Royalty-Free Creative Resources our Designers Bookmark in 2021

Nicole Boswell
May 13, 2020

Design is a dynamic industry requiring constant change and growth. What we made five years ago looks outdated, and all the tools we used then are likely changed or gone.  Like any type of design, instructional designers must constantly maintain a growth mindset and look for the latest creative tools to continue to stay relevant.

In the year 2021, these are the top royalty-free creative resources our designers are using to make the amazing training they make every day.

Stock Image Resources


Pexels has become a golden standard for instructional designers looking for high-quality free stock images. Pexels has become especially popular for instructional designers due to its integration with Articulate products.



What was once a “one pretty picture a day” type of website has become another standard for designers. Web and instructional designers frequently use the images on Unsplash to incorporate into their design. The collections on Unsplash are especially helpful for incorporating a cohesive look/feel throughout a learning project.



Free Music Archive- Scott Holmes' Collection
Scott Holmes has created albums and albums of corporate stock music that we continue to love after years of use. He is a go-to for us when looking for stock music for training products. Of course, Free Music Archive (FMA) offers many other royalty free music as well.
Check out this royalty free album

Purple Planet Music

Purple Planet Music is a fun little site with a collection of royalty free music and sounds that we have enjoyed exploring more this year. The Inspirational Music Collection is the collection we use the most.

Check out this free song



Flaticon has been a favorite of ours for years now. Flaticon offers a wide variety of free icons plus more at a premium price. If you register for the site (which is free), you can even adjust the colors of all the icons to match the colors of your project for free. Icon packs are especially helpful for projects when you want to keep a cohesive look and feel in your design.

Icon made by Freepik

Stock Video

It is really challenging to find high-quality stock video for free. Often, stock video sites offer outdated footage that immediately ages new projects and decreases their credibility. These are some of the better options we have found.


Videvo offers an amazing collection of not just stock video, but also music, and motion graphics. It’s a growing favorite and go-to resource for our designers. We have found that it’s easiest to filter by what’s free.

Pexels- Video

Although Pexels was already mentioned above, one under-appreciated feature of Pexels is the growing collection of  stock videos. While the collection is still small, the videos on Pexels look modern and relevant to current audiences.

Always Thank the Contributors

Most royalty free websites are a compilation of dedicated contributors looking to share their talent and make our jobs easier. We strongly advocate to say “thanks” to contributors through attributions to help them gain exposure.

About the Author

Nicole Boswell

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