Freepik (opens in new tab) has announced the acquisition of two content services in a bid to strengthen its visual assets offerings.
The free stock image and vector illustration platform is adding icons and illustration library Iconfinder and Original Mockup, a mockup template solution, to its portfolio.
News of the purchase – whose terms remain as yet undisclosed – comes just months after the company bought UK-based stock video service Videvo.
Content is king
The demand for design assets continues to grow – from content creators, technology professionals, logo designers, and website builders. According to Freepik, 3D modeling and mockup assets are at the top of this list.
But the deal isn’t simply an attempt to build up Freepik’s burgeoning graphic design library. It’s also driven by a need to create localized content for international markets – an increasingly important factor for creators and businesses keen to attract audiences through more personalized content.
Artificial intelligence plays a core part of this goal. Freepik has already made strides in the creative AI arena – a fact Martin LeBlanc, CEO and co-founder of Iconfinder noted when discussing the acquisition.
“What also appealed to us about Freepik was its progress made with various AI solutions – rather than fighting the tide of artificial image generation, this company is leading the charge,” he said.
However, AI has, of late, been a controversial topic across the art and design world.
Speaking exclusively to TechRadar Pro, Freepik CEO and founder Joaquin Cuenca Abela remained bullish.
“We are convinced that images generated by AI will be a revolution for graphic design, and that’s why we believed in introducing this technology since the very beginning,” he said.
“The use case is crystal clear: entrepreneurs and small businesses prefer exclusive images, rather than relying on stock images. That’s why we’ve explored offering images on demand, with the precise specifications the user requires.”
“We’re seeing more self-proclaimed AI artists, like the creator of Dall-E 2, train algorithms to create realistic images from natural language descriptions, shaking up the design world in the process. Technology is expressing human creativity, rather than replacing it. One thing is certain: design assets must be able to communicate clearly what people are trying to say, adhering to the increasingly digital world around us. If this is executed well, AI can certainly be a catalyst of creativity and human-centric design.”
“The key is to ensure that AI systems are always paired with humans, which will optimize information and ideas. Then we’ll see human-centric design flourish.”