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Images, Graphics, Fonts (sourcing)

Hi. I'm new here so been posting a few things as I'm trying to get a better overview of Graphic Design as I'm a novice designer.....

Here I'm trying to get an idea of how often Images, Vectors and Fonts are sourced externally for Graphic Design projects compared to making your own....


I assume most of the time the client provides these?, and if not - you source them from stock-photo websites? I assume that it would be incredibly rare for you to have to take photos yourself or get a professional photographer to take specific photos you need for your design work?

Vector Graphics:

When would you create your own Vectors as opposed to finding stock Vectors?


I assume these would always be bought from Stock sites? It must be incredibly rare for designers to create their own font?

Am I missing anything else that could be created or downloaded?


Paul Murray

Staff member
It depends on the client and budget. I recently did something for Nissan as part of an agency that made use of a lot of commissioned photography around their factories. Mass stock imagery obviously wouldn't suffice in this case though there was some stock imagery used simply because it wasn't possible to get hold of the imagery any other way (it was licensed from another organisation). Generally most small clients won't have content to provide (or if they do it will be terrible and lacking in a clear art direction) and it will be up to you to source it. You could always partner up with a photographer and build a relationship as poor photography will instantly bring down the quality of a design.

Generally if the budget allows for it it's best to create everything you need from scratch as it ensures you're giving the client something unique. Sometimes I will license icons to speed up my time on jobs and very occasionally license vector graphics, but it's normally up to the client since they're paying for it. Everything costs money though, so don't forget to account for the licensing costs in budgets as these 'forgotten' fees can easily send you over budget and out of profit.

Fonts are licensed from Font Foundries or broker sites such as MyFonts, though you can find royalty free ones from places like Font Squirrel. You would need to check the individual license for each font or family you buy to ensure it can be used for that purpose, such as in a logo. If you own a font for example and a client wishes to use it as part of their branding, that company will need a license of their own to allow them to legally use it for print and digital applications. Typefaces are generally designed for specific project and are often outsourced to a specialist foundry or agency, such as Dalton Maag. You can create your own family if you wished, but it's not really feasible as one person unless you're working on it as a side-project.