Vecteezy.com allows you to download FREE vector art (like web buttons!) that can be opened up in programs like Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape. (Read more about Inkscape here)
Imagine: You’ve been putting out fires all day in the Library and you have a meeting with the boss in 30 minutes about the website. That button he requested last meeting? Crap. You forgot and you have 10 minutes to design it and get it up on the site. This is where Vecteezy steps in, saves the day by saving time, and makes you look like a pretty amazing designer.
- Go to vecteezy.com
- Search for a keyword – like button – in the search box
- Find a design you like in the TOP part of the results (the bottom parts are for paid designs) NOTE: If you are using Inkscape, filter your results by .eps or .svg since Inkscape can not read .ai files
- Download the file you like
- Open the file in Inkscape/Illustrator and start tweaking the colors, text, lines, and anything else you’d like to change! Think of the downloaded vector as a BASE for your design.
Change up your search words. Try synonyms of the word or think bigger picture. You’re a Librarian, use your search skills like a pro!
Build your own library.
Sometimes vectors pop up under strange keywords and it’s fairly certain that you will never find it again when you go to look for it. This is why I recommend downloading files that you like when you find them and keeping them in a folder on your computer for later reference. Rename them something that makes sense to YOU so you can find them easily again.
Sometimes they suck.
Yes, it’s true. Sometimes the file you download sucks when you try to edit the vector. Sucky issues to deal with:
- Lines/paths are all connected so you can’t edit without devoting some serious time with the pen tool
- The designer merged a bunch of the shapes together so changing the color is nearly impossible.
- The vector looks AMAZING but when you go to edit it, you realize that it is made up of 1 million little parts. Not necessarily an issue, but note that you will need to dedicate more time to the editing process.
Of course, there are premium designs you can purchase or you can follow the links at the bottom of the page to iStockPhoto and Shutterstock – both cost money per photo/download. I RARELY use these paid vectors since I like to keep things as cheap as I can for libraries. I do recommend making designs from scratch based on the paid images, but make sure you “make them your own” so you do not infringe on copyright.
Stay tuned for a blog post on finding FREE stock photos! In the meantime, I can’t wait to find a use for this cool vector!!!