Previously known as Fotolia, Adobe Stock is a stock image library that provides millions of premium stock photographs, video clips, animations, illustrators, icons, templates, 3D models, audio clips, and other assets for royalty-free use in your creative projects.
It's primarily notable for its size, the quality of its assets and perhaps most importantly, its integration with Adobe apps. This means that it's very easy to, for example, trial an Adobe Stock photo within a design you're crafting in Photoshop, before you decide to buy it.
Adobe Stock assets can be bought in one of two ways: by purchasing credit packs, or by taking out a subscription, which entitles you to a set number of assets every month. However, there are also two perfectly legal ways you can download Adobe Stock files for free.
Download Adobe Stock assets for free: method 1
Firstly, there are more than 70,000 Adobe Stock files available for free on the site. You don't need to supply any credit card details to access them, nor take out a subscription to either Adobe Stock or Creative Cloud. You just need to create an Adobe ID for free, and then you can find a variety of free assets here.
You can browse these free Adobe Stock files by category or topic. All free images on Adobe Stock's site are cleared for commercial-use, and are royalty-free.
Download Adobe Stock assets for free: method 2
The second way to download Adobe Stock assets for free is to take out a free 30-day trial to Adobe Stock, which allows you to download up to 10 standard assets for free. (Note: Adobe Stock divides its assets into 'Standard' and 'Premium'. The latter are, as the name suggests, higher in quality, but there are plenty of decent Standard files that are worth downloading too).
To start your free trial, head to this page and click the button that reads 'Start Free trial'. Again, you’ll need an Adobe ID to start your trial, and this time you will need to supply credit card details. However, as long as you cancel your subscription before the end of the trial, you won't be charged.
How much does it cost to download Adobe Stock?
Adobe Stock assets can be purchased directly from within Creative Cloud desktop apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator, or via the website stock.adobe.com. However, you can't just pay for a single asset, you have to pay for a bunch of them at once. There are two methods of doing so.
Option 1 is to buy a credit pack. These allow you to download packs of five, 16, 40, 80 or 150 credits. The bigger the pack, the cheaper each credit gets.
So for example, the cheapest package gets you five credits for $49.95 / £29.95 / AU$54.95, which works out as $9.99 / £5.99 / AU$10.99 each, while the most expensive pack gets you 150 credits for $1,200 / £600 / AU$1,308.99, which means you're paying just $8 / £4 / AU$8.72 each
Just to make things a little more complicated, different assets cost a different number of credits. So you can buy standard images and templates for just one credit, whereas videos cost between 8 and 12 credits each, and premium images start at 12 credits each.
Option 2 is to take out an annual or monthly subscription. Annual plans are the most economical, allowing you to download 10 assets for $29.99 / £19.99 / AU$39.95 per month; 40 assets for $79.99 / £47.99 / AU$109.99 per month; 350 assets for $169.99 / £65.99 / AU$219.99 per month; or 750 assets for $199.99 / £119.99 / AU$263.99 per month.
Is Adobe Stock included in the Creative Cloud subscription?
An Adobe Stock subscription is NOT included in the Creative Cloud subscription, which has to be paid for separately. However, it's still worth subscribing to the Creative Cloud, because Adobe Stock is so beautifully and seamlessly integrated into a range of Adobe apps.
With a Creative Cloud subscription, for instance, you'll be able to import Adobe Stock assets quickly and easily into apps like Photoshop, without ever having to leave the interface. That's a fantastic productivity boost, especially as you can trial Adobe Stock assets in your designs before committing to buy them.
Can students and teachers get a discount on Adobe Stock?
No, there's no educational discount on Adobe Stock. However, if you’re a student, teacher or anyone working in education, then you can get a big discount on an All Apps Creative Cloud plan. This means the price plummets just $19.99 / £16.24 / AU$21.99 per month for the first year, and then $29.99 / £24.96 / AU$43.99 the following year.