Free vector images are key ingredients for your graphics and illustrations. Every designer and illustrator should have a rich collection of design elements, vector backgrounds, logo basics, cool clip art, brushes and people silhouettes – as they are the starting point and building blocks to produce high quality artworks in an efficient way.
Raw, fresh talent and new techniques have always been responsible to push creative disciplines forward. For graphic designers and illustrators, the landscape has changed forever with the arrival of powerful computers and design software. A new method of working merged with fresh ideas, approaches and platforms. Another big leap forward was the online availability of millions of high-quality stock images, the perfect ingredients to create your own custom, top-notch artworks.
25 years ago, the digital world was a very different place from the one we live in today. Apple just launched its Macintosh computers for the creative community. In 1986, Adobe Systems introduced Illustrator for Mac, the first home computer program to create vector art. In the late eighties, the price of hardware was still sky-high, the software was very hard to use, the functions were basic at best and the rendering of even a simple logo took ages. The basic set up of a start-up computer package (computer, monitor, scanner and printer) could easily cost 20,000 US$ (15,000€). It was a hard knock life for designers: to edit vector graphics, they had to become Bezier curves specialists. Although the first versions of Illustrator seemed like rocket science, many graphic designers realized the huge advantages of vector graphics. Electronic clip art and logos became the new standard.
Since the 90’s, we have seen a true explosion in the accessibility and use of computers. The hardware quickly became much cheaper, and the creative software easier to use and more powerful. With the boom of the cd-rom, many companies started to sell volume clip art packs. In 1995, T-Maker launched a collection of 500,000 copyright free images, world’s largest stock footage library in those days.
Today, stock images sites as Shutterstock, iStock, Crestock, Fotolia and DepositPhotos are offering millions of original pictures and illustrations at micro prices. But there’s even better than that: in the last years, there has been a true explosion of free stock sites – offering incredible vector footage at no charge.
Of course, graphic designers need to follow the license specifications for the images. Some of the websites offering free vectors, clip art and brushes distribute stolen images, so it’s important to be careful, especially when you use the graphic footage for commercial projects. The golden rule is to check the license agreement carefully and in doubt contact the website to get clarification. But if you respect the basic rules, free vector graphics are a magic tool to enhance your productivity; work faster to meet your deadlines & satisfy your clients - but still keep up with the quality of your creations.
If you google “free vector” you will find thousands of cool free vector downloads for all your design needs: design elements, business cards and illustration templates, graphic packs with symbols and icons, basic clip art, people silhouettes, seamless patterns, nature and travel illustrations. If you look around on leading edge graphic sites or portfolio sites as Deviant Art or Behance, you’ll see that the secret of the most successful work comes down to the quest for the best graphic stock images to fit your theme, and the art to combine this footage with your own drawing and design skills. A visual equivalent of remixing, scratching and sampling in today’s pop music scene, the current generation of vector artists, graphic designers and digital artists draws upon many creative techniques and inspirations. By doing so, the creative mavericks of the “free footage” playground are changing quickly the face of graphic design. Be prepared to discover some real creative treats - all yours, all free, all around the digital world!
The images can be downloaded in vector format from FreeVector’s Vector Art Gallery
Basic Icons Vectors by Neurovit
Ecology Icons by Snap2Objects
Rock Vectors by Spoon Graphics
Polaroid Vectors by Dragon Artz
Grunge Texture by Ben Blogged
Abstract Vector Background by Dezignus
Colorful Vector Graphics by DaPino Colada