Where do Graphic Designers get all their assets?

Hello, I was wondering where Graphic Designers get their stock assets. I know many can draw and create their own stuff, especially if they’ve been doing it a while. I was looking on Etsy and saw where the person had sold thousands of logos. I didn’t know if they had stock assets for the most part or did stuff on the fly. Both I’m sure but how much is stock?

Your post, question, and reference to an Etsy seller selling thousands of logos is all a bit ambiguous. Perhaps it would be helpful if you define what you mean when you say “assets” and give us an idea of what the endgame is. If you are looking for assets such as illustrations to be included in a logo … well, there’s a whole lot wrong with that.

Like these. Understandably, it won’t let me put a link, but I searched for:


Then I drilled down a little because it interested me:

logo template farm

There are a lot of pictures there. I don’t know if they’re supposed to have all those for most businesses, if that’s bad design and so on, but people seem to like them an buy them. I was wondering how they got all those. I don’t believe they drew all of them (I mean I guess they could have.)

Going to be tough to answer without seeing exactly what you’re seeing. New members are not allowed to post links as a way to control spam.

Logos should be bespoke to the company for which they’re created and not a dime-a-dozen solution from Etsy or some crowdsourcing site. Furthermore, any illustration used in a logo should be original to avoid competitors from using the same art and to create something that can be trademarked. That’s my short answer. I could go on, but I am headed out the door.

Etsy has some good, reputable people who sell quality products, but there are also many people there misrepresenting themselves and selling junk to unsuspecting people.

As @Steve_O said, it’s impossible to give you a definitive answer without seeing what you’re referring to. However, someone purporting to have thousands of logos for sale is likely doing something shady or just banging out garbage for those naive or foolish enough to purchase it.

Any designers worth calling themselves designers will spend many hours or days on a logo design researching the company, its clients, the company’s goals, its potential clients, its competitors, and creating dozens of sketches before settling on two or three to present to the client.

I’ve also increased your posting privileges by a notch, which should enable you to post links.

Thanks for the upgrade.

edit: I didn’t tell it to put the big banners for Etsy.

That is exactly the kind of thing that is driving the industry into the ground – at least the more budget conscious end of it. That isn’t design, it’s decoration. It is also the bottom-feeding end of the industry.

Design is about problem-solving. It is about having a client who needs to say something specific, to a specific group of people in a particular tone of voice. The designer’s job is to solve this problem.

How can a logo which you buy as a set of 50 for a few dollars, ever communicate the specific nuances of someone’s company? Not matter how small or large, each company has its own brand, or ethos. The way they do business, how they relate to their customers, even how they answer the phone. A company needs to engage with and make their customers and potential customers feel comfortable.

By using a $1 logo, that your direct competitor could feasibly also buy, how can you possibly differentiate yourself in an already very crowded marketplace? This is the job of a designer, not buying and selling-on cheap, ineffectual decoration.

If you are thinking of doing this because it is an easy way to generate passive income, don’t. You’ll be wasting your time and mis-selling snake oil to unsuspecting customers.

If you have a talent for design, then learn how to do it properly.

As to assets in order to design supporting collateral, they exist in terms of photo libraries, font libraries, etc. Paid is usually better than the freebies out there, as you almost always get what you pay for.

To design logos, you need to learn what branding is all about first. On their own, they are almost meaningless.

Stick around, there are a lot of people with a lot of real-world experience who can help guide you in the right direction.

I know this does not answer the question you originally posed, but sometimes it’s the question that needs to be asked in a different way.

Hope this helps.


Thousands of logos? I don’t think so. By definition, a logo is a proprietary brand mark, purpose-designed for a particular business, then applied as the unique and ubiquitous identifier of that business. No one does this, but even if a real graphic designer only took on logo design jobs, it would take lifetimes to properly produce “thousands”. Anyone that prolific would not only be an immortal in the fictional sense, they’d also be a household name around here.

Pumping out “thousands” of little graphics, hanging text around them, and offering them for broadcast sale is not logo design.


Most stock sites will outright say that you cannot use their stock assets for logo purposes. It’s usually right in the license. So it isn’t about using this type of asset to create logos. You can’t.

There are some logo generators online as well.

Using pre-canned assets whether stock or AI generated, as others have noted, make a logo less unique and also usually makes it difficult if not impossible to trademark. Granted some clients don’t feel trademarking is necessary. But somewhere down the road they may need to, and will be stuck. Rebranding is very expensive. Not only is it expensive for the client, but also for the designer if they misrepresented themselves or the artwork as unique. Being sued is part of being in business.

As for other uses, stock sites, hiring photographers, hiring illustrators, hiring copy editors, it all comes with the territory of designing. Graphic Design is a trade and a business with real, professional and legal obligations. It’s not a hobby to be picked up lightly. The scary part that few hobbyists realize is that if they get sued, for any arguably good reason, and lose, they usually aren’t set up to shield their personal assets from any type of legal action.
That can be a pretty expensive loss.

It’s called “logo designing”.

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Thanks for the answers. I have my own field, software, so I understand what you’re saying. Please don’t take this wrong, but how is anyone supposed to become a designer outside of apprenticeship, lots of school, and a job doing it for five plus years? I get what y’all are saying, really I do. But, haven’t you made it about impossible and inaccessible for someone to “get into”?

I don’t sell anything on Etsy, and I see how someone could get into trouble. Same with wedding photographers. Yes, you can hire someone for a hundred dollars, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a wedding photographer. It could mean a lot of things.

I think the people that are buying these on Etsy are not businesses that would ever consider going to a real designer for branding, so these folks meet a need.

And, yes, I get the race to the bottom for contract work and the damage it does to the industry and the business.

You’ve given me a lot to think about.


I think there’s a general misconception among aspiring “graphic designers” that the graphic design field is something that should be easy to “get into” and be wildly successful.

But why should it be?
Should it be easy to get into and become successful as a software engineer? No.
…as an automotive engineer? No.
…as an airline pilot? No.
…as professional athlete? No.

Why should the graphic design field be any different?

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They aren’t.

Yeh I know. I really wanted to create a game similar to Mario Kart and call it Kario Mart, except you’d drive around markets instead of race tracks. But in the end I found out I’d need to study software design for about 4 years and then get an apprenticeship and work in the industry for about 6 years. Then I might be able to rip-off the Nintendo game with a slight name change.

But, haven’t you made it about impossible and inaccessible for someone to “get into”?

Sucks to be me.

Yes, but there’s a knock-on effect that resonates up through the ladder.

For example, last week, a guy called me needing branding and marketing collateral for his business. He’s the successful owner of a company that farms out employees to companies needing IT support but who, for whatever reason, can’t justify their own in-house IT team.

His location was in one of the high-rent, high-rise office buildings downtown. He mentioned his business was growing with dozens of employees and that he would soon be expanding further. He said he wanted the corporate visual imagery and collateral materials that a business like his warranted and needed to build confidence from potential clients.

We talked over the phone for about 45 minutes, and he finally got around to proposing that we start by creating a several-page booklet that his salespeople could leave behind when making in-person visits to potential clients.

He finally asked how much this booklet would cost. I said I had a few more questions and would work up a quote. He pressed me to give him a ballpark figure, so I gave him a likely range. There were about five seconds of silence on his end, which I immediately recognized as shock. He then said that was around ten times higher than he was expecting and that his personal assistant could do it for less than that using Canva.

In other words, what I’m saying is that many of those who can afford and who need good, solid, professional, strategy-driven work have been misled by crowdsourcing rates and what they’ve seen on places like Etsy and Canva.

They see the low prices there and figure those prices are baseline figures for average work and that hiring a professional who will give them top-quality work might be two or three times higher — not ten or twenty times more.

When I graduated from college some 40 years ago, the starting price for a beginner, like me, for a typical logo design, stationery, and business cards was about $600 plus printing costs. I don’t remember anyone balking at those prices. Taking inflation into account, that price today would be around $2,500. Yet no beginner, fresh out of college could ever charge that much today. Not only have the prices not risen with inflation, they’ve declined to a fraction of what they were 40-some years ago.

You don’t need any of that to get into software. It’s incredibly accessible. Are some better than others? Of course. Many of the best I know haven’t had a lick of education. I do. They still do just as good as anyone else.

You need time and work, but it’s not like being a doctor. Though, I guess the medicine man might be an example.

I was not intending to say your profession is trivial. Actually, I only wanted to know if those folks really hand drew everything. The conversation turned to how these folks aren’t really designers and how they’ve ruined things. And my naive view of things (I mean that.)

It’s like on a photography forum and photographer, real pros, complaining about everyone thinking they’re a photographer because they have a camera. Anyone can take a good picture can’t they (not really, tbh). Does that make them a photographer? No. But it is the way, and given time, reading, failure and so on, they can be a pro. Access to the device and the internet and old fashioned books made it so. Same with many industries, including software, like the Harvard dropouts and people in their garage.

Not everything is that way. Surgery, while you can buy the stuff on Amazon, simply isn’t as accessible in 2023, except maybe in a third world country.

One can be a very good artist and/or very good with “the software” and still be an absolutely terrible graphic designer.

Certainly one can read books, take classes and engage in various other forms of self-guided learning, but like any other skillset, becoming a really good graphic designer is not something that the average person does without years of experience… just like any other skilled trade.

I’m not saying anything different.

Some do, sure, but in that business model, I wouldn’t assume that someone who has sold 5000 logos is running a successful business and making a living from it.

I think on Etsy and those other sites you see a lot of hobbyists, students, side-giggers, and people who are subcontracting to designers in developing countries. And some are repurposing stock from agencies or ‘free’ sites, which is something most professionals recognize as a liability.

What is an example of someone that isn’t a hobbyist or side-gig? What do those sites look like? I wouldn’t know if I saw one or not.