can download a 10-image bundle for $150. The cost soars as the volume decreases. As for monthly subscription plans, there are none.
Similar to Shutterstock, this platform is replete with royalty-free stock photos on varied topics. For instance, you can find interesting editorial, creative, music, video, and blog content. The site is feted for its advanced protection algorithms and clear licensing, which guarantees “unlimited indemnification”. To get iStock images, you need to pay for Premium Access.
If you are on the lookout for something particular, we recommend you to use Getty’s custom content options. All images shared on the platform are submitted by talented designers and artists from different parts of the globe. They work hard to provide users with exclusive and first-class assets.
7. Freepik – Diverse Content
Pricing: To cater to the needs of different clients, the developers decided to share both free and paid content. The fee for one month is $10 if you pay on a monthly basis or $5.25 if you choose a yearly subscription plan.
This isn’t a standard stock images site but a full-featured infographic software with a built-in search engine. If you don’t want to deal with technical stuff, you can directly move to the section with images and other vector graphics. If free assets aren’t enough for you, upgrade to the premium plan.
Freepik entices people with an abundance of photos, vectors, icons, and illustrations. Besides, all categories are regularly expended with new materials. If you use free resources, it is obligatory to mention a creator. When it comes to paid content, there is no such condition. Files you download from the site can be used in commercial and personal projects.
8. YouWorkForThem – Partners with Popular Brands
Pricing: Instead of offering subscription plans, the team decided to provide users with free options and charge a moderate sum for every paid image.
There spring up many stock photography sites but YouWorkForThem has never lost its popularity since its appearance. The platform is focused on stock design graphics, ornate fonts, and photos. Today, the service stores over 76K graphic images created by more than 400 skilled artists and designers. Every file comes with a straightforward and affordable license that can be customized if needed.
Thanks to a meticulous and responsible approach to work, these guys made a stock website that is a go-to choice for world-known brands, including Apple, Dropbox, and Amazon, to name a few.
9. PikWizard – Well-Organized Free Stock Image Library
Among stock photo websites, this one comes out on top with over 1 million images and videos available absolutely for free. Besides, if you like a photo but want to modify it slightly for your project, take advantage of the embedded tool called Design Wizard. In addition to common topics, you can flick through a pack of pictures with people.
Most regular users state that the best thing about the website is that you can use shared content without worrying about copyright. However, there are some Adobe-sponsored images that can’t be used for commercial tasks. Anyway, you can instantly figure out whether a photo belongs to the group by hovering over it.
10. Stock Photo Secrets Shop – Affordable Price
Pricing: First 10 downloads are free. Then, you have to choose from 3 plans. The minimum plan includes 25 downloads for $35/month.
The platform contains many high-quality vector images and illustrations. If you are looking for web design materials for Android devices and don’t want to spend a fortune on photos, make sure to check out this recourse. There are more than 2 million files and the collection keeps growing. People with different financial opportunities can find a suitable option.
Finding a specific image is a no-brainer task thanks to a search option and filters. Users especially like that it is possible to add photos from the website to social media feed, blogs, ads, and other projects without indicating the authorship. Besides, all downloaded assets are at your disposal even after the subscription cut-off point.
Ann Young is a writer and photographer at FixThePhoto. She studied in New York and has been engaged in photography for over a decade. Ann is also fond of writing articles about the latest techniques and marketing tools for business promotion.