I've had the opportunity to conduct a product review of the vectors over at VectorVault. To go along with the review, I also had the opportunity to do a small interview with VectorVault's creator, Adam Jarvis, and I must say that I was both surprised, and totally excited at his responses. Why? It appears that the founder of VectorVault and I have something in common. . . we love to give away freebies! and Adam has some bold plans for the future of free vectors.
VectorVault offers packaged collections of vectors at an affordable price, and the purpose is to save time, and increase the quality of your designs when you don't have the time to make detailed vectors overnight to meet a ridiculous deadline. There are currently three collections, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. As well as a Trilogy package that contains all three collections.
Each collection is divided into 5 sets of 50 vectors. And the Kicker? VectorVault includes 25 Free Bonus vectors with each collection. (5 per subset) Like any respectable operation, the more you buy, the more you save as far as price goes. Subsets are $20, Collections are $50 (all 5 subsets), you get the picture.
Ok, Now the cool stuff:
Not only is this a good product, but it's very useful for a designer. Each download includes a VERY handy set of images with indexed thumbnails for easy reference. This saves even more time finding the vector you need. I can't stress enough how much time this product can save you in the long run.
I took a detailed look at a good chunk of these 750+ vectors, and I have to give this product my seal of approval as far as quality goes. In fact, some of the vectors made me think to myself, “How in the. . . did did they trace that!” Here's a small example of the detail to expect. (And as an overall observation, the collections contain more detailed vectors than simple ones)
Interview with Adam Jarvis, Creator of VectorVault:
This is the part I really wanted you all to hear. Especially Adam's responses to his future goals, and how to get these vectors without paying for them. I must say that if he reaches his goals, he will be one of my hero's. (and yours too, probably) Adam plans on eventually creating the largest FREE directory of vectors online. That's right, Free. I hope it happens sooner than later, and when it does, I pledge my support, an plan on contributing.
1. What inspired you to start VectorVault/How was VectorVault born?
Adam: Like many designers, I've created many logos and illustrations for clients and friends over the years. But to get a finished product the average designers creates several versions that usually do not see the light of day. These “odds and ends” usually go into a “graveyard” folder that I would visit now and then. Over time, that folder became a significant resource. One that I was very open to share with others. It seemed only natural to start packaging my collections. I priced them at student rates rather than targeting an advertising budget audience. Making my work available to many people is certainly more important to me than money.
2. Where do you see VectorVault in 5 years?
Adam: I use the revenue from Vectorvault for the next stage of this project. My dream is to create the largest FREE online database of vector art. I already rotate 6 free vector downloads a week to begin creating awareness for this project. The objective of a free site is to service designers and artists first, by allowing them to shape it's growth. My blueprint is pretty ambitious and complex. It will no doubt require more money and time. However, I am optimistic, due to the fantastic support and interest I have received. The bottom line is: I created this idea because I love art and design. Not because I have dreams of “Mr. Google” showing up at my door with a bag of money.
3. What is the most important and/or time consuming part of creating your product?
Adam: I would have to say that the most time consuming aspect is connecting with artists. I started a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/vectorvault). Regardless of my feeling towards the design or intentions of that community, it has been a great resource for meeting people who are just as passionate about vector art as I am. I have met people from many different countries and have been introduced to some of the most incredible talent I have ever seen. I only accept friends who are artists and I use the site to put the spotlight on other pages rather than push my product. The flip side to that is a great deal of time invested in maintaining relationships and communicating. I have become obsessed with learning about the people behind the work.
4. What is the most rewarding aspect of your business?
Adam: Giving away collections is very rewarding. Once every couple of weeks I select a random name from my mailing list pool and I reward them with a full VECTORVAULT? Trilogy Collection (over 750 royalty-free images). I love the reaction that I get from that. I also feel a real sense of pride when someone joins that mailing list. Whether they just want to win a free set or just want to connect – it makes me feel pretty nice. I respect that trust. I will never share (or sell) my list, and I do not abuse it. I'm in this for the long haul, and I want to make friends not loose them.
5. What would you say to someone who is skeptical about paying for VectorVault vectors?
Adam: Don't. Just visit my site every Monday and take what you need from the free downloads section of the site. With enough time and patience, you can build your own collection without spending a dime. I encourage that person to tell as many others about this resource. One day, it's going to be free anyway. You might as well help me out by spreading the word.
6. If you could compare VectorVault's collections to any other product/software, in a time-saving sense, what product/software and why.
Adam: There are certainly many other vector art collections out there. Some of them with extraordinary quality. However, no one comes close to the value and price that Vectorvault provides. This is not a sales pitch. Take a look for yourself. I designed it that way on purpose.
7. BittBox is a design blog, and I try to emphasize the fact that vector images are extremely valuable. Can you give us your take on the value and versatility of vectors?
Adam: I've been in advertising as a creative for over 15 years. I've watched it change, and in many ways I have changed along with it to survive. As a creative director, I have a certain perspective on what helps and what just costs money. We are in the business of taking ideas and illustrating them. Sometimes with limited resources and time. Well designed vectors can be your best friend in desperate times to help you meet your deadline. But the flexibility of this file format is the real value. It's flexible nature allows you to combine, distort, transform and nurture simple shapes into masterpieces. File sizes are small, universal, cross platform and easy to use.
It's the future.
8. Any additional comments?
Adam: Thank you for taking time to write this review. It really means something to me. I won't forget it.
Adam is right, vectors are the future, and congrats to him on a great product. I hope you paid attention to how Adam mentioned to get lots of freebies from VectorVault and his rotating free downloads section. I will be looking forward to the day when his Free online database for vectors gets launched! And like I said earlier, I would be more than happy to contribute to such a site, wouldn't you?