They say a picture is worth a thousand words, however, finding an image that articulates the right words, and supports your design can be a tremendous challenge. Sometimes you simply need a placeholder image until you can capture your own, or to provide creative direction.
Whatever your use-case, having efficient access to Stock imagery can accelerate your design workflow, whether you’re crafting a digital product experience, or a fresh marketing page. In this guide, learn how to leverage Adobe Stock, including over 70,000 free assets in your next Adobe XD project.
With native integrations to Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock connects with the Adobe Creative Cloud applications you know and love, including Adobe XD, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, making it easy to use these incredible assets in your projects.
Finding Adobe Stock assets
Adobe Stock web
There are several ways to explore and discover Stock assets. Navigating to stock.adobe.com will give you access to browse and search the entire portfolio of Stock assets, from images and graphics, to video and audio.
Discovering the perfect asset for a web page banner or hero image is simplified in Stock for the web, with the ability to search for assets with space for copy to be overlaid on top of the image. Simply select the Images with Copy Space option in the filters.
Search for similar images
Image searches don’t stop at just text. If you have a sample image, finding similar images in Adobe Stock Web is as simple as dragging the image into the search field. Adobe Stock will scan the assets and search for similar assets. Alternatively, clicking the Find Similar button underneath any Stock image will reveal similar images to help you find that perfect asset.
Assets can be licensed directly from the web, and downloaded for use in your projects. Or you can add assets to a Creative Cloud Library to have access to them from applications like Adobe XD.
Libraries Panel in Adobe XD
Adobe Stock assets are also accessible directly from the Adobe XD interface, meaning you don’t need to leave XD to access the extensive portfolio of imagery and vector graphics from the Stock portfolio.
From within the Libraries panel in Adobe XD, Stock assets can be searched just like you would any other asset from a shared library. By clicking on the dropdown arrow to the right of the search field, Adobe Stock can be selected as a filter, converting the search field from a library search, to a Stock search. The search bar placeholder will change to Search Adobe Stock, allowing you to search by keyword, the entire Adobe Stock portfolio.
With the results displayed you can either click the + to add the asset to the current library, or drag the image onto the canvas, and directly into placeholder shapes in your design.
Editing masks and cropping imagery from Adobe Stock works just like it does with any other asset. If you filled a shape with an image, simply double-click to open the mask and adjust positioning and sizing. Alternatively, if the image was masked with an object, you can double-click or use the Layers panel to select the mask and edit its properties.
By default, the image will display as a lower resolution preview, including an Adobe Stock watermark. This allows you to explore various different image and graphic options before licensing the assets for final implementation. Once you’re ready to license an image, it can be done directly from within Adobe XD as well.
If you’ve added the image to a library, the unlicensed image will display a shopping cart icon next to the asset name. When you’re ready to license the image, simply click the shopping cart icon and the licensing page will directly open in your browser allowing you to complete the process, eliminating the need to track down the right link.
Using Stock assets in your XD projects
With Stock assets at your fingertips from both Adobe XD, and Adobe Stock on the web, there are several ways you can put Stock photography to work for you. Varying budgets, requirements and use-cases may dictate different needs, but here are some ideas for inspiration.
Crafting stunning experiences
The Adobe Stock portfolio gives you access to hundreds of thousands of images and graphics for licensed use in production assets like marketing campaigns, website and app designs, and more. If you’re a small team, or a big team on a budget, leveraging Stock assets can be a fantastic way of achieving the desired results without contracting a photographer directly to create custom imagery.
When designing user experiences, imagery is often one of the last pieces to be integrated into a design, instead focusing on how a user navigates and interacts with the content. Once a certain level of validation is complete on wireframes, it is helpful to continue testing as fidelity is increased.
Thanks to the ability to include image previews of Adobe Stock assets, prior to licensing them, these assets can be used in user-testing as a way of validating image clarity, and whether or not the creative you’re choosing supports the intended experience or not.
Though you may not plan to use Stock imagery in your final production designs, Stock imagery can be a very helpful tool in establishing creative direction, and understanding composition within a mid-fidelity design layout.
Having a selection of imagery picked out that achieves the desired look and feel or effect you’re trying to establish, be it for a marketing campaign, or website landing page, Stock imagery can be a source of inspiration. Using Stock you can quickly create an idea book for photographers or illustrators tasked with crafting the final assets.