Vector images aren’t anything new. They’ve been around since early computers and the first video games. However, they have advanced over the years and are much more refined than early renderings. Today’s 2D graphics depict nearly anything you can think of and make a nice addition to your designs. One of the biggest advantages of using vector graphics is that the files are small and they load quickly. They also take up less space than other types of artwork. However, they are also quite flexible and can be scaled without losing quality. You can also find lots of free vector art online.
Today’s standard is scalable vector graphics or SVGs. As designers, you have a choice between vector or raster graphics in your projects. You will gain some additional control with SVGs if you plan to use the image in multiple places and different sizes because of the ease of scaling. SVGs also work particularly well for projects that require smaller file sizes.
While you could certainly draw your graphics from scratch, most of the time, you won’t need to. There are plenty of free vector art resources out there. Here are 14 to get you started.
No list of free vector art resources would be complete without a mention of the popular site Vecteezy. The home page features a huge search bar. You can either browse by keyword through all the vectors it has or break down your search to turn up only the free vector art on the site. You’ll also see some of the trending searches to inspire you, with keywords such as Halloween, pumpkin, flowers and background.
Looking for something with a yesteryear look? Check out the free vector art at Retro Vectors for design elements that can take your clients into the past. There is free vector art in categories such as Victorian ornaments and frames, sets depicting the ’50s and ’60s, and even some ideas from the ’70s and ’80s. The free art is listed under “Free Vectors,” and it also offers ideas for inspiration and detailed tutorials to help you create or tweak your own look.
If you’re on the hunt for zero-cost art for your designs, Freepik is a great place to start. It also has a category specifically for finding popular free vector art. Its database boasts over 709,000 free vectors for both personal and commercial use. You can download them in .AI or .EPS formats. You’ll find social media icons, logo layouts, frames, ads and artwork of all types. Narrow your search with keywords or browse through the different popular selections as they pop up.
This library of customizable illustrations is free and in SVG format. It is regularly updated, filled with free vector art and no attribution is required. Click on “Browse Now,” and you’ll see the latest artwork, such as a social girl, an image of a spooky pumpkin character or a unicorn. You can also look for specific images by clicking on the search button. The site offers a mini tutorial for designers about how to customize the graphics to meet client needs.
If you’re looking for some free icons, this site is a great place to start. You’ll find dozens of free sets, including holidays, medical, space, hand symbols and spring flowers. There are more than 6,700 vectors in this system. You can search by keyword and pull up the ones most pertinent to your project. When you search, the site displays single icons, so make your search specific enough to find what you need.
Similar to many other sites, VectorStock offers both paid and free vectors. You can search exclusively through its listings of more than 331,951 free vectors. You’ll find logos, cartoon-style images, icons, frames and more. Filter results by trending items or the newest uploads. There aren’t category options, but the search returns pretty specific results.
If you’re looking for vector illustrations of people, this site is the perfect place to start. Humaaans features illustrations of people, all royalty-free, even for commercial use. You can get an entire library of cartoon humans and can customize them by changing their clothing and hair. Download the full library from DropBox.
Looking for a simple black and white image? The Noun Project has a small but interesting collection of free vector art perfect for a classic look or a simple design. The site features over 2 million icons curated from all over the internet. Find eclectic pieces such as a leaf, a skateboard and a mushroom. There is an icon for just about anything you can think of. You will definitely want to use the search feature to narrow your choices.
Stockio features a collection of free vector art, alongside paid options. One of the interesting things about its free vector art is that it is more along the lines of complete illustrations instead of just a symbol or small figure. You’ll find scenes such as a dog and cat with a parrot and goldfish, complete with the background of a room. There is a desk with a solid background behind it and knick-knacks on the surface. There are also background vectors.
Vexels is another free vector art site, but it does something really interesting with its illustrations. It encourages the use of its designs on T-shirts and shows them being worn by real people. You’ll find some unique drawings with sayings you’ll love. If you are looking for a gift to give to your customers or just want to see the possibilities of vector art designs, then this is a great site to browse.
Search through more than 100,000 free vector art images and backgrounds. You can search by color, design or keyword. In addition to illustrations and unique backgrounds, you’ll also find images, such as blue silhouette houses, mail icons and collections of buttons in a variety of styles and colors.
If you’re looking for a mix of different types of free vector art, Vector.me offers icons, illustrations and backgrounds. You’ll find more than 79,322 different images available for download in AI, SVG, EPS and CDR. Search specifically for vectors or narrow things even further with the Icons category. You can also browse through popular vectors and see beautiful illustrations such as a ripe strawberry, birds on a wire or a beach scene.
This smaller collection of just over 200,000 vector files offers some truly unique artwork for specialty projects. For example, you’ll find an entire collection of circus posters rendered into free vector art. You’ll find fashion doll-type drawings, holiday images, and logos you can edit and make your own.
One of the best things about this site is the new vectors category. You’ll never run out of fresh material because new items are uploaded every week. Of course, you can also browse through past free vector art offerings, but if you’re looking for some inspiration, check out what’s been uploaded recently. The site also offers a popular categories selection. You can narrow your browsing options to animals, business, backgrounds or icons, along with dozens of other options.
Create Custom Art
If you look through all the resources out there and you still can’t find the free vector art you need, consider hiring a design student from a local college. They may help you create the exact illustration required at a reduced rate. They can also help with customization if you simply don’t have the time to devote to editing the SVGs you’ve found. Taking free art and tweaking it to suit your needs is a smart use of your time and makes you much more productive. With so many free vector art images to choose from, it isn’t hard to find a good starting point.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.