This blog was originally published on Workamajobs!
As a designer, your job is tough. It’s not enough to be good at what you do, you also have to keep yourself constantly updated with the latest design standards.
This is why we put together this massive list of design resources to make your job easier.
You’ll find resources for virtually every aspect of design work, from finding stock photography to choosing color palettes.
From placeholder pictures to hero images, you’ll use stock photography throughout your design work. To help you out, here’s a list of stock photography resources covering everything from conventional, royalty-free paid sites to creative commons resources:
1. Shutterstock (Paid)
We’ll start off our list with the big daddy of the stock photography world: Shutterstock. Boasting arguably the largest collection of stock images anywhere, there is little you can’t find on Shutterstock. Licensing options are generous, but individual images tend to be expensive. Use it if you have the cash and need something very specific for your project.
2. Death to the Stock Photo (Paid)
With a name like ‘Death to the Stock Photo’, you expect something dramatic from this website. And it delivers: the selection is fantastic and uniformly high quality. And instead of paying a per-image fee, you pay a flat monthly price for unlimited downloads. You get access to 2,500 images right after you sign-up, and Death to the Stock Photo releases new images every month. The licensing rights are similarly generous and you can pretty much “do what you want” with their pictures.
If you’re on a budget and need premium-quality, exclusive images for a fixed monthly price, this is the website for you.
3. Gratisography (Free)
Gratisography is a completely free collection of high-quality stock images made available by photographers around the world. The licensing options are generous – you can do whatever you want with the pictures except for reselling them. And the pictures are unique enough to help your site stand out. The only downside is that the selection is somewhat limited. But for free, you can’t really complain.
4. Unsplash (Free)
If there is a surfeit of free high-quality stock photography sites online, you have to thank Unsplash for it. A side project by Crew, Unsplash was one of the first sites to make high-quality stock photos that didn’t actually look like stock photos (i.e. no high-exposure, bright shots of confused people in offices).
The pictures are still extremely well-curated and the selection is wider than ever, making it one of the first stops in any stock photography search.
5. Stocksy (Paid)
Stocksy doesn’t have the largest selection. Nor does it have the lowest prices. What it does have, however, is a extremely high-quality stock images and videos, all wonderfully curated in select categories. The video selection is particularly good considering the prices.
Besides buying individual images/videos, you also have the option of getting a ‘market freeze’ on an image for a period of 6 months to 5 years. Under this period, you would have exclusive rights to the images. Perfect for a campaign where you need something that stands out.
6. StartupStockPhotos (Free)
StartupStockPhotos is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of stock pictures for technology startups. As you can imagine, their library has a lot of shots of people staring at computer screens and gazing at their mobiles. It’s a niche selection but if you need startup-specific images, you can’t beat this free resource with generous licensing terms.
7. Pixabay (Free)
Need royalty-free stock images that actually look like conventional stock photographs? Then Pixabay is the site for you. Unlike a lot of the other free resources on this list, Pixabay’s selection isn’t “artsy” or “quirky”. Rather, it is like the stock photography sites you’re used to.
The best part? All the images are completely free to use provided you give proper attribution.
8. Pexels (Free)
Pexels is where top photographers make their images available to anyone for free. The licensing terms are extremely generous – you don’t even need to provide attribution. The quality of the images is excellent all around and the search feature is robust.
These eight resources should be more than enough to fulfill your stock photography needs. In the sections to follow, we’ll look at other design resources, including websites for inspiration, brushes, color palettes, etc.