Adobe Stock Success Stories (You Can Be One, Too).

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If you’re like most graphic designers and illustrators, you have files of great stuff that was never bought or used by a client. Maybe you’ve done dozens of logo explorations or diagrammatic graphics that haven’t seen the light of day (other than on your computer screen). With some creative re-packaging (and the text turned to “Lorem Ipsum” or other dummy type) those files could be making money for you all around the world.

An Investment Over Time

Petr Vaclavek, an illustrator in the Czech Republic, has had so much success with stock that he’s stopped working directly with clients. To him, success in the design field means making investments in time that pay off over the long term. For him and the hundreds of other Adobe Stock contributors, it’s like designing a piece of furniture or a dress: you do it well, once, and get many buyers and fans that you never meet in person, year after year.

To ensure that there’s something for every buyer and every need, Petr Vaclavek slices and dices his images, like these thought bubbles, in many different ways.

Remember to set all the type as dummy type and change it to outlines, like Petr Vaclavek has done here. The end user can delete and set his/her own type in Illustrator — or import the illustration into InDesign and set the type there.

“I invest my time and creativity to create illustrations, and they generate money for me for quite a long time. For me, microstock is a great system for selling my illustrations without dealing directly with clients,” Vaclavek admits (with a smile emoji). ” His kind of working style is great for people who love to design and draw but don’t necessarily love to sit in meetings, get critiqued, go through rounds of changes, and face possible rejection.

Vaclavek generates all the changes himself: he does everything in horizontal and vertical formats, on white backgrounds, on black backgrounds, ad infinitum. Timelines, flow diagrams, org charts, process charts—he’s done them all, every which way—and the look is always clean and corporate. He’s got 68 pages of downloadable vectors and illustrations on Adobe Stock, and is a master of mixing and matching elements in many different ways.

Another colorful infographic vector by Petr Vaclavek in which the elements can easily be manipulated.

He also gets a kick out of seeing his work used by big brands, such as this swirly rainbow on a Coca-Cola can in Eastern Europe and on “My Coke Zone,” a local portal with advertising messages, images and merch for retailers.

Big companies license stock, too. Coke used Vaclavek’s swirly abstract vector rainbow on a promotional label in Eastern Europe.

“It’s good to have a mixed portfolio: different styles and approaches,” comments an Adobe spokesperson. “Buyers usually search by terms rather than by artists’ names, so your content can feature different styles. Vaclavek, in addition to the many infographics and diagrams, offers holiday cards, backgrounds, party invitations, even certificates of achievement—each available in at least half a dozen different colorways and variations.

“Our marketplace is visited by all sorts of customers, from individual freelancers to large corporations,” the spokesperson adds. “Regardless of your background, niche or medium, you can find a buyer for your content. To ensure that your stock contributions are successful, it’s essential to research trends, seasonal demand, and best-selling files. Keep on top of what’s going on in the design, editorial and advertising worlds. Get inspired by the visual communications of the big brands. For example, study the latest campaign of brands you admire and analyze the color palettes, backgrounds, textures, typography.”

Meeting a Real Need

No one knows this better than the contributor who goes by the screen name Mast3r. This artist has 100 pages of images that can be found via a search for “holiday.” Besides Christmas and New Year’s, there’s Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Earth Day, and images for causes like Breast Cancer Awareness that are always useful to nonprofits on limited budgets.

Be sure to upload holiday images at least three months in advance of the season. This background by Mast3r is especially useful because it was made in 10 layers. Each item is grouped so they can be moved or deleted so the client’s message or image can be inserted.

Mast3r offers many backgrounds with simple elements that can be moved, resized, deleted. Imagine what you have, unused, in your files, that could be updated and uploaded.

Don’t save your unused or personal illustrations for a rainy day. Be like Mast3r and repurpose them as stock that can be licensed to other users.

Thousands of Sells

The contributor known as Abert84 spent ten years as an office worker in his native Kiev, Ukraine, before he got into vectors and backgrounds — by taking (now LinkedIn Learning) courses and watching instructional videos. “Infographics sell well and I like to draw them,” he says simply, noting that his most popular image, the simple modern diagram below, has sold thousands of times.

How many times have you looked at a piece of art and thought, “I could have done that”? But perhaps you didn’t. In this case, you surely could have. Abert84 uploads about 15 images a week and now has more than 1,000 vectors in his Adobe Stock library. His secret of success is no secret at all: “I properly layer and group objects,” he says, “background, icons, effects, text.” He knows users would be unhappy if they couldn’t easily change colors; delete, move, and/or resize elements and substitute real text for the “Lorem Ipsum.”

Abert84’s best-selling vector.

Abert84 gives his buyers a lot of value, for example, in this bundle of business graphics that are intelligently grouped and can be used in myriad ways.

Many graphic designers also draw and paint, on weekends, on vacation, for pleasure, relaxation, and art for their walls. But now it can be more than a hobby. Watercolor illustrations of fruit, flowers, food and nature are always popular. Much in demand are images from and for cultures outside the Western mainstream. The artist who goes by the screen name Baoyan specializes in Asian brush-painting style images. Surprise — these are vectors and thus can be manipulated and used in a number of different ways. She has also provided useful templates, including many variations on Chinese patterns and backgrounds, some especially for “2019 Year of the Pig” Chinese New Year’s cards and decorations.

Baoyan makes Chinese brush paintings available as fine art on, and available to buyers as vectors on

These vectors by Baoyan are ready to go as business cards, note paper, greeting cards, or any other use.

Baoyan’s many sets of Chinese patterns include some specifically for Chinese New Year.

Logo Studies to Good Use

Perhaps the most common type of files graphic designers have in folders taking up hard drive space but not generating any income are logo studies. The designer known as Venimo has created an outstanding and profitable collection of icons and backgrounds, which are licensed separately or in sets.

If, for example, you’ve designed a logo for a yoga studio and have (or could make) nine options that weren’t sold, they could be packaged like this, as Venimo as done so nicely, and sold as stock.

Vector packs or bundles of backgrounds, logo elements, holiday elements, and textures always sell, according to Adobe. Icons like these by Venimo perform especially well, particularly when they address a particular industry or theme.

Single vector by Venimo. The user can easily change colors and typeset the title or caption.

In this vector, Venimo provides four icons that can be lifted and used separately and three backgrounds that are ideal for 4 x 9 brochure covers.

Your Adobe Stock Images

So how about you? Consider stock as a side gig, or even eventually a full-time gig. It’s free to sign up. If you are interested in bringing your illustrations and vectors to a worldwide audience of buyers, just click here and sign up to become an Adobe Stock contributor today!

As an added bonus, Adobe promotes its contributors via its blog and social channels — and, if you become a success story yourself, might even invite you to speak at an Adobe-sponsored event or present a workshop at a conference. Learn more about becoming an Adobe Stock images contributor now!

The post Adobe Stock Success Stories (You Can Be One, Too). appeared first on HOW Design.

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