Selling Vector Graphic Designs Online as Microstock
Vector art graphics are hot property in the microstock world. While Microstock Man usually comments on stock from a photographers perspective, the truth is vector graphic designs could well be outselling photos. This presents huge opportunities for graphic designers around the globe who are looking for a way to earn money from their designs and illustrations.
Fact: At the time of writing this, 26 out of the top 50 most popular files in the past week on microstock juggernaut Shutterstock are vectors.
It seems that at most of the major microstock agencies vector illustrations are continuing their rapid rise to the top. This is understandable given the huge talent of designers out there, as well as the capabilities of modern software such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw and even the open source Inkscape.
Vector files present a hugely flexible option for the buyer. They can of course be scaled to any size, from postage stamp to billboard, without any quality loss. Plus they can easily be converted into standard raster files such as jpeg or tiff. Little wonder then that buyers are usually happy to pay for the higher priced vector file format available at all major stock libraries.
So then lets get to the point – Are you a graphic designer fluent in creating beautiful illustrations in vector formats? Already have a stack of them hiding in your computer just ready to show the world? Then perhaps you should consider selling your vector graphics online through microstock agencies who will represent and market your work for you. Many vector artists are earning more income than photographers from a similar sized portfolio, thanks to the high demand and higher prices for the vector formats.
Selling Vector Graphics – Details & Requirements
- Save your files to upload in EPS10 format only (most widely accepted in microstock)
- Don't use transparency's or anything that will create a raster embedded in the file
- Be sure to close all paths and convert text
- Zoom in very close and check for stray elements or messy edges
- Don't use any copyrighted material or elements that aren't your own
- Work in CMYK colour space, but save an RGB high resolution jpg version too
- Write descriptions and keywords in the IPTC metadata of both vector and raster files
Where Should I Sell My Vector Graphics & Illustrations?
- Shutterstock – Massive turnover and usually the highest earner for most microstock photographers & designers
- Dreamstime – Level system means the more times a vector sells, the more it sells for each time
- Pond5 – Set your own prices and find a huge buyer base already established thanks to Pond5's video domination
- Depositphotos – Steadily growing agency with high acceptance rate and high volume of sales
- 123RF – Vectors constantly a large portion of their most popular files each month, with sales increasing for many contributors
- Adobe Stock – Formerly Fotolia, a great agency to work with
- Stockfresh – Friendly little agency with a nice website and decent pricing
Basically any microstock agency mentioned here on Microstock Man will sell vectors. If you're serious about giving it a go, read the reviews and give them all a go.
Selling Vector Graphics Online – Final Word
Recently my portfolio has come to include a number of basic vector designs. Suffice to say I have been pleasantly surprised at how successful some of them have been! This has given me impetus to get more designs done and continue to expand this part of my microstock portfolio. I honestly believe vector designs will outpace photography in the long run by a long shot.
So if you have the skills to create salable vectors and are keen to earn some money doing what you love, sign up with the agencies mentioned above and start selling your vector graphic designs online as microstock. You won't regret it.
Just a note, the ratio of vectors to photos in Shutterstock’s Top 50 has only gone up since writing this!
Vectors are making up a HUGE portion of sales on Shutterstock.
Any vector artists out there care to share their experiences in selling stock? We would love to hear your comments! :)
We have slightly updated our list of recommended sites for selling vectors :)
Thanks for this useful information regarding selling vector images. New to it, I found a lot of microstock agencies out there, and all made me confused so I was looking at which one is best than the others. I also wanted to know though in so many years, the number of contributors increasing day by day, which one is the latest so that I get focused on designing than worried about how my work gets submitted to those sites. Thanks
Good question. I would try Adobe Stock.