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Last updated December 19, 2018.
Can you imagine what it would be like to have unlimited access to an enormous supply of high quality, ready-to-use creative assets?
The good news?
Now, you don’t have to imagine.
It’s called Envato Elements, and as a consistent user of the creative subscription service – I thought you might like to know how it all works.
This comprehensive Envato Elements Subscription Review covers everything you need to know:
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
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.
- 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
- 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. 870,000+ 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 impressive catalog of over 870,000+ 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):
As of November 19, 2018, they’ve added a HUGE selection of 9,450+ royalty free music tracks and 76,800+ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 26,000 FREE how-to tutorials for creatives!
Wow, that’s great!
But what does this have to do with Envato Elements?
This gives you access to the additional 1000+ 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
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.
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.
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.
There were 0 results found.
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 55 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 subscription for content creators.
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 80,000+ 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 lot 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.
Joel Simser is a creative writer, entrepreneur, and all around video maestro. He’s produced original music for commercials and television, lent his voice to various promos and presentations, and edited thousands of non-award winning videos (including a few actual award shows).
As founder of AwesomeContentCreator.com, he authors in-depth guides that teach fellow content creators ways to grow and develop in their industries.