Where to Find Awesome Ad Graphics?

Doing DIY ad design? Then you need the right graphic design resources. Discover some of the best places to find illustrations & vectors for your ad graphics!

Marketing design
November 16, 2022

Table of Contents

Ad graphics are one of the most important components of a high-performing ad. Although custom is always the best way to go, it’s also possible to make your own graphic ads with the help of some useful online resources. Discover how to create graphics for ads on a budget!

How much do graphic designers charge for ads? It depends on the ad designers' experience and the complexity of the design. Upwork quotes $35 to be the average graphic designer hourly rate (although this figure has been growing in recent months), so you’re probably looking at paying $70 to $150 for a single ad design.

Sure, it may not seem like much, but the price can rack up quite a bit when you consider just how many ad graphics your business needs.

This is why many business owners resort to DIY ad design. Although no easy task for someone who is not an ad graphic designer, it’s not impossible to create an effective ad. Here are some of the basics you need to know.

What makes a great ad?

What makes us click on one ad and ignore another? It’s a combination of different factors, such as placement, timing, messaging, and graphic design.

Let’s go through some of the key characteristics of an effective advertisement.


Before we get to the nitty-gritty, we must consider the first rule of marketing and advertising: market positioning. If your audience is predominantly gen Y and boomers, there’s little sense in advertising on TikTok, right?

Before you even consider running an ad campaign, make sure you have your target audience defined. This is also a key component of your brand identity and will heavily influence the copy and design of your ads.

Of course, many businesses cater to different buyer personas. For example, affordable shoes can be equally appealing to large families and students. So, before you start designing an ad, do thorough research to identify which platforms you’ll use to advertise (online or offline) and to which audience segments.


Our attention span online is horrifically short these days. That means lots of people won’t give you more time than it takes to read a simple headline.

A good rule of thumb for text in ad design is the shorter, the better, and this is especially true for headlines. A headline should ideally be informative, but you can also take a different route.

Here’s a brilliant creative example from Norwegian Airlines. The ad was run shortly after Brad and Angelina announced their divorce. The headline is witty and immediately catches attention (it is Brad, after all!). And before you know it, you’ll be browsing affordable tickets on their website, forgetting what (or who) got you there in the first place.


We strongly encourage you to browse through our icons galley carefully and start compiling a mini library for yourself. Whether you plan on creating your own ads in the long run or plan on hiring a designer, these little assets can help you enhance any design!

Even though minimal copy can deliver a powerful impact, we still can’t leave you without any pointers on how to write effective copy. So, here are a few general copywriting rules:

And here's another creative ad from Norwegian Airlines uses a single design (and flag) to promote different destinations with their respective flags.



As you probably know, copy is one of the most vital elements of any ad. Unfortunately, it can be pretty difficult to establish what exactly makes the best ad copy. For example, here are some stunning ad examples that use minimal or no text and focus on visuals instead.

Chupa Chups made food ad history with this ad that shows the candy is sugar-free in a visually memorable way.

  • Address your audience: Nobody wants to hear about you. So you should avoid overusing claims that start with "I" or "we". Instead use language that addresses the audience directly ("you"). Remember, your audinece wants to know how you can make their lives better. Focus on their needs and make that the focal point.
  • Appeal to their emotions: Whether it’s sadness, joy, envy, or fear, triggering an emotional response is the best way to get people to remember your ads.
  • Be concise: Less is always more in ad copy. Whatever you can get rid of should go.
  • Highlight the benefits, but stay honest: If you say you’re the greatest company in the world, few will believe you. But if you show how you improve people’s lives, they might just make that purchase.


Color is a good starting point if you don’t know the first thing about graphic ad design. The two fields of study concerned with color are color theory and color psychology.

Color theory studies how colors are mixed and combined; things like complimentary, contrasting, and analogous colors are defined by the color wheel, which is the foundation of color theory.

Color psychology is an emerging field that studies universal responses to certain colors. For example, red is often associated with powerful emotions such as love, fear, passion, rage, etc. Colors like green and blue, found in the natural environment, evoke a sense of peace and calm.

Color Psychology meaning of colors.jpg

Of course, color psychology is not quite straightforward. How we respond to a certain color in ads graphics will depend on the industry, product, messaging, and context. But it is useful to know some general meanings behind certain colors so you can make more informed decisions.

Naturally, the color choices should also reflect your brand identity. A soothing pastel might seem out of place if you’re known for bold and vibrant colors.

Ad graphics

Finally, we come to the main component of graphic ads: the images. Whether you opt for a stock photo or a custom illustration, the visuals you use can make or break the success of your ad campaign.

If you’ve considered “how much do graphic designers charge for ads” and decided this is not a price you’re willing to pay, it’s always possible to try the DIY route. Of course, since you’re not a designer, you’ll need some ready-made graphics to put in your ads.

In the next section, we’ll discuss some of the best (and most affordable) places to find awesome ads graphics.

Where to find great ad graphics?

Now that we know what makes an effective ad, it’s time to discuss ads graphics and where you can grab vectors or illustrations to use on your ads!

ManyPixels illustration library

Our vast illustration library contains thousands of free designs in 4 illustration styles: isometric, outline, monochromatic, isometric, and two-color.


You can also change the color of the illustrations to match your brand colors directly on our website and download it in ready-to-use PNG format. Alternatively, you can get the editable SVG format and make any tweaks you want (e.g., add or remove certain design elements).

mp illustration 1.png

Best of all, since it’s not (yet) as well known as other open-source galleries, such as Freepik or Canva, it’s a great way to get designs that your competitors might not know about. Thanks to the vast number of designs, you can even combine several different illustrations to create something totally unique, like the example below from one of our designers.



Canva is the be-all of DIY design platforms, and for a good reason. Not only is it extremely user-friendly, but it also has tons of amazing designs, lots of which are free to use.

You can also purchase a subscription and access even more free vectors and resources and download images in an editable SVG format.

The downside is that since it’s so popular, there’s always a risk that your ads might look similar to some of your competitors. Canva also doesn’t allow you heaps of customization with the free plan (other than changing the color, and that’s not always the case), so you need to be pretty design-savvy to create something more custom-looking.


If you want to bookmark one platform for great free design resources, Freepik might be it. This platform has heaps of great vectors, illustrations, and stock photos that could make perfect ad graphics.

You can get a lot for free; however, there’s a daily download limit (just 3 images a day), and there are many more resources you can only get with a subscription.



As the name implies, Vecteezy’s specialty are free vector graphics, perfect for those that want to make their ad design fun and playful..

Vecteezy has some intricate illustrations in their library, although the number of choices is smaller than Freepik’s (especially free options). The Pro subscription costs exactly the same as Freepik’s

ManyPixels icons library

We have another library of awesome freebies, our free icon gallery. Icons packs are one of the best assets you can have for ad designing since they’re simple, versatile, and can be included in different designs and types of ads.

And you can get thousands of our designs completely free!

Graphic 3 - Media post.png


The special thing about this platform are animated icons, in case you want to create motion graphic ads.

The styles are a lot simpler than what you can find in other places (including our icons library), but there is a lot of options to choose from.

You can also grab cute stickers that are perfect for things like seasonal promotions.


Why you shouldn’t design your own ads

So, you want to learn how to create graphics for ads yourself? We applaud the initiative, but remember that it’s easier said than done.

Learning how to graphic design ads that look professional and convert takes professional designers years of practice and experience. To expect that a template (no matter how well done) will have the same effect is simply unrealistic.

Here are the main downsides of designing your own ads:

  • It takes a lot of time: When you’re not a professional ad graphic designer, even minor edits can consume significant chunks of your time. The time you could spend doing your actual job, such as acquiring new leads or making sales.
  • It can hurt your brand image: A simple design choice can do wonders for your brand recognition - and vice versa. Something that may seem like a style choice to you can alienate your audiences and hurt your messages.
  • It’s expensive: Hang on, isn’t the whole point of designing ads yourself to save money? Well, no. Unprofessional, boring ads will fail to yield any results. In the meantime, you’ve spent a lot of time creating them, which is money lost since you couldn’t do your primary job.

I know what you’re thinking. I’ve already answered the question, “how much do graphic designers charge for ads” and this is simply a figure you’re not willing to pay. Hiring a full-time designer for your marketing team is an even bigger investement, and long-term commitment.

Luckily, there’s a great, affordable solution right at your fingertips. ManyPixels (it’s us, with all the free ads graphics resources!) is an unlimited design service that allows you to get all your designs for a flat monthly rate.

That means as many graphic designing ads (as you want), along with anything and everything else you need, such as landing pages, email banners, and 100% custom illustrations made just for you!

Our pricing plans start at just $549, so you’re really getting your money’s worth. Get started and pick a plan today with our 14-day money-back guarantee. Or book a free consultation for a casual chat with one of our reps and an opportunity to ask us any questions!

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.

Hack your marketing design

Enjoyed the read? Get inspired with some of ManyPixels best work by downloading our social media design portfolio.

Wait... there’s more!

Enjoyed the read? Subscribe to our mailing list for all the latest tips, how-tos and news on graphic design and marketing.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.