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UnDraw: Open-source illustrations for every project you can imagine and create (undraw.co)
775 points by pixelN 28 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 75 comments

I have used undraw.co and the illustrations are plenty, neat, and customizable to a degree. For something that's royalty-free, it is an incredible body of work.

Here are some more related resources I've seen recommended by others:

Photoshop but for Illustrations (paid): https://www.drawkit.io/peach




Thank you for adding to the list. Really appreciated. Maker of illlustrations.co :)

Thank you so much for all these resources! I've been looking for stuff like this for my next project.

Another one I use a lot https://thenounproject.com/

Love the noun project

Thank you for mentioning the ManyPixels gallery! We set it up as we wanted to provide different style of illustrations. It is also a great marketing tool for our main business.

thx! here are a few more https://turtle.community/topic/design

There are lots here: https://freesvg.org/ (It has the archive from the now-defunct (temporarily?) openclipart.org)

A few details about freesvg rising from the ashes of the Open Clip Art Library are here: https://opensource.com/article/19/10/how-community-saved-art...

Very interesting. Thanks for posting this... I had wondered what happened to openclipart.

Anything available like Humaaans but for creating avatars with this? JS or PHP code to make some avatar based on a string or random seed?

I'm not sure what you're looking for, but https://startupstash.com has super nice collection of resources. Check them out.

The license (https://undraw.co/license) of the illustrations is definitely not open-source:

>This license does not include the right to compile assets, vectors or images from unDraw to replicate a similar or competing service, in any form or distribute the assets in packs. This extends to automated and non-automated ways to link, embed, scrape, search or download the assets included on the website without our consent.

Looks like it's based on the Unsplash license (https://unsplash.com/license) which is similarly not open source. "Free for commercial use" would be a more accurate description.

You've never heard of people plagiarizing others' entire sites before?

This is exactly the sort of thing you say when you're trying to make data public but keep someone else from slapping a different header on your data and pretending they did all the work.

The licence itself is fine. Calling that licence "open source" is what's questionable. It's almost like taking a term laboriously established by others and claiming it your own.

The term "open source" really doesn't say anything about the license. It just says that the source is open. Which in case of vector graphics might not say much.

I disagree. The open source definition includes quite a bit about the license. There’s an organization (OSI) that works on this, and has for decades. The definition is available at https://opensource.org/osd-annotated

The ability to redistribute and change is as important, I think, as the ability to see the source.

I think you're going to run into the same thing I ran into here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20864837 which is that the term Open Source has been taken over by opensource.org.

Although I suppose you won't get as many downvotes as I did (the reason for which still eludes me)

> “which is that the term Open Source has been taken over by opensource.org“

https://opensource.org/history claims that the term did not really exist before those behind OSI/opensource.org started using it. While the originality of any composition of dictionary terms is debatable, I'm quite willing to accept that claim. I remember hot debates about the conceptual differences between FSF and OSI but none about prior use of the term.

Open Source has a precise and well widely understood meaning that is entirely related to the license. If you use it to mean something else people will be confused.

You want the word shared source maybe? Or viewable source?

That is not true. "Open source" specifically implies certain rights beyond simply allowing people to view the source code (which is known as "shared source").

Many companies like Microsoft allow people to view the source code to their closed-source products under restrictive licenses, but nobody would claim that these products are "open source" as a result.

"Open" doesn't just mean "viewable."

I would say that each image has an open source license. What is not open source is the collection of images as shown on unDraw.

> unDraw grants you an nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use the assets provided from unDraw for free

So kind of like Red Hat?

Edit: thinking of it again - kind of like software on github can be open source even if github isn't.

Not really. You can clone all of the github's open source repos and host them elsewhere (eg. use gitlab ;).

This is open source with a restriction on agregate use, thus making it officially not open source.

"the collection"

Well, any collection, even one of the images, if it's served up in a similar service.

What is the relevance of "to replicate a similar or competing service"? Reads to me like they don't want you using the output generated fro unDraw, reverse engineering it in order to create a competitor.

Basically that's there to protect Katerina's illustrations. The reverse-engineering has been achieved by a bunch of people and that's ok but exploiting the work she put into each design was really frustrating.

It's not free. But it is open source.

Open source is meant to be a corporate-friendly synonym for "free software".


This basically means that if it's not free, it's not open source either.

Thanks for the downvotes. Read up on https://www.fsf.org/

It is completely free.

Sorry, I mean free as in "Libre". Freedom to do what you want with the software.

That's really a stance of the FSF I dislike, redefining "Free" to something that was ideologically pleasing to them but that means something absolutely different for everyone else.

Creating tons of confusion and not helping their cause at all as free proprietary software may benefit from the label when distributed to the masses as they heard "free" software is good.

The FSF did not originate the meaning of "free software". They insist upon it, but before 1998 when "open source" was coined, "free software" was just what everyone called it. Even OpenBSD, who staunchly disagrees on a lot of things with the FSF, has been calling itself "free software" since 1996.

It's not a redefinition. "Free" carries at least 2 meanings in English.

You are right.

Thinking about it, my previous point may be heavily biased by how “free software” sounds and how the wording is used in my native language.

There is a good point in there. I caused confusion here. Most people would thing "free software" means free as in $0, because it make more sense in the context of software, which isn't a person. A free felon, by contrast would imply person, so they have freedom. We are not giving away felons.

FSF's "free" is neither. You can't do whatever you want with GPL software and if you want to do those forbidden things, you can sometimes buy permission using money.

True. you are free to do what you want, except restrict other people's freedom.

This is awesome and inspiring. I'll probably use this in a future project.

A few questions:

1) How do you plan to monetize the service? Always important to ask of free services so I don't get blindsighted later. :)

2) How often are new images added? Is there a process to go through to request specific images/themes being added (perhaps for a fee)?

3) On the "For Designers" page I see that every image is a vector and scalable -- do you plan on offering a few separate PNG downloads for things like small, medium, large? Obviously people can resize things manually (or, at least, I assume they can losslessly resize PNGs without photoshop), but it might be a nice quality of life improvement too.

Sorry if these are answered in an FAQ or something in the footer -- with infinite scroll I can't ever get down long enough to see what's actually in it. :P

Hi, surprised to see unDraw posted here, as it's been two years since we started it! I'm Aggelos and I handle the product side of unDraw for Katerina who is the illustrator and creator of the project. So glad you like it and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

1) There's no chance of getting blindsided as Katerina started this to share work that was not used in client projects and keeps designing new ones daily since the reception of it has been amazing. In the off chance she gets tired, she'll just stop adding new ones, so no worries there!

2) She adds 2 daily for the past two years, but can't promise she'll keep up the pace during the holidays! If you want to request a specific one, she's pretty open to it on Twitter @ninalimpi. But don't share this! Haha...

3) Having the color change on the fly and offering PNG alongside SVG's, I think it would be redundant to add more options.

Btw, the footer is available in the homepage and is included in the /illustrations page for aesthetic reasons! Haha!

+1 to Katarina & Aggelos for creating and sharing this with us!

I often need graphics like these and my design skills don't match Katarina's so I am really thankful you give us the right to use the work in commercial projects as well.

Have a great time with your beloved one's and hopefully some awesome food :)

Thank you so much for this sweet message and I'll relay your wishes to Katerina! She'll appreciate the food part!

UnDraw has become hugely popular within the design community. If you are able to recognize the style then you will start seeing the illustrations all over the internet. Thumbs up to the makers.

And very good. UnDraw is my personal favourite of these kinds of illustrations, the shapes are just right. As opposed to Humaaans, which I hate with passion and could write a whole philosophical essay on it (it seems to be going for making body parts sized inversely proportional to their importance to the brain, which I find uncanny).

Yeah you're right. Some of them look weirdly "familiar" but I just can't put a finger on it.

I love the project, but dislike what a meaningless bullshit buzz term "open source" is nowadays (or may always have been). Tesla's open source patents, open source recipes, open source illustration ... What source is open here? The vector data? Great, I can get the source, but what does this actually mean for my use of it? Can I just use it in my projects?

I think the terms you are looking for are "royalty free" or "permissively licensed".

It was the easier way to signal what exactly unDraw was back then when it was launched and since SVG images are code, it was much cleaner than writing CC(whatever) for users to understand. It remains that way but it will be much clearer in the new version.

> It remains that way but it will be much clearer in the new version.

nope. open source isn't making anything clearer in this case. in fact using that word made me wonder what exactly the license is for this... still not exactly sure what it is.

It was easy to find and it looks appropriate to me: https://undraw.co/license

Very nicely done!

There was something recently about human-like illustrations that was too unrealistic.

I'd say these are realistic enough and general enough and as said above very nicely done.

2 observations:

1. "Pull request" really tell a story: it is not always effortless to pull in a contribution.

2. I was not able to figure out how to download vectors on mobile, just png.

I absolutely love what Katarina and her crew have done with this, and indeed I have used them in a presentation deck I created, but unfortunately, I think this model has resulted in this artwork becoming a bit of a cliche on SaaS websites recently.

I routinely come across sites out there with these illustrations now, and it is becoming a little same-y (check out @humansofflat on Twitter).

> Use cutting-edge tech to change colors for images that match your brand.

I'm not sure I'd call changing the colour parameter in an SVG "cutting edge tech" but oh well.

Overall looks good, might check out the license more fully before using it though.

Well, svg is cutting edge compared to 90's bmp format.

I found this a while back and used it for my svg animations on https://lifeboxhq.com!

Check it out for an example of the types of images you can grab.

It’s great and impressive that this was created and exists. As a professional designer, however, I strongly recommend avoiding this illustration style as it’s already considered passé and derivative. A popular twitter feed exists just to mock it. Try hiring an illustrator from upwork or directly via portfolios on behance or dribbble and make something unique. Many illustrators charge next to nothing because they have to now thanks to the commoditization of design via sites like this.

Could argue about categorising all illustrations as same because a Twitter feed said so. As a designer, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want your own work to be dismissed like that, without much thought by anyone with an HN/Twitter/Reddit account. But won't argue on that too.

What I think is really unfair to mention is that unDraw has contributed to the commoditization of illustrations. On the contrary, there have been many many projects available to illustrators just because the initial design/proposal/prototype could be built with that and win over the clients. Project designs that would otherwise use photographs but not illustrations.

Sites like Upwork, Freelancer, etc. existed long before unDraw and you could find creative work there for truly humiliating prices. It's extremely inaccurate to blame unDraw for that.

The fact is that unDraw helped bring attention to illustrators and illustrations, which were called icons even a few years ago, by opening up a discussion and many new projects.

Having done the Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc. thing a few times before, it doesn't really work for me. I'm not a creative person when it comes to color theory, fluidity of design, what's considered "trendy", or whatever. I just want my crappy-looking open source project to look nicer, my blog post to not be straight-up text or unrelated unsplash photos, or my homepage to have purely Font Awesome icons.

I'm willing to throw a few bucks at that. For clip art (SVG) in a blog post, I'll throw $10-$15 at that. Per post. But the art needs to speak to me or otherwise just "click" with my yet-to-be-defined vision for the content. I don't know what will click until I see it. I also don't want to waste either party's time with my hemming and hawing, trying to put a feeling into words so I can describe to the designer... how I think they should do their job. I'm not the expert. I just fail at communicating. It's much easier on everyone if I see it already done or otherwise 95% of the way there.

Sites like these help me a lot more with finding things that just "click." At least a lot more than the alternatives of finding someone on Upwork, et al.

Really this is only a problem if your audience is other graphic designers or people who are familiar with them. Most people won't care.

A great resource for small teams trying to build a startup on a budget. I feel this is a great resource to get a decent landing page up and running to peek user interest in the service / product offering. Once they have decent traction, then switching out of this makes sense to build a personalized looks and feel to your website. This is where puling in design resources start making sense.

Nice work!

One point of criticism is that these images don't work at all sizes (or resolutions).

For example, the image for "login" wouldn't fit in a small bar typically at the top of a website. Or as another example, you wouldn't be able to use these images as emoticons in a chat program. They are simply too big and detailed for that.

The images are SVG, i.e. vectors that can be re-sized at will and displayed in any resolution. You can even change all the colors. See https://xd.undraw.co/

If you mean some images have too many details to be displayed as small icons, well, these are not really designed to be used as icons... if you need icons, try the nounproject as others suggested: https://thenounproject.com/

Be weird if this took off like Bootstrap and people would start writing articles about how every website looks UnDraw-ish.

Sites do look UnDraw-ish. I noticed a lot of sites using the flat-front-on-people type illustrations.

Microsoft started using a similar style a few years ago, although I don't know if it started it and UnDraw came afterwards, or vice-versa. Now it's everywhere. IMHO it looks very bland and boring.

I imagined a project about towed car, and the didnt have an illustration for that :)

Check again the next few days! :-P

except for the most simplistic of web page "illustrations" that are nothing new, there are _no_ illustrations on this web site of illustrations.


Looks pretty cool

Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

@humansofflat oops wrong site

Bold words in the headline. I searched for "fabric": no results. then "textile": no results. "sewing": nothing.

Try again :P

Search for the following, perhaps they're to your liking: people jewelry fashion modern woman shopping

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