Top Websites for Creator Elements

As a graphic designer and content creator I know that finding high-quality, royalty-free elements is a must. A need a source I can reply on.  From stunning images to unique textures and captivating illustrations, there's a vast world of design elements waiting to be discovered.  But with so many websites offering stock media, how do we choose the right platform for our needs?

This article will guide you through some of the best online resources for royalty-free graphic design elements, highlighting their unique features and benefits. Yes there is a shameless plug for my own site. No shame in my game. 🤓  Whether you're a seasoned professional or a creative newbie, these platforms offer a spectrum of assets to elevate and speed up creative projects.


Sources of Graphic Design Elements

    Adobe Stock

    For Adobe users, Adobe Stock is a natural choice. It seamlessly integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, making it a breeze to find and use assets. Adobe Stock boasts a massive library of high-resolution images, vectors, illustrations, videos, and more. Its powerful search filters help you quickly narrow down your options, and its subscription-based pricing model offers flexibility for different usage levels.


    Shutterstock is another leading platform with a vast collection of stock images, vectors, illustrations, and 3D models. Its intuitive search functionality and user-friendly interface make it easy to navigate. Shutterstock offers various pricing options, including subscription plans, credits, and pay-per-download options, catering to individual needs.



    iStockphoto is known for its diverse collection of images, vectors, illustrations, and video clips. Its extensive library ensures you'll find something for every project. iStockphoto's user-friendly interface and powerful search filters make it easy to discover the perfect assets. It offers a range of pricing options, including subscription plans and credits, providing flexibility for different budgets.


    Freepik is a free and premium platform offering a wide array of graphic design elements, including vectors, icons, photos, and illustrations. Its vast collection caters to various design needs, from web design to print projects. While Freepik offers a free tier, its premium subscription unlocks access to high-resolution assets and additional features.


    Canva is a popular design platform that offers a vast library of free and premium graphics, templates, and design elements. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to create professional-looking designs, even for beginners. Canva's vast library of stock photos, illustrations, and more makes it a great option for quick and easy projects.

    and us ...


    Do we even compete with the big players above? Uh, no.  I have been doing stock sine the late 90's when Getty sent me a very kind and respectful "declined" letter. Ouch. 😭  But for those seeking unique and high-quality graphics I think EYEIDEA offer some unique options. Our website has a small but growing collection of meticulously curated images, textures, patterns, and design elements. EYEIDEA's focus on quality and creative originality sets it apart from the mass of stock.  Our site's layout allows you to easily browse and download assets, and our pricing is very competitive, offering various bundles, packs and tool-kit options. Here, creators can get 20, 50 or 75 images for the cost of a couple images from the big agencies.  And we are not forcing subscriptions. It always frustrates me when I cannot just buy what I want one project at a time.

    Neon Clouds Graphic Image Package V.1
    24 Image Pack - Neon Clouds by EYEIDEA

    And Now There's the AI Thing ...

    image created with Adobe Firefly –  © copyright who? me?

    Pros and Cons of Using Stock Media vs. Generative AI

    Stock Media – PROS

    • Wide Variety: Stock media platforms offer a vast selection of images, vectors, textures, and more, ensuring you'll find something to suit your needs.
    • High Quality: Most stock websites prioritize quality, offering high-resolution assets for professional projects.
    • Royalty-Free Usage: Stock media is typically licensed for royalty-free use, allowing you to use the assets in your projects without paying additional fees.
    • Ease of Use: Stock media platforms are user-friendly, making it easy to search, browse, and download assets.

    Stock Media – CONS

    • Potential for Overuse: Stock images can sometimes feel generic, leading to designs that lack originality.
    • Cost: While some platforms offer free assets, accessing premium content often requires a subscription or credit purchase.
    • Limited Customization: You may not be able to fully customize stock images or vectors, limiting your creative freedom.

    Generative AI ...

    GenAI – PROS

    • Uniqueness: Generative AI can create unique images, textures, and designs that don't exist anywhere else.
    • Customization: You have complete control over the generated content, allowing for personalized designs.
    • Potential for Innovation: Generative AI opens up new creative possibilities, pushing the boundaries of design.

    GenAI – CONS

    • Limited Availability: Generative AI tools are still under development, and access to high-quality, reliable tools can be limited and time consuming.
    • Learning Curve: Using generative AI effectively requires learning new techniques and workflows. AI sometimes creates more work for the designers.
    • Ethical Considerations: There are ongoing concerns about the potential misuse of generative AI, including the creation of deepfakes and the perpetuation of biases. There are new lawsuits being filed weekly it seems.

    Conclusion ... or Just the Beginning?

    Choosing between stock media and generative AI ultimately depends on your specific project needs, budget, and creative vision. Stock media platforms offer a vast selection of high-quality, royalty-free assets, making them a convenient and reliable option for many design projects. However, generative AI provides exciting opportunities for creating unique and personalized designs. Ultimately, the best approach might be to combine both methods, leveraging the strengths of each to create captivating and impactful visuals.

    I have started doing exactly that. I use Adobe Firefly to create a base image and / or elements. Then I do lots of Photoshop tweaks and edits, separating elements. Next it's off to After Effects for some animation!  Below is a "bus made of vegetables" animation I created – initially for my 2 year old daughter.  Definitely an undertaking I would not have attempted a few years ago. It is available on Adobe Stock here.


    Let's Go!

    I say let's do this!  We can explore these resources, experiment with generative AI tools, and unleash our creative vision!  Stock media has evolved a lot over the years. In my opinion AI is not the end of stock. It is the next chapter for stock.  It is a new and exciting season for all of us creators.  The world of design is our canvas, and with these resources, we can go to all kinds of new creative places.


    Chad Anderson