The importance of images is one of the hot topics in content management now. Website visitors, blog readers, mobile app users, people reviewing a SlideShare presentation or getting a dedicated email – all of them are expecting not only information from the source but also aesthetics and attractiveness. In most cases, this goal is achieved with several images: photos, illustrations, clipart an so on. But many creators have a low budget for that stuff, although they do want to provide users with rich content. Today we have collected a bunch of free tools for images that will effectively help you to forget the problem of boring content. All the tools are produced and supported by Icons8, a team providing free design resources and software.
Moose Photos: Free Stock Photos That Work Together
Let’s start with photos. They may be fairly called the classics of visuals for websites, blogs, and presentations. The essential advantage of photos is their ability to connect what users see on the web page, interface, or slide, with a real-world of things and people. Photos have been a part of human life for many decades, especially now with available and affordable devices allowing us to take a shot instantly. So they feel like native visuals, close and clear for us, and have high potential in setting strong associations.
Creators, having no big budget for custom photo shooting or being limited in time, usually look for the photos on stock photo websites. There’s no shortage of stocks, but all of them tend to have the same problems. They are expensive or limited, often both. Picking the good images may be difficult and time-consuming. The challenge gets even harder if you need to find a set of photos in one style so that they would look consistent together on one page or across one resource. That is the issue to be solved with Moose photo stock.
Moose is a collection of high-quality stock photos made under professional production. Let’s cover some benefits.
- All the images are free for a link.
- Photos are made by a movie-scale team: directors, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, prop designers, an architect, a 3D modeler, a post-production team, and two collage artists.
- Photos reflect the variety of themes in clean, stylish performance.
- AI and web-developers combine images with various backgrounds and 3D-rendered scenes. This way, the collection gets flexible for particular users’ goals.
- All the pictures can effectively work together in one layout, product, or content strategy.
- Users can request a photo or a theme for pictures they are interested in picking.
- Users can mix and recompose their photo collage in Photo Creator.
Let’s check a bit closer to what we mean saying that Moose photos effectively work together.
Photo Creator: Don’t Search for Stock Photos, Create Them
This explainer video shows how the tool works https://youtu.be/WC71Rdg_Hng
What’s the common problem of stock photography?
The images often look too generic, while a photo shooting is a big issue with casting, location scouting, retouching, and the like. The Icons8 team came across with an idea about mixing the models, objects, and backgrounds into a single picture. Capturing 1K models, 1K objects, and 1K backgrounds will give 1B combinations (instead of 4M for Shutterstock, for example).
So, the creative experiments started. You can observe the results in the collage category on Moose: the images combine models, objects, and environments that were photographed or rendered at different days, places, or even continents.
Since Moose photo stock was released, the photos from it are found in more and more UI kits and design concepts, banners, content projects and various publications, including The Next Web that actively uses them in title images for blog articles. For example, the one below was designed from Moose stock images for the article about tablets.
You see, designers edited it for a particular story, and it shows how our idea works in real life. You take shots of different people, choose an environment and combine them in a custom image that presents your specific idea.
Anyway, the creative team wanted to enable creators to do it without wasting hours on Photoshop editing. The search for the answer on a basic question behind the product: how could people with no experience in graphics software use the photo collages for their particular projects and stories?
So, the team masked the photos and built a web tool to make composing quick.
Now users themselves can combine pictures and make them work together at the following steps:
- Choose the images from the big Moose photo gallery: it features various shots of people of different races, ages, and looks.
- As well as objects, animals, environments, and even 3D rendered images of aliens, robots and the like.
- Mix them as you want for your specific goal. Play with sizes and funny combinations.
- Get a PSD file and edit it further as you want.
All the images may be exported in JPEG and PSD. JPEGs are free for a link. PSDs are $20/month, this way you get all models and objects masked and layered.
Ouch! Vector Illustrations
One more popular type of visual is digital illustrations that have grown into a rocketing design trend for a recent couple of years. Illustrations present an effective way not only to add original looks to the interface but also set the needed mood and emotional background as well as send the visual message. That’s where Ouch will help you.
Ouch is the library of free vectors in different design styles for creators that don’t draw: it offers a variety of graphics and clipart images that never leave any content dull. The resource supports user experience designers, marketing specialists, and content writers as well as users that deal with creating presentations to make their products look professional and attractive.
To support creatives, the Icons8 team have hired the top Dribbble artists. It resulted in the set of free vector illustrations, not it features 19 styles and the collection is growing day by day. Some illustrations are perfect for UX screens or can be used as clip art for slides and handouts while the others got extremely popular as blog illustrations and visuals for emails.
Users can download the vector illustrations free for a link or pay for even more. The license allows:
- Using images with no credits
- Obtaining vector source files and edit them as they wish
- Together with vectors, getting full access to photos, icons, and music by Icons8 team.
Icons8 Web App: Library of Icons and Clipart Images
Icons are another essential way to visualize information. They are symbolic images satisfying particular needs of communication both in physical and digital areas. To get the icons that work together effectively for one interface, printout, or set of slides, you are welcome to try Icons8. It is a big and continuously growing library of over 90 000 icons in different styles, formats, and covering the big diversity of themes.
Explainer video https://youtu.be/C4TcBmdaa-Q
You can not only download icons. The app also allows:
- Applying boxes and circles
- Adding padding
- Adding text and overlays (like a small plus)
- Downloading in multiple formats (some behind the paywall)
- Similar icons
- The same icon in other styles (for example, an arrow icon in iOS style, Material style, etc.)
- Generating HTML
- Working with the collections
- Generating fonts.
What’s more, many of the styles present graphics that can be successfully used as clip art images for a variety of goals.
Here is an example:
Bonus: Lunacy Editor. Free Graphic Software
Lunacy is a native Windows app (Sketch for Windows) that opens, edits, and stores .sketch files. Having started as a Sketch files viewer, now it is a full-fledged graphic editor, completely free.
Check the explainer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM4JKPeaISo
One of the users’ favorite features is the automatic downloading of Google Fonts. If you open a file and get some fonts missing, Lunacy will check Google Fonts and download the needed ones. The process is very smooth and unnoticeable for users. As UX designers use Google Fonts 90% of the time, Lunacy allows its users to say goodbye to font hell.
As you can see, life gets easier (and cheaper!) for creators of all kinds. If you don’t draw or you are an amateur photographer, that won’t prevent you anymore from sharing cool and attractive content with the mentioned set of tools.