Exclusive stock photos are a vital asset for brands, as they convey the uniqueness and authenticity that can make or break a campaign.
Among the stock media industry’s options, iStock Signature stands as an unrivaled solution. With its meticulous curation, flexible licensing, and astonishingly affordable pricing, the exclusive segment of iStock redefines the standards for premium stock images, providing brands with a potent edge in creating compelling, one-of-a-kind visual narratives.
Today, Stockphotosecrets helps you discover how iStock Signature can become your brand’s hidden ace up the sleeve.
Exceptional, premium images are invaluable in branding and marketing campaigns, as they provide all the desirable traits that the visual aspect of your brand needs to convey.
Using photos not seen elsewhere helps define your brand's unique identity, expectations, and emotions, setting it apart from the competition.
While stock photography is commonly regarded by its detractors as “generic,” exclusive stock images have the added value that is perfect for brands and businesses:
- They’re less widely used, and they feel more unique and authentic than their non-exclusive counterparts, especially if you edit them wisely
- They have higher production value, which lends to your brand, increasing its value and relevance
- They’re more artistic than merely commercial, boosting your brand image with a touch of individuality
Premium stock photography helps you build a strong brand image that resonates with your target audience and effective marketing campaigns that improve consumer trust and brand loyalty and ultimately boost your profitability.
But where can you find exclusive stock photos and images? This service is less common than budget stock photography, but a few noteworthy options remain. Offset by Shutterstock is a premium and curated collection of photos available for license on the agency’s primary website; Adobe Stock Premium is partly an exclusive photo library within the Adobe Stock service. However, the best premium stock photo collection is, by far, iStock Signature.
The renowned stock photo agency iStock (previously known as iStockphoto; read the iStock review if you don’t know about it) has exclusive and premium stock photos available for download as it splits its massive image library into two collections: Essentials for non-exclusive and budget-friendly images and Signature, which hosts exclusive images only.
iStock Signature is a unique offer in the stock photo industry because these professional images are not only exclusive but also high-end quality, highly curated, super flexible in terms of possible uses, and crazy affordable compared to the other (very few) alternatives.
Let’s have a closer look.
iStock Signature images are unique to iStock and its parent company, Getty Images, and cannot be found on any other platform, yet they are not exclusively licensed. This means that others can license the same image as you.
However, since these images are tightly distributed through one channel and are carefully curated to ensure their exclusivity, they add a touch of originality to your designs or presentations. This rarity enhances their value, making them an excellent choice for those seeking distinctive visuals without complete exclusivity –which also signifies less costly price points, as you will soon see.
In addition, the Signature collection isn’t limited to still images like photos and illustrations, but it includes exclusive, high-end video clips. This can be a valuable bonus for brands, as video content is now a staple of successful marketing campaigns.
For this reason, Signature pictures also have a higher price point –but you'll be shocked to learn how affordable they are. Here, you have more information on the difference between iStock's Essential and Signature collections and how those differences impact cost.
While all pictures included in iStock’s library are high resolution, have remarkable commercial value, and are suitable for professional use, the Signature gallery stands out because of its premium quality.
All images curated into the photo collection are carefully selected based on their authenticity and higher artistic value. This results in a boutique-style depository where you can find high-quality images for your projects with an extra something — see the two Signature images that accompany this article and you'll see what we mean!
It's a very large pool of content, as well. Right now, iStock Signature hosts 30 million images, and they add freshly new pictures regularly.
The Signature service also offers access to valuable supplementary features powered by industry experts to aid your image selection process. This includes Editor's Picks, Artist of the Month showcases, evolving collections of visual storytelling themes, and other meticulously selected galleries available on their platform.
Most notably, iStock includes Visual GPS, a service developed in partnership with MarketCast that exploits the agency's internal search data, market research, and in-house experts' knowledge to deliver up-to-the-minute info on content trends and customer decision-making for any region or topic to facilitate the finding of the perfect content that aligns with your brand and message for effective campaigns.
Lastly, the integrated iStock editor empowers you to swiftly craft compelling visuals, such as social media graphics and flyers, using the finest Signature images directly within the platform. With this editing tool, you can perform all sorts of basic editing tasks like cropping, resizing, adding text, applying filters, and more to produce pro-styled graphics in no time. A big plus is that you can test-edit any image from the catalog before licensing the ideal one.
iStock's website boasts a modern, sleek design that offers a pleasant user experience. Its user interface is intuitively designed, making navigation a straightforward process for all users. This streamlined design appeals to a wide audience with different levels of technological proficiency.
One notable aspect of iStock is its regionalized support for multiple languages (more than sixteen languages), showcasing its commitment to inclusivity. This feature allows brands and businesses from around the world to comfortably access their services.
The iStock royalty-free licensing model is one of the most encompassing and straightforward in the market. With a standard iStock license image rights, you can use a Signature photo in many designs and mediums with few limitations. And even then, several limitations can be lifted if you acquire an Extended license.
Royalty-free stock photos are a one-time pay, and you get to use them for as long as you wish and on as many placements as you desire, providing you comply with the licensing terms, so they’re a cost-effective solution for long-term use.
Everything is detailed and explained in our comprehensive guide to iStock photo licensing.
Another aspect that differentiates iStock Signature from other premium stock photography offers is its price points.
While other exclusive collections from another photo marketplace like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock are available on-demand only and come at considerably higher prices than their regular non-exclusive images, iStock Signature is available both on demand and with subscription plans, and the prices are only slightly above those of the non-premium segment.
|Stock Agency||Price for Single Image (On-Demand)||Price for Subscription (Per Image)|
|iStock Signature||$24 – $33 (with credits)||$0.44 – $9.99 (with subscription)|
|Offset by Shutterstock||$249 (per image)||N/A (No subscription option)|
|Adobe Stock Premium||$119.99 – $499.99 (per image)||N/A (No subscription option)|
On-demand, you can buy Signature pictures (with a standard license) with credits; each image costs three credits. Depending on the credit pack you buy –larger packs reduce the per-credit price– an exclusive high-res photo on iStock will cost you between $24 and $33 if you pay the regular price. You can cut it down to $28.05 and $18 using our official iStock promo codes (the best discount is with the special 25% off code for large credit packs).
In contrast, Shutterstock’s Offset pictures cost $249 a piece, and Adobe Stock Premium photos are between $119.99 and $499.99, depending on size. Plus, images on these services are high-quality stock images but not only available to their platforms, so you can find them elsewhere and are more widely distributed, losing the uniqueness factor.
If you thought this price difference with other image bank alternatives was abysmal, wait until you learn this: iStock’s premium photo subscription plans give you access to the entire catalog, including Essentials and Signature image downloads. There are several volume tiers; if you take an annual commitment (billed monthly), you get an even better rate. But in general, Signature pictures with a subscription range between $0.44 and $9.99 per photo download using a premium subscription. If you apply our unique iStock promo code for subscriptions, you save even more and get premium stock photos for as little as $0.37 to $8.50 each. You read that right: less than forty cents apiece for premium and premium, high-quality photos.
Even better news? iStock has a free trial offer, where you can test a subscription, including ten free image downloads for one month. Depending on your region, you can access a premium subscription as part of your trial and download up to 10 Signature images with a full standard license at no cost.
At this point, investing in iStock Signature to supply the perfect pictures for your brand should be a no-brainer.
This is a reputable stock photo agency and an invaluable service with no parallel in the industry that can quickly boost your brand’s image and profitability with premium licensed pictures for a fraction of the cost of other similar offers.
Are you ready to adopt iStock Signature for your business?
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