Graphic designers and marketing professionals use a lot of creative assets in their work. You may need things like stock photos, stock videos, graphics, illustrations, templates, and fonts almost every day.
Access to high-quality pre-made digital assets can significantly speed up your workflow, helping you create amazing work. Unfortunately, the cost of these resources quickly adds up, and budget limitations are common obstacles.
Creative Fabrica and Envato Elements are two of the best resources for designers and creative professionals who consistently need access to high-quality assets. Both websites offer subscription-based services that provide unlimited downloads for a flat price. In this Creative Fabrica vs. Envato Elements comparison, we’ll cover the details of each platform so you can determine which one is best for you.
For disclosure, Vandelay Design is an affiliate of both Creative Fabrica and Envato Elements. If you click one of the links in this article and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. We’re also paying subscribers of Envato Elements.
Summary of the Creative Fabrica vs. Envato Elements Comparison
The main difference between Creative Fabrica and Envato Elements is that Creative Fabrica has more resources for crafters, and Elements is better for designers and other creative professionals. Creative Fabrica offers craft designs and needlework patterns, which you won’t find at Envato Elements. However, Elements offers resources that most designers will need, like stock photos, video footage, video templates, music, sound effects, website templates, WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, Shopify themes, and more. You won’t find those resources at Creative Fabrica.
Envato Elements also offers simple commercial licensing and a better user experience. The quality of resources is also generally higher.
Overview Of Creative Fabrica
Creative Fabrica is based in Amsterdam and was launched in 2016 by two designers, Roemie Hillenaar and Anca Stefan. The marketplace offers more than 7 million digital products (and growing) created by a global team of contributors.
The products available at Creative Fabrica can be purchased individually, or via subscription that offers unlimited downloads. The subscription price is low enough that it’s the better value if you’ll download at least a few resources each month. (We’ll cover the pricing details in a minute.)
Compared to some other stock marketplaces, Creative Fabrica has more of a crafty feel. For example, you’ll find knitting patterns, crochet patterns, quilt patterns, craft design templates, cut files (for die-cutting machines like Cricut and Silhouette), and coloring book pages. They also have a category of resources created specifically for print-on-demand (POD) products.
In addition, Creative Fabrica also offers a massive collection of fonts, patterns and backgrounds, illustrations, UX & UI kits, and more. However, you won’t find stock photos, videos, or audio files at Creative Fabrica.
Creative Fabrica also offers a growing collection of tools, including a several Spark tools, which are AI art generators for different purposes. Some of the tools, like the webfont generator, are free. The Spark tools require a monthly subscription, and they’re not included in the subscription that offers unlimited resource downloads.
Overview Of Envato Elements
Envato Elements is part of the Envato family, which also includes the Envato Market (including ThemeForest and GraphicRiver). In 2016, Envato launched Elements as a subscription-based platform. The company had already grown Envato Market to become one of the leaders in the industry, and they began by offering some of the resources from Envato Market at Envato Elements.
After the Elements launch, designers and creatives could pay a flat monthly or yearly price for unlimited resource downloads, rather than buying templates and assets individually at Envato Market.
Today, some of the products from Elements are also available at Envato Market, and some are not. Likewise, not all Envato Market products are available at Elements. And unlike Creative Fabrica, the resources at Envato Elements can only be accessed through a subscription (there’s no option to buy products individually).
Envato Elements currently offers unlimited access to more than 14 million creative assets, and that number grows each week.
While there’s some crossover between the resources offered at Creative Fabrica and Envato Elements (both offer fonts, graphics, vectors, illustrations, mockups, backgrounds, patterns, actions, and presets), there are also some key differences.
Envato Elements offers an incredible collection of stock photos, stock videos, video templates, royalty-free music, and sound effects. They also offer presentation templates, web design templates, WordPress themes, Shopify themes, WordPress plugins, and more.
In addition to the creative assets, Envato Elements also offers a collection of tutorials and courses on graphic design, photography, coding, and business.
Read our Envato Elements Review for more details.
Envato Elements offers very simple pricing. They only have one membership level or tier. Every subscriber has full access to everything on the site. Members can opt for a monthly subscription at $39 per month, or an annual subscription at $198 (equivalent to $16.50 per month).
They also offer team plans at a discounted price for additional users. The more team members you add, the bigger the discount (up to 34%).
Creative Fabrica’s pricing isn’t as straightforward as Envato Elements. You can purchase design resources individually, and the price will vary depending on the product.
There are a few different subscription options, and the details can get a little confusing (see their Subscription page for more details). For example, they offer a fonts subscription for $19 per month or a graphics subscription for $19 per month. If you’re a crafter, you can get access to resources like cut files for $12 for three months.
Creative Fabrica also offers an All-Access membership with unlimited access to digital downloads for $29 monthly. However, they almost always have a promotion offering yearly access at a deeply discounted rate. For example, you can get yearly All-Access for just $59.88 ($4.99 per month) right now.
Overall, Envato Elements’ pricing is much simpler and easy to understand. Creative Fabrica’s pricing is not as simple, but with the discount on yearly All-Access, it has the potential to be significantly lower.
When comparing prices, it’s important to note that this is not an apples-to-apples comparison since both marketplaces offer different resources. For example, many of the resources offered at Envato Elements would be much more expensive if purchased individually. Shopify themes, WordPress themes, stock footage, and royalty-free music tend to cost more than some lower-priced design resources like graphics. Of course, this helps to make Envato Elements a better value.
In the overview sections above, I touched on the types of content and products available at each marketplace, but it’s worth inspecting in more detail. If you’re considering a subscription, be sure to choose a platform that offers the types of resources you need.
While there are some similarities in the content available at Creative Fabrica and Envato Elements, there are significant differences.
Creative Fabrica tends to be a better option for crafters and designers who create print-on-demand products. If you design t-shirts, coloring books, and other low-content books to sell via Amazon KDP, Creative Fabrica has a lot to offer.
On the other hand, Envato Elements offers a better collection of creative assets for graphic designers, web designers, videographers, filmmakers, and marketing professionals.
This table compares the categories of content available at both marketplaces.
|Product Category||Creative Fabrica||Envato Elements|
|Patterns & Backgrounds||Yes||Yes|
|Graphics & Illustrations||Yes||Yes|
|UI & UX Elements||Yes||Yes|
|Actions & Presets||Yes||Yes|
Quality Of Content
So far, we’ve looked at the types of content offered at both marketplaces, but we haven’t discussed quality. Of course, the quality of creative assets is extremely important, especially if you’re using them for commercial purposes or client projects.
The quality of resources at both marketplaces varies depending on the product you’re looking at, and this is also a somewhat subjective topic. However, I find the overall quality better at Envato Elements for the product types offered at both sites. For example, when I search for fonts at both sites, I find the results at Envato Elements to be higher quality, in my opinion.
Creative Fabrica also has plenty of high-quality fonts and other design resources, but there are more low-quality resources that you need to weed through. In my opinion, Envato Elements does a better job of preventing lower-quality resources from being approved and listed on the site.
Overall, for the product categories available at both sites, Envato Elements offers a higher level of consistent quality than Creative Fabrica, in my opinion.
User Interface and Experience
The user interface is essential because it impacts how much time you’ll need to use each site. Both sites are usable and functional, but Envato Elements offers a more modern and user-friendly design and interface.
This comes into play as you’re browsing the sites to find the right category or type of resource, and as you use the site search functionality. Elements looks better than Creative Fabrica, and the site search is more effective. The words in the product title heavily influence the search engine at Creative Fabrica. Because of this, the top of the search results are all products that include the search phrase in the title, not necessarily the best products or the best match for what you want.
If you’re creating a gig poster or a band t-shirt and you search fonts with the keyword “music,” here’s a screenshot of the search results at Creative Fabrica.
And here is a screenshot from the same search at Envato Elements.
The search results at Envato Elements may or may not have “music” in the title, but they’re the types of fonts I might want if I’m creating a music-themed design.
From my experience, the search engine at Envato Elements does a better job of showcasing higher-quality resources that are useful for the intended purpose.
When you’re searching and browsing, both sites offer various filters that help narrow down the results so you can find what you really want.
The user interface is also significant from an account management perspective. Both sites offer a user dashboard where you can manage the details of your accounts, including your download history and billing preferences. Both sites are functional, but Envato Elements has a better design and slightly better usability, in my opinion.
Overall, the user experience is better at Envato Elements, thanks to a more attractive and user-friendly design. That’s not to say that Creative Fabrica is bad, but I think it falls short of Envato Elements.
Anytime you’re using stock resources or pre-designed assets, it’s essential to understand the licensing details. Thankfully, both marketplaces are designer-friendly, and you can use the resources for commercial purposes, including client projects.
I encourage you to read the license details for yourself (links are provided below), but here’s an overview.
Envato Elements License
Envato Elements offers a simple commercial license. All of the resources on the site have the same license, which is very convenient. There are very few restrictions, but it’s essential to check the details to be sure you understand everything. For example, music downloads can’t be used in broadcast presentations.
If you decide to cancel your Envato Elements subscription, you can no longer use or license the resources, but the existing uses and licenses you’ve registered remain valid. For example, if you used a stock photo on a client’s website and the photo was downloaded and licensed while your subscription was active, the license remains valid after your subscription is canceled and the photo can be left on the site. But if you downloaded a font, you can’t continue to use it in new projects after you cancel the subscription.
One important detail of the Envato Elements licenses is that if you want to use a resource more than once, you must download and license it more than once. For example, if you use a font in a client project and want to use it for a different client, you’ll need to license it for each client project. As an Envato Elements subscriber, I will say that this is not a significant inconvenience, but you do need to be aware of it and be sure to license the resources each time you use them.
When you download a resource from Envato Elements, you can assign the license to a project. You can create as many projects as you want. If you want a copy of the license, you can download it from your dashboard (in the “My Downloads” section).
Creative Fabrica License
Creative Fabrica’s licensing is not as simple as Envato Elements. There’s a Single Sales License and a Subscription License, but there’s no summary of their differences. The only differences I’ve noticed relate to what happens after a subscription is canceled. For example, you cannot continue using resources, or selling products created with the resources, after a subscription is canceled.
If you’re using Creative Fabrica, be sure to read the license details, because many different scenarios are covered. In general, the creative assets can be used commercially, including client projects.
One important difference is that Creative Fabrica has some products intended for print-on-demand (POD) products. Products with full POD usage offer more flexibility and do not need to be modified. However, some products allow basic POD usage, and they must be modified before being used to create print-on-demand products.
Creative Fabrica Advantages
- More products and options related to crafts and needlework.
- Certain products offer more flexibility for print-on-demand usage.
- Potentially lower price.
Envato Elements Advantages
- Includes stock photos, stock videos, royalty-free music, and sound effects.
- Includes website templates, WordPress themes, Shopify themes, and WordPress plugins.
- Higher overall quality of the resources and creative assets.
- Better user interface.
- Simple licensing.
- Better value for the money.
Final Thoughts on Creative Fabrica vs Envato Elements
While Creative Fabrica and Envato Elements both provide downloadable resources for designers and creatives, they’re ideal for different audiences. Creative Fabrica is more appropriate for crafters, while Envato Elements is better for graphic designers, web designers, videographers, and marketers.
Vandelay Design has a subscription with Envato Elements. We use it for images in blog posts, fonts, and other creative assets incorporated into our work. We find Elements to be an incredible value, and we believe other designers, agencies, and freelancers will also.