Last updated Dec 28, 2020.
Well, what if I told you you could pay a seriously low monthly subscription, and gain unlimited download access to 54,000,000+ creative quality stock assets — including top notch video templates, stock footage, stock photos, graphic templates, vector illustrations, stock music, sound effects, and more!
It’s called Envato Elements, and while there are a few other subscription based creative asset libraries out there … there’s no other service we found that gives you quite as much for the money as Elements.
For the unbelievable low price of only $16.50 per month for an individual account (to put it in perspective — that’s less money than licensing ONE song or ONE image on many stock sites), you gain access to Elements library of over 54 MILLION+ quality creative assets.
Want to learn more?
This comprehensive Envato Elements subscription review covers everything you need to know about the service:
Jump to a Section:
- The Pros and Cons of Envato Elements
- What’s Included with an Envato Elements Subscription?
- How Much Does Envato Elements Cost?
- Site Usability and Navigation
- Envato Elements Simple Commercial Licensing
- Subscription Benefits for All Types of Content Creators
- Even More Benefits: Includes Subscription to Envato Tuts+
- Even More Benefits: Includes access to 50 Million+ Stock Photos on Twenty20
- The Disadvantages of a Subscription
- Is Envato Elements Worth It?
So, if you’re a graphic designer, motion designer, video creator, blogger, web developer, or creative agency…
You’re going to want to stick around.
Envato Elements Subscription Review
Before we get into all the details, here are some pros and cons of an Envato Elements subscription.
PROS of Envato Elements
- One subscription, unlimited downloads
- One simple commercial license for all items
- Massive library of templates, themes, photos, videos, and design assets
- Subscription includes Premium Access to Envato Tuts+ (1000+ Courses and 240+ eBooks)
- New items added daily
- GREAT value for the money
CONS of Envato Elements
- Huge library, but might not have specific items you’re looking for
- Subscription does not include technical support on downloaded items
- You will always have access to the most up-to-date version of items at all times, but you won’t receive notifications when updates are available
What is Envato Elements?
In their own words, they’re calling it Design Without Limits.
One subscription. Unlimited downloads. 54,000,000+ inspiring, hand-crafted templates, themes, & assets. Made with love by some of the world’s best independent designers. Relevant, on-trend, and beautiful presented. ~ Envato Elements
But before we get too excited, let’s talk about how Envato Elements works…
How Does Envato Elements Work?
You may be familiar with the more traditional digital stock marketplaces, where a user typically purchases assets on an individual basis – each one coming with it’s own unique commercial license. Envato Elements works a little different.
It’s a subscription based model, where for a monthly fee (only $16.50/month, when paid annually), you receive unlimited access to their incredible catalog of over 54,000,000+ creative resources:
- Stock Photos
- Stock Videos
- Motion Design Templates
- Graphic Templates
- Presentation templates
- Website Templates
- WordPress Themes
- CMS templates
- Add-ons (Photoshop, Illustrator, & Lightroom)
- 3D objects
- And more!
Plus (and this might be my favorite part):
They’ve also added a HUGE selection of 64,900+ royalty free music tracks and 445,000+ sound effects to the Envato Elements subscription!!
Now, I know you’re probably thinking…
What’s the catch?
That’s what I thought too — before I signed up.
Is there an Envato Elements Free Trial?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
I’d guess the reason is because a subscription involves having unlimited access to download literally hundreds of thousands of items… and if they let people sign up for free, even for a short amount of time – they’d essentially be giving all of the assets away.
That being said, you’re able to search through their entire library for free — before signing up.
Navigating the Site
They’ve really made it simple to find the right item for your project on Envato Elements.
They offer a variety of ways to search, browse, and discover content. On top of being able to search by using keywords… you can narrow your search by using the intuitive filters in each category to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Browsing Tip: When looking at a specific item’s page, Envato offers you alternatives that are similar to the one you’re currently viewing. Exploring these related items is a fantastic way to ensure you’ve found the perfect item for your creative project.
Envato Elements Subscription Benefits
Envato has certainly packed a lot into this subscription. But exactly who is Envato Elements for? Here’s a quick summary of how it can benefit different types of content creators:
For Graphic Designers and Agencies
Having unlimited access to tons of quality print layouts, product mock-ups, vector illustrations, infographic templates, fonts, and icons can help improve your efficiency and overall design.
Get gorgeous Adobe Lightroom presets to quickly enhance and stylize your photos… plus loads of Adobe Photoshop add-ons!
And another thing… don’t forget to check out all of the portfolio website templates to share your work!
For Filmmakers and Video Creators
Access to an abundance of stock photos, stock videos, and motion graphics templates that can add instant value to your video projects.
Increase your production value with stylish openers & intro video templates, cool company logo reveals, elegant lower thirds & titles templates, and tasteful product promo templates.
And perhaps the best news of all for video creators:
This one in particular is huge for me.
By adding royalty free music and sound effects to the subscription, I believe Envato has just made Elements the best creative subscription service for video creators.
For Web Developers and Bloggers
You’ll have access to all kinds of Website themes and templates. Including responsive WordPress themes, CMS templates, Landing Pages, eCommerce templates, and loads more.
And if you need design elements for your site… there’s a huge assortment of artistic backgrounds, illustrations, icons, and stock photos!
Another huge benefit for web developers and bloggers is Envato Elements new partnership with Twenty20. This adds access to over 50 Million+ authentic, real-world photos for you to use in your personal and professional projects.
The bottom line?
With new assets going up on a daily basis, there’s not much not to like about Envato Elements.
But wait! There’s more…
Another huge benefit for web developers and bloggers is Envato Elements new partnership with Twenty20.
This gives you access to over 50 Million+ authentic, real-world photos to use in your personal and professional projects.
The bottom line?
With new assets going up on a daily basis, there’s not much not to like about Envato Elements.
But wait! There’s more…
Even More Benefits:
Learn A New Skill with Envato Tuts+ Premium
Have you heard of Tuts+?
It’s an online learning platform that has over 28,500 FREE how-to tutorials for creatives!
Wow, that’s great!
But what does this have to do with Envato Elements?
Well, another HUGE plus of an Envato Elements subscription is gaining premium access to Tuts+.
This gives you access to the additional 1,270+ video courses on Envato Tuts+, which covers everything an eager content creator needs:
- Design & Illustration Courses
- Coding Courses
- Web Design Courses
- Photography & Video Courses
- Business Courses
- Music & Audio Courses
- 3D Animation & Motion Graphics Courses
And if all that isn’t enough… Access to Tuts+ premium also gets you over 250 specialized eBooks!
One subscription, two great sites.
Get Access to over 50 Million+ Photos on Twenty20
Envato has teamed up with MEGA Stock Photo powerhouse Twenty20, and now your Envato Elements subscription grants you access to over 50 Million+ high quality stock photos!
Twenty20 is known for their huge selection of authentic, real world stock photos.
For me, this incredible new partnership only reinforces the fact that Envato Elements has become the ultimate creative subscription for content creators in 2020.
What about the Disadvantages?
I gotta say, so far… this sounds absolutely amazing! And honestly – yes, I believe it is. But of course… it’s not all roses here, even though it may sound that way up to this point. Let’s discuss some of the potential disadvantages to an Envato Elements subscription.
Everyone Gets Access to the Same Files One downside to using a service like this — or any stock music/images/video for that matter… is that it’s very possible that you’ll see or hear the same stock assets being used by somebody else; a random YouTuber, another company, or even worse – your competition. This is why some companies and organizations prefer to pay for original content to be created. This way, they exclusively own all of the assets, and can use them as they please. Because remember: When you’re purchasing stock media – you don’t own it. You’re just paying for a license to use it.
No Item Support or Update Notifications
Another drawback is that Envato Elements does not provide technical support for any items. I’ll explain: Due to the nature of this being an unlimited subscription, and since all items on Elements are created by independent authors – Envato isn’t able to provide direct support or advice on the use of items. Now, in some cases (like stock photos, for example): this usually isn’t a big deal. But not having item support is often a deal breaker for web developers in regards to buying website themes or templates. Beyond that… even though all future updates of an item are included in your subscription, notifications of item updates are not included. To put it simply: You’ll have to check for item updates manually.
Smaller Catalog than Traditional Stock Marketplaces
It’s also important to note that the amount of assets available on Envato Elements is significantly smaller than what’s on some of the traditional creative stock marketplaces… sites such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Pond5, or even Envato Market itself.
To illustrate this point; we picked a random (but not comletely uncommon) term – New Orleans, and performed a search for stock video of it on Envato Elements.
There were 4 results found, and I wouldn’t say they were particularly useful.
Have a look at the sad screenshot…
However, the good news is when we searched for stock photos of New Orleans, Envato Elements gave us 85 results.
Still not a great deal, but at least there were some!
Alternatively, contrast that with Shutterstock, where you’ll find over 4,000 results when searching for stock footage of New Orleans.
Of course, the biggest difference with the larger marketplaces is that you typically pay for each individual asset you download… or they offer a limited subscription model – which tend to be a little more expensive (for what you get), and cap you at a certain amount of downloads per day, week, or month.
Whereas with an Envato Elements subscription, you have unlimited download access to their entire catalog.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that Stock Footage and Video Templates are relatively new additions to the Envato Elements catalog. So I’m sure they’re in the process of trying to grow those libraries.
You’ll just want to be on alert if you’re looking for very specific types of stock footage.
You’re always able to browse the entire Envato Elements catalog for free – before signing up.
Now to the question I’m sure you’ve been waiting for…
Is Envato Elements Worth It?
As far as overall value for the money, speaking as a consistent content creator:
Yes, it’s absolutely worth it.
In fact, I’d say Envato Elements has become the ultimate creative subscription for content creators.
For the unbelievable low price of only $16.50 per month (to put it in perspective — that’s less than licensing ONE song or ONE image on many stock sites), you gain access to over 2 MILLION+ quality creative assets.
However, what it really boils down to is — how often will you use it?
It is a subscription after all, and just like a gym membership… you’ll be paying for it whether you use it or not.
Here’s the thing:
For me, as far as creative resources go… Envato Elements is a dream if you’re a blogger and need high-end supporting images or design elements for your posts or social media promotions.
If you’re a freelance graphic designer, or a creative agency, and your clients expect quality results fast… it’s wonderful having instant access to quality graphic templates like business cards, mock ups, fonts, and Photoshop actions.
For video creators there are stock footage and motion design templates… lightroom presets for photographers, and WordPress themes, templates, fonts, and design elements for web designers & developers. You also now have access to 500,000+ royalty free music and sound effects and growing!
And to top it off, you’re getting full access to the creative courses and eBooks at Envato Tuts+.
The bottom line: There’s a ton of value here.
So, what do you think? Is Envato Elements right for you?
Powered by a community of independent designers and artists… Envato Elements opens up a world of creative possibilities for all types of projects.
Personally, I’m am huge fan.
As a video editor, motion designer, and blogger… I find myself using Envato Elements almost every day.
It can really help fill the gap if there’s a specific creative skill you’re lacking, or if you just need access to high-quality assets to help you put out awesome content quickly.
And to top it off, the combination of Envato Tuts+ and Envato Elements under one subscription is pretty significant.
Look at it this way:
You’re able to learn a new skill through Tuts+, then flip over to Envato Elements where you have unlimited access to well-crafted creative assets that you can use in your projects; personal and professional.
All of this under one simple commercial-use license.
I’ll say it again… I’m a huge fan.
And if all this wasn’t enough, Envato throws music and sound effects into the deal. At this point, I believe it’s safe to say that Envato Elements has become the ultimate subscription for content creators.
Signing up for an Envato Elements account is really easy, and gives you access to browse their incredible catalog of creative elements for free.
How about you?
What’s been your experience with Envato Elements? Have you found any better alternatives?
As a creative, what do you think about these massive subscription-based digital asset marketplaces? Are they helping or hurting our industry?
We hope our Envato Elements subscription review has been helpful to you. If you have any further questions about the subscription, feel free to let us know in the comments.