If you want to sell printables, then the art you use has to be legal for this purpose (See more on this topic here). There are several ways to acquire art that you can use in items you want to sell; CreativeFabrica is my absolute favorite. It is the only site I literally use daily – and if I sound biased, well, I am 😊
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
The sunflowers set below is just one of the thousands of pieces of artwork that can be used for printables -- I've actually downloaded and used this one already! It has a wonderful selection of images with transparent backgrounds and works on everything from junk journal pages to printable planners. Find this one here, and look around while you're there, CreativeFabrica is particularly flower heavy!
Is CreativeFabrica Right for your Printables Business?
If you’re just starting out, I always recommend starting with art you can get for free (and legally use). Your own art, public domain pieces and items that are out of copyright are most easily used and they’re free. When you’re starting any new business, you need to keep costs down. Since I want you to be profitable quickly, I always recommend starting with free sites like Wikimedia Commons (see the full details on this huge collection of free images here).
When you’re ready, though, the next step is a subscription site. Ideally, the site has to offer commercial terms that are easy to understand, have artwork you actually want and offer a good monthly rate without caps on what you can download. The only site to offer all three of these ideals is CreativeFabrica.
Crella offers premium, unlimited art, but the best collections are often not included in the subscription – so you end up paying more for them.
Daily Art Hub offers a flat, lifetime rate, but the art is pretty cutesy and clip-arty, so I think it is more useful for kids stuff, party materials and games/puzzles than printables you can sell.
Hungry JPEG and DesignBundles offer a subscription, but it is really just a bulk buying plan in disguise. You have a limited number of credits to allocate to your purchases – so you can’t download anything you want, you have to be selective.
CreativeMarket has broad commercial terms, but you pay by the piece, and that adds up fast.
Creative Fabrica is the only subscription source I’ve found with quality goods at a monthly rate – so it is the one I recommend as a go-to if you’re ready to buy some art for your printables.
The file above is another one I've personally downloaded -- and this view is from inside my subscriber account -- if you see a file you like you just hit the download button - and the commercial license is included.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you see something you want on CreativeFabrica and are not a subscriber, it is almost always less expensive to subscribe than to buy a single item! Check the cost of the piece you want vs. a subscription, chances are an entire month of downloads will be less than the piece you are looking at (and the subscription will include that initial item also).
Spend $5-10 on each font bundle, like the one below, or get all 100,000 of them for $12 a month:
Here’s what you need to know before you buy art at CreativeFabrica.
The good stuff: Why I love CreativeFabrica
CreativeFabrica is all access: Once you buy a subscription, you can download anything you want. There are several levels of subscriptions, including one that is for “everything” (that’s the one I use!). The difference in price between getting “just the fonts” or “everything” is negligible, so I recommend just getting the whole deal. That way anything and everything you see is available and included.
I downloaded these for my own planner ;)
CreativeFabrica offers commercial use: The standard commercial license covers you for most printables, although you should always check before buying. You can’t buy and resell the digital goods – meaning you can’t purchase a set of pretty flowers and then turn around and resell that set to someone else – but you can sell the printables you make from the art.
There is one broad license for CreativeFabrica and it is quite generous – I like this because I only had to read/learn it once.
CreativeMarket is affordable: I think we pay about $20 a month or even less for all access each month. I purchased it on sale and the sale price has carried through for 2 years. Yay!
The Bad Stuff: Things I don’t Like About CreativeFabrica
Some Art is Better than Others: Art is subjective, obviously, but there are definitely some designers that are professional artists and some who are just learning – and both are included on the site. You’ll see some duds, but keep scrolling and you will find thousands of excellent pieces. CreativeFabrica is less heavily juried than CreativeMarket, so you will see some not so great art mixed in with the good stuff.
I suggest creating a favorite designer list (this is facilitated by the app and makes searching a lot easier) and scrolling through the proven artists first.
If you do download something then not like it, you’re ok – you won’t incur any additional costs if you download something else instead, or a dozen other items, it just takes up time and disk space.
Clunky search process; Search is not great – you may find the first page or two is relevant and the rest doesn’t make much sense. ( I searched for unicorns and got a radiator, two sunflowers and a flamingo, so I’m not sure how “relevant” returns are). “Horses” actually popped up a dozen unicorns, so it is a little wonky to search for something specific right now.
Get around this by marking favorite items and artists – most of us tend to have built in preferences, so if you like one collection by a specific designer, chances are you’ll like the rest of their stuff too.
How We Use CreativeFabrica at Magpie Creative
I use a variety of methods to find the art used in our Junk Journals and kits, including CreativeFabrica. I do some sketches and designs myself (the forthcoming Toads and Mushrooms features original art) I hire someone through Upwork or Fiver with a specific portfolio or expertise to create a specific design set, and I buy art through sites like Creative Market. I also employ a part time designer.
For CreativeFabrica, I am most likely to download a dozen or so assets and sets at a time, then pile them up and take a look. Often this site is my go to for creation and the beginning stages for a junk journal kit. Keep in mind that you’ll need to change the graphics in some way to legally use them – in other words, you can’t buy flower A, then turn around and sell the image. You have to modify it in some way (which is what I want to do anyway). There is a good explanation of the right and wrong way to create new printables with CreativeFabrica goods here.
The Bottom Line on CreativeFabrica for Printables
This is a site mostly professional artwork that offers a relatively broad commercial license. There is a good selection of better quality clip art sets and other assets that can be used in a variety of ways. Since everything is covered by a flat rate subscription, you have no surprises or extra costs to worry about.
I suggest using CreativeFabrica as your first paid site; you’ll be amazed at the sheer number of goods available and I guarantee you won’t need to look at another site for months! Your subscription is based on the cost at signup, so if you can find a sale, you’ll pay less every month (and keep your annual costs down, too.
. When you’re ready to invest in unique art for your site, I recommend CreativeFabrica before any other site out there. We have literally used it daily since subscribing 2 years ago!
Looking for art for your printables?
Here are reviews of other sites we like:
· British Library
· New York Public Library Online
· LOC- Library of Congress Online
· Hungry Jpeg
· Graphics Fairy (the premium subscription offers commercial use)