Images and creative visuals need to invoke something inside the consumer.
An appealing image or illustration will often get your attention hooked, and your curiosity piqued. And if you’re a digital marketer or a creative person involved in digital design, you need your illustrations to stand out for your next project.
Your illustrations or the visuals you deliver communicate something to whoever sees it, and it encapsulates your branding style. If you’re into a more solid, futuristic, modern approach in your illustrations, you may opt for bold, geometric, vector-type illustrations. And if your approach is more on taking on the emotional, softer side of things, you will go for illustrations that are hand-drawn, more curvy, decorative, and the like. At the end of the day, you want to create a connection between you and your audience.
And according to reliable research, it depends on the content of the design and the target audience. You need to draw the consumer or reader’s interest by making it appealing to them visually. You need to consider font, choice of color and other elements. It all plays a significant role in visual design as a whole.
So, through amazing imagery, you can make many things possible.
Benefits of Illustrations For Your Project
1. Illustrations add spice and spunk to your black and white words.
Visual imagery brings a different kind of light and spunk to what you’re trying to communicate to your audience. The illustrations you deliver and produce can make people feel, ask questions, and add spice to the whole message.
Basically, it stimulates an experience that your consumers might remember for quite some time. You can use vectorize image illustrator tools to generate these images if you don’t know how to build them from scratch. And it makes all the difference.
2. You can stand out and not just blend in.
Given the competition that’s looming and growing in the digital space, there’s pressure to deliver something that can stand out. And this is, of course, possible. With a great marketing strategy, quality visual imagery and a message that can meet the human soul at its core, you can go beyond just blending in.
Yes, stock photos are here to stay, but meshing the ready images with your original art or design can make a difference. Better yet, with the right tools, you can create something new that’s in your niche—something eye-catching and that will draw them in.
3. You can invite people in the story.
For the audience to connect, relate and be “in” that moment by just looking at an image or illustration is such an experience on their end. And for a great illustration or image to truly come alive from a consumer’s perspective, the story behind it solidifies what you are trying to convey. The fact that people can relate or connect to the imagery means it is an effective medium. And if you’re into digital marketing or promoting a brand, you can get more users/consumers engaged, creating opportunities to build relationships with them.
4. It solidifies branding.
With all this being said, your illustrations make things more compact for branding. That is if you’re putting out art or digital creations that are onto the same theme or the design elements incorporated, have a certain flow to it. Needless to say, the visual imagery, like logos, brand illustrations that you put out, can be attributed to the brand that you are building. It is always best that you become consistent with the flow of visuals you produce.
5. Print’s Not Dead
If we can say it louder, definitely, print still lives on. In this digital age, it is not the “go-to” medium when you’re marketing now, but it is still being used, still being purchased, still revolving—and yes, evolving.
Art/ visual imagery that has become tangible—printouts are not dead. It still connects the artists and the marketers to the audience and consumers. Efficient illustrations are printed and marketed as promotional pieces, books/ educational materials, brochures, packaging, and more.
10+ Best Spots to Find Free Illustrations
With all that, we’ve curated a list of 10+ Best Spots to Find Free Illustrations for Your Next Design Project:
You have probably heard of this library of simple, clean, beautiful illustrations. The design concept is straightforward, and the site is easy to navigate. James Daly is the founder of Drawkit and has truly broken ground in providing us with fresh illustrations.
One great feature is that you can tailor the illustration’s colour to your need or what your branding theme is—you can customize as you see fit.
Another great thing about Drawkit is that it is for free. You can use the illustrations without having to go back and attribute them to the owner. The illustrations themselves are scalable vector graphics—you can technically edit them digitally without losing their quality.
Illustrations.co is a free open source library of illustrations. It varies in themes, and the design elements are amazing. You can utilize these illustrations for your projects, presentations, application designs and more. In downloading the illustrations, you can download them as a single file or in bundle or bulk.
Vijay Verma’s creator only started Illustrations.co as a 100-day challenge initially, delivering an illustration a day. And it has eventually evolved into the Illustrations.co that we know today. Check it out and explore this beautiful library of golden images.
What we love about DesignStripe is that you can make it your own. We love the illustrations that DesignStripe brings. This vectorize image illustrator tool is also colorful, spunky, classy, and has a techno feel. It’s modern, yet still human if that makes sense.
Not only do you have the freedom to create, vectorize images, build your own collection of illustrations, DesignStripe is easy to navigate and very user-friendly. From invites to ebooks to packaging design, check out DesignStripe and even create your own.
Flaticon probably has the most extensive library of icons available digitally. It is a library of more than 1.5 million vector icons. And it is for free. Freepik technically owns it, and it mainly delivers icons in various vector formats (PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD). Please note that all these icons are customizable.
If you’re scouting for vector icons to pump up your designs, Flaticon is the platform to go. It is also easy to explore. It is categorized into themes and the icon designs you can dynamically utilize for your digital marketing projects, avatar designs, infographics, social media posts, etc. Flaticon is an Icon world for you!
If you’re a fan of human illustrations, vectorized images of humans, and silhouettes altogether, Pimpmydrawin.com could be the space for you. This is an open-source library of these kinds of illustrations for free, and it has so much more to offer.
You should also check out the spunky side of the platform; each vector illustration has a description that you can pretty much relate to. It’s a fun, relatable, open library of illustrations of mainly humans.
You don’t have to be professional to be able to use Icons8. It has steadily been a great source of illustration vectors. With its Vector Creator tool, you can technically create your vectors from various design elements from their digital plate.
You have an option to download the illustrations for free (in PNGs) but attribute credit to their creator. Either way, you can explore the variety of images that you can utilize for your next project.
7. Open Peep
Okay, so if you have not heard of Open Peeps yet, you should go and give it a visit. It has been steadily making its mark in the digital graphic scene it has delivered and continues to be a creative source of dynamic vector illustrations. It is also a library of human digital characters that are hand-drawn.
You get to download these digital illustrations in SVG or PNG formats for free so that you can utilize and maximize them for your storyboards, comics, invites, social media marketing posters, and such. It is so dynamic that you can also mix and match the vectors’ body parts to create your own characters. How cool is that?
Who doesn’t love doodles? And by that, we mean quirky, spunky and fun doodles. As the name suggests, Absurd.design has some absurd designs.
Check it out and see how absurdly great the vector designs are! It is an excellent collection of illustrations that communicate everyday life, and design-wise, these are pretty much scalable. If you want access to colorized versions, you can simply sign up to their plan and shell out cash, but there are also a couple of illustrations you can download in quality for free.
What’s excellent about Vector4free is that it is a huge collaboration of graphic artists from different parts of the globe. All have contributed to what Vector4free has become.
All vectors are either in EPS or AI format, so you’d know how to edit them accordingly. At the bottom of the main page, you can look up the vector you want by checking out the categories list. Vector4free may not be the most extensive vector library out there, but the illustrations it provides are pretty helpful, and they’re for free too.
Freepik is pretty much a visual search engine. You can have a whole stockpile of vectors, illustrations, and icons to choose from. All visual imagery here is for free. You can utilize them for your digital projects, commercial or marketing, or personal projects. Although you may need to attribute the images you use, you can always go premium if you go the hassle-free route.
Whoosh specializes in making your basic illustrations into high-quality, worthy images. With its illustration kit, you can vectorize images, create detailed graphics, mix and match vibrant colors and other design elements to your liking. You can use the kit for free, but you just need to attribute your output with the link they provide when you get to publish your image digitally. However, you can eliminate that part if you pay for the premium; on top of the latter, you can acquire a symbol library, color variations, a style set up, access to different file types—all in the premium package.
Guess what? This design platform is in demand. It is a huge library of free vector illustrations that are yours to download. You can download the images in either SVG or PNG format. With different categories to choose from, you can use these in the variety of your designs and upcoming projects by using the illustrations available in ManyPixels. It is also a great source of high-quality illustration design services under a subscription.
Some might feel guilty using illustrations from these sites and consider them not organic or originally creative. But if you’re someone who sees these sites as tools and as great platforms to maximize your already creative mind, then you’re on the right track. Again, in this digital age, we do not want to downsize your organic, creative ability but rather enhance and add a vibe to it.
There’s so much to explore and glean from these resources. Consider these platforms as creative tools to which you can always return when you lose fuel to create your designs.
Note that illustrations are essential in conveying a core message, a thought, an idea, an emotion. When a visual image attracts a consumer, it has created a connection. And that’s what we want, to stay connected, relatable, dynamic and still communicate what we ought to—even in the evolving digital space.