Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) has released an annual survey of more than 1,000 readers which indicates that use of stock imagery has grown nearly three times in just 25 years, starting at 39 percent in 1986 and reaching 98 percent in 2012. The survey also shows that 31 percent of designers are in a full-blown love affair, using stock images over 100 times a year, which is up 11 percent from last year.
The survey, conducted via email to 18,000 GDUSA print and e-subscribers selected at random, demonstrates that dollar signs are top of mind when choosing which stock website to use, with 89 percent of designers saying that price is what influences them the most. Other important factors include the quality of collections (78 percent) and ease of search (70 percent).
More than half of designers state they purchase less than five stock images per project and 96 percent use their images for print media. However, there is no usage shortage of stock imagery on websites and blogs as internet usage came in second with 76 percent and sign/exhibit/environment usage came in third with 48 percent.
Overall, designers are very happy with stock providers, but do acknowledge that there are some kinks that can be ironed out, specifically when it comes to the process of purchasing images. Criticisms and advice include the weeding out of dated and underused images, as well as greater price consistency and transparency.
Complete survey results are in the September issue of GDUSA.