If you’re a designer you know that vectors are a convenient resources because of their clean outlines, relatively small file size, and versatility. It’s also handy to have a collection of pre-made vectors ready for when you need a quick concept design. However finding the perfect vector is tough so I’ve compiled this list for that very reason.
The list below is my curated list of resources for high quality vectors. Many of the sites listed below offer personal use licensing for the images they provide, though a lot do offer commercial use as an option. Above all though, all these sites offer a good resource for designers to find those tasty, tasty vectors.
VectorArt.org is brokerage for vector graphic backgrounds and clip art. The site offers both free and premium images and promises Illustrator tutorials in the near future.
FreeVectors.net is another archive of free vector images submitted by artists. Before using any of the images on the site for commercial purposes, be sure to check the licensing agreements. All of the images on the site are free for personal use.
123FreeVectors.com is a sister site to the premium StockGraphicDesigns.com, VectorStock.com and StockT-ShirtDesigns.com sites. The site includes a mix of black and white and color vector art, clipart and backgrounds. All of the images are free for personal use and some may be free for commercial use.
VectorPortal.com has a good selection of stock or clip art vector images, backgrounds, patterns, logos, flags, maps, symbols, coats of arms, sets of stock images and templates for paper art. Many of the images are provided by VectorPortal.com, but artists have the option to submit their own work under the licensing agreement of their choice. The site offers links to low cost premium vectors offered through Shutterstock.com.
GreatVectors.com offers a wide array of vector art, clip art, toon art, icon sets, buttons, product images and backgrounds in a variety of styles. Many items are photo-realistic. The site does not offer premium artwork, although custom art services are advertised. Licensing types are not mentioned.
QVectors.net has a diverse collection of images in various styles, from abstract designs to photo-realistic product images. Some of the images on the site are also on other sites, so permissions may be an issue. Images are licensed individually. All are free for personal use. Some allow commercial use.
CoolVectors.com is an extensive directory of both black and white and color vector images for free download. Licensing varies from image to image. Some vectors do not have any licensing restrictions listed, so it might be a good idea to check with the artists before using.
VectorStock.com is a brokerage for buying and selling vector art. Signup is free, but credits are available for purchase in order to use the premium portion of the site. The free areas offer an array of images from the simple and abstract to detailed illustrations. All of the free images state that there is no license attached to the image. It is not certain whether this means that the images are not available for use, they are for personal use only, or they are royalty free commercial use items.
AllVectors.com has many styles of vector art for free download. The images appear unique to this particular archive. The site accepts artist submissions and offers a choice between Creative Commons licensing and General Public License. When using vectors from this site, be aware that the vectors offered under Creative Commons License are for personal use only.
YouTheDesigner.com is a blog dedicated to the creative artist and designer. Articles include technique and inspirational posts. The site offers a few freebie icon vectors. Licensing allows use on websites or personal computers.
FreeVectors.com has a nice collection of vectors made by the site owners. All the vectors and brushes are licensed for commercial use. Most of the images would be suitable for web design or scrap booking purposes although they will also work in other applications.
CreativosOnline.org is a Spanish language blog dedicated to computer aided artistic pursuits. They have a nice section of useful free vectors available for download, including quite a few human silhouettes and illustrations.
Free-Vectors.com, like 123FreeVectors.com, appears to have a relationship with the premium sister sites StockGraphicDesigns.com, VectorStock.com and StockT-ShirtDesigns.com sites. Free-Vectors.com appears to have more holiday themed graphics than 123FreeVectors.com. All of the images are free for personal use. Some may be free for commercial use.
Createsk8.com is a general and computer aided art blog which represents just about all media imaginable. The Free Illustrator Stuff section is full of unique vectors, repeating patterns, and tutorials for Illustrator.
RoundPixel.org is another blog dedicated to artwork and web design. The site includes the portfolio of the artist Mihai Ionascu. The goodies section includes nice selection of free vectors. The author requests a link back for use, but does not require one. Licensing permits commercial use as well as personal.
Blog.SpoonGraphics.co.uk has a lot of artist inspiring posts in the blog section. The freebie section offers a small, but nice collection of vectors, patterns, icons and brushes.
Clipart.MagicPeople.org contains a very nice group of human image vectors, suitable for avatars and other applications were contemporary human illustrations are needed. The site also had a few anime style character vectors, Disney artwork and holiday graphics. Take care when using images of trademarked characters.
Snap2Objects.com has a number of black and white and a few color images under the creative commons license, which allows both commercial and personal use as long as the piece of artwork is correctly attributed. The provided silhouettes are especially nice for screen printing applications or any place a stencil is needed.
Vector-Cartoons.com contains a large number of personal use only vectors for use in making t-shirts, calendars, greetings cards and other items. Because trademarked cartoon characters are involved, commercial use is prohibited. Downloads are limited to five images per week, but monthly unlimited downloads are available for a small fee to cover bandwidth usage.
Dragonartz.net has a nice supply of original vector images for free download under the Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license. This means that artists are free to download, alter, and share the images on the website provided that they attribute the creators and they do not sell the resulting artwork commercially. The site has some very good holiday art in their archive.
Dezignus.com has such a wide variety of vectors in different art styles that it is hard to pinpoint the majority of what is available on the site. The best answer might be, “everything.” There is even a nice, abstract image of the city of Dubai. The site has quite a bit of Halloween artwork suitable for card and sign making.
IHeartVector.com is another archive site that accepts submissions from independent vector artists and makes the artwork available for free download. The archive is literally full of backgrounds, sets and other useful pieces of vector art. There are some premium pieces for sale. A handy drop down box allows for easy access to a given price range.
AIVault.com is a lovely artistic blog devoted to vector art. The style of the page alone is enough to give any vector artist inspiration, but the Free Giveaways section is the interesting part for vector collectors. The site offers some premium images as well.
IDesignvectors.com is one of the larger vector archives around. The site collection features images from all over the web, but it has a cohesive sense of style rare in that kind of vector archive. The images range from black and white to very bold, brightly colored images.
VectorLady.com brings together some of the more popular vector images on the web. The archive makes it easy to find stylish t-shirt designs, icons and small elements. The site also has a good collection of vector tutorials.
Design-Freebies.com has a large, mixed collection of free vector images. In the first few pages, they seem a bit heavy on the airline logos, but the freebies become more varied in the higher page numbers.
VectorValley.com is another archive of free vectors from the web. Some of the images are repeats from some of the other archives already listed, but there are enough new and exclusive images to make this site worthwhile. Images offered fall into the human, icons, illustration, nature, objects, patterns and symbols categories.
VectorJungle.com has a lovely bamboo thicket theme. The first images are a jungle background and a wild animal collection, however, the collection is as varied as some of the other free vector archives. The site has a small holiday collection that is suitable for greeting cards or family albums as well as a lot of general use and comic book images.