As creative professionals, we always need proper stock material. Time does not allow to shoot all necessary photos ourselves, nor does it allow to create all required design elements from scratch. If you do you will run into problems sooner or later as either your projects take too long to come to an end or your clients don’t want to pay all that extra money anymore. Especially not for something they “can get on the Internet for free”. That’s why being on the lookout for good stock material is a survival strategy you shouldn’t miss. Today we will introduce you to GraphicStock, one of these all-in-one sites with an uncomplicated flat fee…
GraphicStock: Unlimited Access at a Flat Fee
GraphicStock is an affordable, subscription-based stock media site that gives you unlimited access to premium stock footage. That’s a very short yet fitting description of what GraphicStock actually is. The most obvious unique selling proposition is the uncomplicated flat rate it offers.
Other than other image providers GraphicStock has just one price to be remembered. The flat fee is 49 USD per month, and that’s it – download galore. There are no further limitations, such as x files in y days or only x files in high resolution or whatever you’ve already encountered in the past. GraphicStock calls this the Unlimited Download Model, and with a library of 250,000 graphics, vectors, icons and more, there sure is a lot to download.
Subscriptions can be made for a whole year in advance, yet as there is no price advantage compared to the monthly subscription, I wouldn’t recommend going for that model. The monthly 49 USD plan can be canceled from month to month. This is a risk-free and convenient choice.
The looks of GraphicStock itself are not what one would call attractive these days. The whole design has that 90s touch. The nostalgic among us might love it, people accustomed to modern web services will most likely wrinkle their noses. I know I did. If I had a wish, I’d wish someone took care of that and gave GraphicStock the design it deserves.
Because aside from the design, GraphicStock is an interesting choice for anyone working creatively. They offer a very simple subscription model with unrestricted licenses for all the elements in stock. Use the whole portfolio for personal and commercial purposes alike. All material is 100% royalty free and what you once downloaded is yours forever, even after the end of your subscription. This includes the usage rights.
GraphicStock: 250,000+ Elements Available
Having praised the subscription model enough for now, let’s take a look at what GraphicStock has to offer contentwise. Let me tell you in advance that this is in no kind relating to the design of the site. Instead, you can find about the same content you would find on more expensive stock sites. The team is continuously adding new content to the library to keep it fresh.
GraphicStock: We Have Ways of Making You Find the Material You Need
A hassle-free way of getting to the content you need is crucial for stock media websites. And although I complained about the elderly design of the service, its ways of making the content available leave nothing to be desired.
The most obvious way of getting to the elements you are looking for is to use the search form. Enter a search word or phrase and let GraphicStock do all the work for you. As the site works with categories and a lot of tags, it will not only find images with a good enough description but will take editorial tags and categories into account also.
Speaking of categories and tags, both can be used for searching, too. Click any of the categories to see what’s inside. Tags are attached to any image or other element. Click any tag from there and see what else fits it. Are you looking for a particular color scheme to be fulfilled? GraphicStock shows you the primary colors of each image and lets you click on them to narrow down the search to elements in line with the chosen color.
Are you on the roam for multiple elements at once use the lightbox function to add any number of items and make for a more convenient download. All in all GraphicStock leaves me with a great impression and saddens me to see it scare people away with its design. What design people really love is – well – design and GraphicStock is a failure in this regard. But if you’re one who doesn’t judge a book by the cover this will not hinder you.
Especially the images available at GraphicStock cover topics usually only adequately covered by the bigger and lots more expensive competitors. This alone makes the site a valuable addition to your toolbox.
When it comes to the vectors and other design elements you could surely find other places on the web with equally interesting material, some of it being free even. Here at Noupe we frequently introduce you to such services. But this way is much more time-consuming. If you are tight on deadlines and laden with projects you will want to consider which ways to success are the fastest. And GraphicStock covering most of your need for stock media sure reduces the time wasted by deep-diving the web for pearls.
My conclusion is simple. Are you more of the amateur creative who needs media on a now and then basis? Keep roaming the web and have your eyes set firmly to Noupe and its colleagues. Are you a professional creative with no time to waste and constant need for stock footage? Consider subscribing to GraphicStock.
What You Should Do Now
It’s always the better way not to believe what anyone writes but build one’s own opinion. While this is sometimes simply impossible, with GraphicStock, it’s easy. Just head over to their website and start a seven-day free trial.
While the subscription itself is unlimited the free trial is not. In your seven day trial, you are entitled to download up to 20 elements (images and other) per day. This sums up to a total of up to 140 items for free. You can keep and use these even after your trial period has ended without prolonging into a subscription. Please note that the trial automatically rolls into a monthly plan after it ends, so don’t forget to set a reminder and make a conscious decision to prolong ;-).
Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.