I understand the legalities of using stock images and vectors for things like logos. But i want to know if it is unprofessional, or negative to use purchased vector graphics in freelancing design work?

  • What kind of work? The answer might be different depending on that; for a logo I might say yes, but for something small like icons for website design I'd say no
    – JohnB
    Oct 21, 2015 at 17:49
  • @JohnB in general stock sites do not permit the use of vector artwork in logos... so.....
    – Scott
    Oct 21, 2015 at 17:57
  • @Scott ah, never looked into that. Well that confirms that :)
    – JohnB
    Oct 21, 2015 at 18:08

2 Answers 2


It's perfectly ethical. The same as purchasing stock photography for freelance projects. As long as you stay within the purchased license agreement there's nothing to feel bad about.

Now, passing off purchased art as your own original art may be another matter. But, if asked, stating it's a purchased image is generally fine.

  • I always read the purchase and use agreements thoroughly. So thanks for your answer on the ethics of using paid images.
    – user7604
    Oct 21, 2015 at 18:49
  • You can also think of it like this: You're purchasing the right to use it, not the right to claim it your work. Oct 29, 2015 at 14:29

Of course you can use purchased graphics in freelance work because it is therefore they are selling in the market. But when it comes to use them on a logo it is not a good idea because a good logo is something has been designed by lots of sketches, research, and design iterations. It is the first thing seen by the audience to know the business behind that logo.

If you are using a vector or any other graphic either it is purchased or not in your logo design then you are not giving your client a personalized service that means you are just trying work smart by incorporating a third-party stuff. You should be fully sincere about the service you are offering to your client although, you can use fonts either it is purchased or not in the logo design but using vector shapes and design in the actual logo that's not fair.

Best of luck.

  • Thanks for your reply. This, and Scott's answer really helped my decisions.
    – user7604
    Oct 21, 2015 at 18:50
  • If the license allows it, there's no reason one can't use stock art in a logo if it's appropriate for the project.
    – DA01
    Oct 21, 2015 at 19:14
  • @DA01 Yeah sure if the license allows and also during the case if the project is passing its deadline and the client has paid enough you think you could purchase that graphic instead of drawing and illustrating by your self to save efforts and time
    – Lightcoder
    Oct 21, 2015 at 19:21

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