Do you know how ad agencies create billboards featuring giant soda bottles for their advertisements? Well, they use creative assets known as vector art. Although the term may sound alien to you, it is common within creative circles, especially among professionals who use editing software in post-production.
The following is an overview of what vector art entails and why you should consider it for your next project. In addition, you will also find recommendations for the best free vector art and graphics websites to source for creative assets. Keep reading to discover more.
In this article
Part1: How to Make Good Use of Vector art?
So, what is vector art? Vector art is a creative term to describe images and illustrations you can easily modify without compromising their quality. For example, you can resize vector graphics to fit a billboard print without pixelating the original file. In addition, creating vector art involves using mathematical algorithms to create visual images on software such as Draw and Adobe Illustrator.
Furthermore, vector art results from using geometrical shapes to create images on a coordinate system. Typically, you represent each image point using a pair of numerical coordinates to indicate their distance from two fixed perpendicular lines. In addition, both fixed lines use a similar unit of length to determine the distance. As such, your origin point will always represent by coordinates 0,0.
The following are the common terms that vector art creators use in their work:
The term refers to an exact location in the creative space. In addition, a point does not have length, width, or thickness dimensions. Instead, you represent it using numerical coordinates on a cartesian plane. For example, coordinates 0,0 represent the origin point on a 2D creative plane.
A line is a segment of the creative space bound by two endpoints. In addition, you can represent it as a closed line segment where you indicate both endpoints or an open line segment that excludes the endpoints.
Conversely, curves are non-straight segments of your creative space. In addition, you use them to trace moving points in your creative space. For example, creators use parabolas to represent curves in their vector art.
These images on your creative space have a specific number of connecting endpoints. For example, a triangle is a polygon with three connecting endpoints. In addition, you can create self-intersecting polygons where the image boundary crosses over itself. Star polygons are the most common example of self-intersecting polygons.
Vector art is best for creative works in the following categories:
- Album Covers.
- Movie Posters.
- Video Games.
- Printed Ads.
- Branded merchandise that features your logo.
Part2: Best Free vectors websites recommendations.
Now that you know what vector art entails, here is a list of the best free vector websites you should check out. Furthermore, the free vector websites in this list cover the types of vectors you can use for different projects, including icons, images, clipart, and graphics.
Iconmonstr.com is a free vector website with an enormous library of free vector icons to suit any project. In addition, the website receives daily uploads of new designs, meaning you will never run out of fresh content when using the service.
The site features a single contributor, Alexander Kahlkof, a German designer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Furthermore, all the icons are free for commercial use. However, you should not use the icons as the main content of your designs as this violates the iconmonstr license agreement.
Another free site to consider for vector art and graphics is vexels.com. Despite offering subscription plans for its content, the free library has nearly 50,000 unique designs you can use for your t-shirts and print-on-demand merchandise.
In addition, the site offers licenses for merchandise you can list on the following platforms:
Furthermore, the site features an online t-shirt maker, where you can customize the designs without downloading additional software. As such, you can start commercializing your designs immediately.
With a history spanning over fifteen years, VectorPortal is one of the creative industry’s number one sources of free vectors. Moreover, the site's library is full of royalty-free vectors, such as images, clip art, and icons.
In addition, all vectors on the platform are under the Creative Commons Attribution license, which allows you to use the content for personal and commercial projects. However, you need to acknowledge the image owner and indicate if you have made alterations to the original. Furthermore, any attempts to legally restrict others from using the vectors violate Vectorportal.com's licensing policy.
Vectorportal.com has a loyal following that continuously votes it as one of the top free vector websites globally. Some organizations that use its content for their creations include Forbes, Wired, and The Atlantic.
Unlike the ones above, Stocksnap.io does not feature an exclusive library of free vectors. Instead, it collaborates with other stock service providers to give you the largest selection of creative assets, including vector art and graphics. For example, signing up for the 30-day trial gives you 10 free image downloads from Shutterstock or Adobe Stock.
In addition, all content on StockSanp.io is under the Creative Commons Zero license, which allows you to use their content for personal and commercial purposes without attribution. Furthermore, the site employs an elaborate tag system for its search engine. As such, you can easily find what you need from your projects with a few clicks.
Clker.com is the best free website for vector clipart and pictures. It relies on its users to populate its library, and they submit their creations to the public domain. In addition, you need to accept the site's terms and conditions before downloading its content for personal and commercial use.
Currently, the website has over a million vectors in its library. However, most of the content is rather cartoon-like. In addition, the search engine uses a tag system to identify content, making it incredibly easy to find what you need.
Furthermore, you do not need to register an account to use the website. Instead, click the image you want and choose the format that best suits you. For example, you can click on the PNG HI icon and select Save As from the File menu to download the image to your device's internal storage.
Are you struggling to find the best free vectors online? If so, you should consider using vectrostock.com for all your free vector content. Unlike the ones above, the site only features vector content, including images, graphics, icons, and illustrations. In addition, all the content is available royalty-free through paid and free subscription models.
Currently, the site is home to over 31 million royalty-free vector images, with the free library hosting nearly 1 million items. According to the site owners, content is available under a free, standard, and expanded license, with each option offering unique permissions.
For example, you can only use vectors for evaluation or personal use under the free license. Furthermore, you cannot distribute or publish the content in either hard or soft copy to third parties. However, you can avoid these stipulations by purchasing the standard or extended license options.
Vectorstock is accessible through your device's web browser and features a vector converter that allows you to customize your purchased images before downloading them. Some of the changes you can make include:
- Exporting the vector files in different formats, such as PSD.
- Adjusting the vector's resolution and file size.
- Removing unwanted elements from the original image to create new versions of the vector.
Finally, you can also check out unDraw.co for your free vector content. The site is the work of Katerina Limpitsouni and is a library of MIT-licensed illustrations from different genres. In addition, you can use the illustrations for free without attribution to the image owner. However, some of the content may feature registered trademarks, making the illegal for commercial and personal use.
Furthermore, there are plenty of creative plugins you can download to use with other vector editing software. Currently, you can avail of the following.
- unDraw for Adobe XD, which has over 300,000 downloads since debuting on the site.
- Moodful is an intelligent mood board plugin you can use across different design tools to further your creativity.
- Symbols for Miro improves your presentation creation process and provides you with visual feedback on the recommended changes.
What are the most common vector file extensions?
You can download vector files in the following formats, AI, EPS, SVG, FH, CDR, PDF, and EMF. However, the final output depends on the editing software you use. For example, your EPS and PDF files can also be raster files.
What is a raster file?
Raster files are bitmap images that you cannot alter according to size or scale. This is because they consist of pixels that are harder to edit than vector graphics. As such, you should always consider vector files if you require larger images without sacrificing the quality.