Handmade vector stock images
January 19, 2019 12:28 AM   Subscribe

If you were as good as I am at using Illustrator (real good!) to create vector designs, what sort of images would be worth your time to create and upload on a stock image site (and is likely to sell)? Any other tips (like adding a daily design to increase visits, seasonal art, topical)?
posted by b33j to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
As a technology writer, I find it difficult to find a full stock of computer images that cover a whole range of networking and network devices like routers and gateways and SANs and load balancers and firewalls and severs and desktops and mobile devices and DID switches abc PBx boxes and web server firewalls and etc.

When I do find sets, I have to further modify them or mix and match to get colors and perspectives and shadows and angles the same and then condense it in a one page format downing two or three dozen on one page or slide in three zones and all wired to each other, with room to badge them as branded servers or job specific machines (reports, blockchain, fax rendering, specialized reporting, etc)
posted by tilde at 4:28 AM on January 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'd browse Creative Market and sort by Bestselling.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:54 AM on January 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Study Creative Market to see what's selling. Seasonal and festive material does well. There's a big market in wedding imagery too.

It seems to me that designers are using more and more icons to dress up layouts. I often turn to Noun Project for simple illustrations as a starting point for an icon set. If you can do small sets of pictures in similar styles you might draw for them.

If font design attracts you, that might be a thing to try. It's kind of the ne plus ultra of vector design, but it would be satisfying if you can do it.

Quick edit: DarlingBri and I evidently had the same first thought.
posted by zadcat at 6:59 AM on January 19, 2019

In addition to what’s popular, think about under-served niches.

Sure, easy enough to find a generic bulldozer. But can you easily find a scissor lift, a front end loader, and all the sizes of excavator from tiny to giant?

So anything that is commonly used but also has tons of internal variations . E.g. musical instruments, or carpentry tools, etc. Similar to tildes’s advice but more generally, people want the right specific thingy, not a generic botch.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:07 AM on January 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Simply-drawn faces of a diverse set of people in a consistent illustration style. Can be iconic or more portrait-like. I am often looking for these to include in user experience personas. The Noun Project has some of these but not enough.
posted by oxisos at 8:22 AM on January 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

In addition to subject matter, also research style and colour trends. Thematic icon packs are also popular and we buy loads of them at work. It may seem like icons are over saturated, but your style just might be the one that clicks with a customer. We buy loads of thin line icons, often just for one or two pictures in the pack. The subjects I am frequently requested for as the image buyer include buildings, trees, health or wellness and business.

Also, info graphic sets. People don't want to spend a billion years tweaking things in PowerPoint :)

You might want to consider geography as well. Certain objects or symbols aren't global concepts.

It's free to sign up for Creative Market btw, but you do need to be approved to sell. They send out a newsletter alerting creators to trends.

Also consider your tags, titles and preview images. No search, no sales :) Good luck!
posted by Calzephyr at 10:16 AM on January 19, 2019

Go on the discussion groups for Cricut and Silhouette users and see what people are asking for. If you steer clear of trademarked stuff you should still be able to find demand.

My daughter just got a Cricut machine and she wants to Make All The Things. However, the cloud-based design tool only deals with SVG files. My Illustrator days are most of twenty years behind me so I can’t even help them much.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:09 PM on January 19, 2019

Here is a Noun Project starting point for what I was mentioning above, for people's faces.

It would be great to have sets (20-40) images of people from many ages/cultural backgrounds. The sets could be all different illustration styles including more use of color/shape.

If you use Duolingo, you can also see another example of a kinda cute "peopley" vector style showing diversity.
posted by oxisos at 4:25 PM on January 19, 2019

Less popular animals. Pleanty of dogs and cats, but try finding rats or millipedes or Cuban solenodos.
posted by Sophont at 8:20 PM on January 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

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