Designers, marketers, and other creative professionals use a lot of resources and assets in their work. This includes stock photos, stock video footage, music, sound effects, fonts, icons, illustrations, templates, and more. These resources can save you countless hours and help you to create amazing designs, but the cost adds up.
Of course, there are lots of free resources available online. However, many are licensed only for personal use or require attribution by linking to the creator (typically not practical for client projects). Additionally, you can spend countless hours scouring the internet for high-quality free resources.
Envato Elements offers a better solution. With a subscription to Elements, you get unlimited access to millions of creative assets with commercial licensing. Unlimited downloads of 14+ million resources for as little as $16.50 per month sounds almost too good to be true. In this Envato Elements review, we’ll cover all the details, including the pros and cons of using this membership-based platform.
For disclosure, Vandelay Design is an affiliate of Envato Elements. We may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click the links in our article and sign up. We’re also paying customers of Envato Elements, and we’ve had an annual subscription for a few years. We promote this platform because we use it every day in our own work, and we believe it offers a tremendous value.
Summary of Our Envato Elements Review
Quite simply, Envato Elements offers the best value you’ll find for creative assets that can be incorporated into your designs. If you frequently use stock resources, creative assets, or design elements, you’ll love Envato Elements.
They offer a huge library and unlimited downloads. The more you download, the better the value of your subscription.
While we’ll cover a few minor drawbacks in this Envato Elements review, getting unlimited access to these resources is an unbeatable deal for most creative professionals and hobbyists.
What is Envato Elements?
Envato Elements is a one-stop shop that offers millions of high-quality digital assets, catering to creative professionals and enthusiasts alike. Since launching in 2016, it has grown exponentially and garnered a solid reputation for incredible value.
The platform truly shines as a treasure trove for graphic designers and creatives seeking top-notch resources to enhance their projects without breaking the bank. Whether crafting compelling marketing materials or sprucing up blog posts – there’s plenty to love.
As a subscription-based service, Envato Elements does not sell or license resources individually. There’s no option to buy a single item or to purchase download credit packs. Instead, members pay a flat monthly or yearly price to get unlimited access to everything on the site. There are no tiers or membership levels with varying access rights. Each member gets full access.
What Does Envato Elements Offer?
Envato Elements provides a wide range of creative digital assets, including:
Every designer loves fonts! The wide selection of nearly 50,000 fonts available from Envato Elements makes it an ideal resource for designers.
Individual fonts and font families can easily cost hundreds of dollars at the leading marketplaces and type foundries. But with a subscription to Envato Elements, you can download as many fonts as you want for one low price. There’s no need to worry about buying a font license and then not liking it in your designs.
The font library at Envato Elements includes typefaces from thousands of designers and studios. You’ll find just about any kind of font you could want, so the possibilities are virtually unlimited.
Access to the fonts alone will more than justify the cost for most designers. You’ll no longer have to use the same fonts over and over again to avoid paying for more licenses.
Envato Elements offers more than eight million royalty-free stock photos, and that number keeps growing each week. If you’ve ever purchased stock photos, you know the cost can add up quickly, especially if you use a lot of photos. Being able to download an unlimited number of photos is an amazing deal. Whether you’re a designer, blogger, YouTuber, or marketing professional, there’s plenty of value here.
Although Elements offers an excellent stock photo selection, it’s worth pointing out that it’s not as deep or extensive as what you’ll find at industry-leading marketplaces like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. I’ve found the selection of photos at Envato Elements to meet at least 90% of my needs, but sometimes I need to get a photo somewhere else.
Stock video footage is crucial for videographers, YouTubers, designers, and marketers. With online video gaining popularity, the need for video footage will likely continue to increase.
Envato Elements offers a vast library of high-quality stock video footage, perfect for various applications such as websites, advertisements, and social media posts.
The convenience factor of using Envato Elements stock footage cannot be overstated. Instead of searching additional marketplaces and paying for video licenses individually, you can get them at the same place you’re downloading photos and other creative resources.
The selection of video footage is excellent, but it’s a similar scenario to what I mentioned for photos. The library at Envato Elements will meet most of your needs, but specialized marketplaces like Pond5 have an advantage in terms of the overall selection.
The Envato Elements library includes 80,000+ video and motion graphics templates for use with apps like After Effects, Premiere Pro, Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve. You’ll find transitions, logo reveals, titles, lower-thirds templates, and more. These video templates can be used for social media posts, product promos, explainer videos, YouTube videos, etc.
This broad category includes things like backgrounds, patterns, icons, vectors, illustrations, and more. Use these elements within your designs to save time while creating beautiful work.
Envato Elements has you covered whether you need a template for your next social media post or a complete branding kit. Their graphics library also includes web and UI kits, infographics elements, mockups, logos, and more. You can find templates for just about anything you need.
Not only will this selection of templates help you to save time, but it can also make your business more profitable. Use the templates for client projects, and you can quickly produce high-quality work that your clients will love.
Find background music for your video and audio projects without spending loads of money. You can avoid using the same free music that everyone else is using and get access to this large and growing collection. Of course, they’ve got options for all types of music.
Do you need sound effects for a game design, app, podcast, video, or some other project? Elements has you covered with hundreds of thousands of options. They have a virtually endless supply of sound effects that will give you more options than you can imagine.
Website templates, including WordPress themes and Shopify themes, can be much more expensive than other creative resources like photos or graphics. But Envato Elements has an impressive selection of templates and themes you can download as an active subscriber. They currently offer over 1,700 WordPress themes and more than 400 Shopify themes.
Remember, the license allows you to use these resources on client projects. You could build an entire business around setting up WordPress and/or Shopify sites for clients.
This broad category includes WordPress plugins, Photoshop add-ons, Illustrator add-ons, Procreate brushes, and more.
Who is Envato Elements For?
A subscription to Envato Elements is ideal for freelance graphic designers, design agencies (team accounts are available), marketers, YouTubers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, business owners, hobbyists, and anyone else who needs high-quality creative assets.
Regardless of what you’re creating, Envato Elements has something for everyone. With its constantly expanding library of resources and simple licensing, it’s a no-brainer for anyone who uses lots of creative resources.
Envato Elements is not ideal for people who only need creative resources occasionally. In this case, you can purchase items as you need them from other marketplaces like Creative Market, FilterGrade, and leading stock marketplaces.
Pricing: How Much Does Envato Elements Cost?
Envato Elements offers two options. You can pay monthly or yearly. The membership features and benefits are the same. The only difference is the discount for paying yearly. The cost is $39 per month if you pay monthly, or $198 for one year of access (which comes out to $16.50 per month). As you can see, paying annually offers a very significant discount.
They also offer team plans. You can add team members for a discounted price. The more team members you have, the deeper the discount (up to 34%).
When evaluating the price, there are two significant factors to consider. First, will you go with a monthly or yearly subscription? The yearly option is by far the best value, so it makes the most sense if you consistently need resources. Second, it will depend on how many assets you download.
The $16.50 monthly fee could be a good deal even if you only download a few items monthly. For example, you could spend well over $16.50 to purchase a single font elsewhere. The more you download at Envato Elements, the better value it becomes.
At Vandelay Design, we have an annual subscription, which is an incredible value for us.
How Does the Envato Elements License Work?
One of the biggest advantages of Envato Elements is its licensing structure. The licensing is relatively simple and straightforward. (We strongly recommend checking the details for yourself.)
Envato Elements offers a commercial license. With your subscription, you can download and license assets that you’ll use in your own projects (like a photo to use in your blog post), as well as those that you’ll use in client projects. This is a big part of why the value of a subscription is so amazing. If you do design work for clients, you can save huge amounts of money while accessing millions of quality resources.
Although you can use resources for client projects, it’s crucial to understand that the license requires you to download and assign items for each use. For example, if you want to use a font on two different client projects, you need to download it twice and select the license for each project. This ensures that the assets are licensed appropriately.
I believe the reason for this is (at least partly) because of the way Envato compensates contributors. If you use a resource multiple times, the contributor is compensated multiple times instead of only once. That way, contributors who create resources that are used more often will be paid more.
You can view your download history from the dashboard. Here, you’ll see the items you’ve downloaded, and you can also download a copy of the license for your records.
Envato Elements Pros
Let’s look at the specific benefits of a subscription to Envato Elements.
Huge Selection of Resources
One of the biggest advantages of Envato Elements is the massive selection of resources available to subscribers. With more than 12 million resources (and growing), this subscription-based service has it all. There’s simply nowhere else where you can find this many quality resources available for a flat price.
As a freelancer, designer, or marketer, you probably use assets like stock photos, illustrations, templates, and fonts daily. Envato Elements will become your go-to source because they have almost everything you’ll need.
Wide Variety In Content Types
Some leading stock photo marketplaces offer subscription plans. However, most of them don’t offer unlimited downloads, and none of them offer as wide a selection as Envato Elements.
With an Elements membership, you can get photos, stock footage, sound effects, graphic templates, WordPress themes, fonts, and much more, all in the same place. It’s a remarkable collection that covers many possible needs.
Excellent Quality of Resources
Overall, the quality of the resources you’ll find at Envato Elements is outstanding. They review every submission for quality before it gets added to the site, so the number of resources isn’t padded with low-quality filler content. As you search and browse what’s available, you’ll find excellent resources worthy of inclusion in your projects.
Constant New Additions
Not only does Elements offer a huge selection, but it’s constantly growing. For example, as I write this review, their website shows that 96,144 new items have been added this week! With that type of growth, a subscription’s value keeps improving.
One of the biggest advantages of subscribing to Envato Elements is access to unlimited downloads. This is where the true value comes in and Elements separates itself from the typical marketplace. Where else can you download as many high-quality resources as you want for such a low price?
Most stock photo marketplaces offer monthly subscriptions, but they almost always limit the number of downloads. You might be able to get an Envato Elements subscription for less money than you’d pay for 5-10 monthly downloads at a stock photo marketplace. Plus, you also get access to a huge selection of additional resource categories.
Other marketplaces like Creative Market offer many of the same types of resources you’ll find at Envato Elements, but you have to pay for them individually.
The licensing for resources downloaded from Envato Elements is pretty straightforward. There aren’t a bunch of different license types or confusing variables you need to consider. This makes it easy, and you can use the resources with confidence.
Plans for Individuals and Teams
Envato offers a discount for additional team members on the same account. And if you’re a freelancer or individual, you simply have your own account.
Because of all the factors listed about, Envato Elements offers a value that simply can’t be beat. If you download and use at least a few resources per month, it’s an amazing value that will save you loads of money. And aside from the saved money, it’s also very convenient to get all (or most) of your creative resources in one place.
Envato Elements Cons
Of course, no marketplace or platform is perfect in every situation. So let’s look at the cons of Envato Elements.
Photo and Video Selection is Small Compared to Leading Stock Marketplaces
One of the main criticisms of Envato Elements is its limited inventory of stock images and videos compared to leading websites like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. While it offers a vast collection of visual content, it doesn’t compare to some of the bigger stock photo sites.
However, the selection at Envato Elements is good enough to meet about 90% of your needs, if you’re like most designers. You may need to license a photo elsewhere occasionally, but Elements has most of what you’ll need. That’s enough that it’s still an excellent value. Additionally, Elements offers many types of products you can’t get at Shutterstock or Adobe Stock.
No Option to Buy Individual Products
There’s no option to buy resources individually at Envato Elements, although some of the resources are available at Envato Market. The subscription-based service caters to designers and creatives who use lots of resources. If that’s not you, you might not fit into Elements’ target audience.
No Support for WordPress Themes and Plugins
One of the drawbacks of Envato Elements is its lack of support for WordPress themes and plugins. While this service offers a wide selection of website templates and themes, users may encounter issues when using them with WordPress sites.
Most of the resource types available from Elements will require no support (like stock photos or vectors). However, website templates (including WordPress themes) and add-ons (including WordPress plugins) are more likely to require support at some time. If you use themes or plugins you download from Elements, you need to be comfortable dealing with it on your own, or willing to pay someone else to help with it.
The reason no support is offered is that the contributors receive significantly less money per download than they would be selling the product individually. It’s not feasible for creators to offer support on these items.
Final Verdict on Envato Elements Subscriptions
Overall, Envato Elements is an excellent subscription service for any designer or creative who needs access to a wide variety of creative assets at an unbeatable value. With a subscription, you have unlimited downloads of fonts, stock photos and videos, website templates and themes, plugins and add-ons, and more.
While there are a few minor drawbacks to Envato Elements, the overall value is unmatched. Freelance designers and small studios will find plenty of value in a subscription. Since the resources can be used on client projects, you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year as compared to licensing creative assets individually.
Bloggers and online publications that use stock photos are also likely to save significantly with Elements. And by not paying for photos and images individually, you can use more visuals in your content without any additional cost.
Here at Vandelay Design, we’ve used Envato Elements for a few years, and it’s proven to be an incredible resource. We use photos, graphics, and illustrations in many of our blog posts. We also use fonts and other resources in our various design projects. There’s simply nothing else out there that offers a comparable value for the resources we use. The subscription cost has proven to be a bargain for us.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, Envato Elements is not free. To access and license the resources, you’ll need an active subscription, which can be paid monthly or yearly.
Unfortunately, they currently do not offer free trials.
If you frequently use creative resources like stock photos, video footage, fonts, illustrations, design templates, and more, a subscription to Envato Elements is definitely worth the cost. With millions of assets available and the opportunity for unlimited downloads, it’s easy to get your money’s worth. However, if you don’t use stock or creative assets frequently, you might be better off buying resources individually when needed.
Yes, Envato Elements is safe. The site uses industry-standard security to protect your personal data, including your credit card details. As far as licensing and legal use of the resources is concerned, Envato Elements is also safe. The copyright holders of the resources have chosen to offer them at Envato Elements, and they’re compensated based on the number of downloads. When you download an item, you can keep a copy of the license for your records.
Yes! Some websites claim to offer unlimited downloads when there are actually some restrictions in place. Envato Elements truly allows you to download as many resources as you want, as long as your subscription is active.
Yes, you can. Each time you download a file, you’ll select the project it will be used for (you can create as many projects as you’d like). Select or enter the name of the client project you’re working on, and the license will apply to that project. It’s important to note that if you want to use a resource for multiple projects, you must download it multiple times and select the appropriate license so each use is covered.
If you cancel your subscription, the licenses for the resources you’ve already used will continue to be valid. For example, if you downloaded a stock photo for a website, you can leave the photo on the site after you cancel the subscription. However, you won’t be able to download or license any resources unless you reactivate your subscription.