Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm a developer trying to strengthen my design skills. The problem lies with my expertise being in code versus design. So my question is, when creating a theme to sell, and the focus is the functionality and features of the theme - are the graphics in a theme (whether it's Tumblr/WordPress etc.) all created by the person who made the theme?

Or can I use stock images/free graphics for themes that I build and then sell?

Thanks for any help in advance.

share|improve this question
Yes, I'm sure some do, but I'm also sure that some don't. I think there is more value in the question of whether or not you can/should when building your own themes to distribute – JohnB May 9 '14 at 0:47
Do you mind if I alter your question a bit? I think this is a good underlying topic here, but I don't want to butcher your post :) – JohnB May 9 '14 at 1:02
No problem, go ahead and edit. As far as whether I can, I can but I understand graphic design is it's own beast to conquer and takes time to get a site to look good as well as make it functional. So to save time, I'd prefer if I didn't have to create every graphic from scratch myself. – RachieVee May 9 '14 at 23:10
up vote 0 down vote accepted

As most of my site designs don't rely on graphics that much, I mostly do those myself. However when more sophisitcated artwork is needed I usually work together with a designer. I think it's always a good idea for developers to have some basic understanding for design. For stock images, make sure to always check the licenses of the artwork you want to purchaes / resell. Some allow it, some don't.

share|improve this answer
Yeah that's normally how I do this at work, the developers receive designs and we build the site based on a design. But now that I'm venturing on more personal work, it's not a matter of receiving designs from an established source - it's a matter of finding them, either online or through some sort of networking. I'll definitely pay attention to licenses when I grab graphics then. – RachieVee May 9 '14 at 23:12

The legal answer is: it depend on the usage licenses of the artwork you are using. Odds are few licenses will allow you to resell the work.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.