Let’s be honest right from the get-go:
Web designers need stock graphics.
There’s just no way around this.
I mean, sure, you can design every piece of your designs from the ground up in Photoshop, but this would lengthen your work time five- or even ten-fold.
That being said, the key here is having only quality graphics at your disposal. Nothing ruins a design more than a cheesy stock pic or a pattern that looks like an early ’90s clipart.
So today, let’s take a quick look at what one of the players on the stock imagery market has to offer, and what (hopefully) makes them stand out among the competition.
Here’s our GraphicStock.com review.
What GraphicStock is
GraphicStock is a website that provides you with royalty free images, vectors, illustrations, and other kinds of graphics overall. So nothing quite surprising yet, at least at first sight. Basically, everything you’d need while working on a new website design.
What is their apparent differentiating factor right up front, though, is the fact that it lets you have an unlimited number of downloads once you sign up for an account. But we’ll cover this in more detail in just a minute.
What’s inside GraphicStock
There are six main types of products you will find at GraphicStock:
- patterns (example1, example2),
- textures (example – cool one!),
- icons (example),
- buttons (example),
- backgrounds (example),
- templates (for instance, when you want to showcase an app demo on a specific device’s screen; example1, example2).
At the same time, you can filter the list by multiple categories … from business, to cultural, to health, to holidays, to nature, and many more. In short, it’s what you’d expect from a quality stock imagery repository.
Overall, the range of images offered by GraphicStock is quite impressive. They focus more on abstract imagery than on your standard, everyday cliché stock images, and that’s a great thing! This means that you can take an image from them, tweak it a bit, use it in your design, and no one has to know that it started its life as a stock.
While looking through GraphicStock’s offering, the only issue I could notice is that you will find the same images across a number of different types of graphics (in icons, buttons, and templates, for example). This makes browsing the library a bit difficult at times, but not a big deal.
What’s different about GraphicStock
Like I said, at first sight, GraphicStock seems to have an offer that’s very similar to the other players on the market, like ShutterStock or Bigstock. However, looking into the directory more closely, it becomes apparent that GraphicStock focuses more on graphics that can be used by designers while working on a project (for instance, the whole category of templates), as opposed to providing you with standard stock imagery.
More than that, what’s also unique is the payment method.
Instead of paying for individual graphics, you sign up for a yearly (best value) or monthly subscription. As part of that, you get a lot of privileges:
- you can download unlimited images,
- you get access to a growing library of more than 250,000 media files (graphics, vectors, icons and more),
- there are no additional fees, regardless of the media type you’re downloading,
- there are no contracts (you can cancel at any time),
- you get to keep and use the images you download forever, royalty free (this applies even if you cancel your account).
Okay, I guess there’s no other way to say it:
The standard price tag for a yearly subscription at GraphicStock is $588 … so quite a lot.
However, right now the company is in the middle of a big promotion to get new people on board, so they’re offering a staggering discount – 83% off.
This means that you can get your one year subscription for $99.
But there’s more. Apart from that, there’s also a free 7 day trial available. During this trial, you’re allowed to:
- download up to 20 images per day – so 140 images in total over the 7 days,
- access GraphicStock’s entire media library,
- you get to keep the images you download during the trial forever; no obligation.
Here’s the link to this offer.
The bottom line
I was quite skeptical when approaching this review.
At first sight, GraphicStock looked like yet another repository of stock imagery. But after doing some sniffing around, I have to admit that they do manage to stand out and are possibly carving a nice niche for themselves in this huge market.
Additionally, the free trial is simply a no-brainer to get onto. There’s nothing to lose and you’ll walk out with a nice set of 140 images at the end of it, even if you don’t decide to become a paid subscriber.
But what do you think? Is GraphicStock something you’re willing to give a shot?
Here’s this special promotion link again, by the way.