For graphic designers, bloggers, user interface, and marketers, Open Peeps has been a godsend since Pablo Stanley released it in 2019. The hand-drawn illustration library enables visual communication professionals to tell the story of their brands with customized vector art.
In that respect, there are a few things that make it a popular resource. One, it supports Mix & Match. Anyone can combine different elements to create illustrations that match a specific purpose. You can change clothing, hairstyles, even emotions.
It is also possible to change the position of each figure with different poses. In other words, it might be stock drawings, but the final look is in your hands.
Most noteworthy is the fact that Open Peeps is entirely free. The library is in the public domain under the CC0 license, allowing anyone to use it for personal or commercial reasons.
With these qualities, it might be hard to see why anyone would need an alternative. However, variety is the spice of life, and as great as it is, Peeps has its limitations. Like the fact that there are no icon options or illustrations for objects.
In this article, I have compiled ten alternative resources to Open Peeps. While some of them are direct substitutes, others are complementary options that make up for its deficiencies. Either way, these illustration websites will help you achieve your design goals.
If you are a huge fan of Pablo’s style but want something with a more natural look, then this design library might just be for you. Humaaans is another project from the graphic designer with several qualities that make Open Peeps a favorite.
One of them is the endless customization feature of Open Peeps. While every illustration has its template, you can change them to match the theme and style of your project. All the elements are open for editing, from the hairstyle to tops and pants.
Asides from that, you can design their body. Want your Humaaans looking down or in the opposite direction? It is possible to rotate and position the elements in your Humaaans in any direction. It is like working with lego blocks made out of human flesh.
This feature means you can use them for any project, from landing pages, flyers and invitations, to tattoo designs. Additionally, it also enables you to incorporate inclusivity and diversity in your product design easily.
One place Humaaans goes further than Open Peeps is the ability to set a scene for your illustrations. You can contextualize the interaction between your Humaaans by adding background objects like flower pots and office and home furniture.
Also, like Open Peeps, it is completely free. The library has a public domain license and is thus available for commercial and personal use at zero cost.
Speaking of using it, you can use it with Blush. You can also download the library and use it with tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, and InVision Studio in SVG and PNG formats.
Compared to Open Peeps, you are not just getting access to stock illustrations of people in Glaze. You are also getting stock images of objects in different categories.
Illustrated images are categorized by travel, technology, business, places, health & wellness, and home life. If you ever find yourself designing a product or crafting a story with pets, it also has background image vectors and animal images.
With so many images to offer, Glaze offers filter tools to help you find the right image for your projects easily. There is a Browse section to scan by category and a search field to find any image using a keyword.
Glaze is a collection of drawings from different artists, a notable advantage over Open Peeps. So while all illustrations on Peeps come in only one style, you have various options to choose from with Glaze.
That also means you can contribute to the library and earn exposure and money when someone uses your image. Attribution is necessary when you or other users download an image for free. Users can pay to remove the attribution, of which the artist gets 70% of each sale.
There are also other advantages other than removing attribution when you pay for an image. You get the full-size image, multiple colorways, and access to the source files.
Like Open Peeps, Glaze files are available in PNG format. This grants you maximum flexibility over the size and shape of every image without compromising quality. It is a handy feature when designing for different layouts on the web and mobile for Android and iOS.
Longtime designers are probably familiar with Icons8. It is one of the world’s leading databases of design elements. Located within the website is a database specifically for illustrations named Ouch!.
Purely in terms of options, Ouch! is not just a leading alternative to Open Peeps but a better resource overall. It has multiple categories covering different industries and sectors, such as Biotech, Artificial Intelligence, Crypto, Food, Military, Background, and more.
Images in each category are also available in multiple vector styles. Some of the available styles include Glossy, Inky, and Papery.
The platform collates illustrations from several leading Dribble artists to provide maximum variety in its collections.
You can search for an illustration via their category or by using the search box placed front and center on the website. Each category contains different images in different styles with clean and trendy looks that are regularly updated.
Once you’ve found an image you want, you can download a low-res version of the image for free. To get higher quality PNGs or access to SVG files, you need a monthly subscription or a one-time payment for one vector file.
Also, Ouch! has an in-built editor that allows mix and match and other editing actions on the image. So, in addition to larger vector images, you can customize them according to the needs of your project.
Some of the customization options include color, text, background, icons, and photos. You can also upload your own vector images to merge with other drawings. All of these are executable within the editor via an intuitive layout that makes Ouch! easy to use.
Explore more platforms like Icons8.
One of the disadvantages of Open Peeps is the lack of regular design updates. So, even creative use of its Mix and Match features would lose its uniqueness once other designers get wind of it.
That is not an issue with ManyPixels, a service offered by a design agency that builds for customers. The library adds new illustrations every week, with refreshed and trendy looks and styles.
Beyond that, users can download different types of illustrations besides human designs. Like several of the alternatives we’ve discussed so far, there are images in various categories.
There are illustrations available in Sport & Recreation, Geography, Finance, Analytics, Science, Entertainment, and more. You can also choose your preferred vector types or styles within each category, including two-color, isometric, outline, flatline, and monochromatic.
All of this is accessible on a simple and easy-to-understand interface. You can browse through category by category or via the search box using appropriate keywords.
Designers who love Open Peeps’ Mix and Match might miss the feature in this alternative, but there is still a personalization function. You can change the color of each illustration to match the color scheme of your project via a Color Hex.
While that might be too limited for advanced and complex projects, it is suitable for simpler designs.
Furthermore, illustrations in ManyPixels are available in SVG and PNG formats for free, perfect for beginners and anyone looking to save money. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes without attribution as long as you are not using the image for a competing service.
At a fundamental level, there is not much that separates Blush from other alternatives to Open Peeps discussed so far. Well, there is one thing. It contains Open Peeps illustrations alongside illustrations from other artists.
You can think of it as not so much an Open Peeps alternative, but Open Peeps with way more styles and design elements.
There are various collections of illustrations by artists across the globe and many more from community members who regularly contribute to the platform. If you are looking for an alternative to Peeps because you want more design options, you will find them here.
But having such an extensive database is only excellent if it fits seamlessly into your workflow. Blush does that.
You can install the service as a plugin to Figma and Sketch and access all the art you need for your project in one place. This allows you to test an illustration to see how it fits before full-scale editing.
But if you prefer to download to drag and drop from a folder, Blush lets you do that too. The Blush license offers unlimited PNG downloads with zero attribution regardless of the purpose. That means you can use any illustration for yourself or a client.
Considering it is free, it is a pretty sweet deal, but there is even more if you are willing to pay. The paid plan unlocks every illustration on Blush, the ability to download in SVG format, and high-resolution PNG files.
Having to pay for high-quality files might seem unattractive for someone used to Open Peeps. However, you can use the seven-day trial to see if it is worth the money.
I said earlier that some of the alternatives on this list are more complementary than outright substitutes. Absurd is one of them. Like Peeps, it is a personal project by an illustration designer with a different operative model from other graphic resources libraries.
The name is very instructive on the kind of illustrations you will find here. You won’t find your standard designs of everyday people, industry-specific objects, and backgrounds. It is all about the weird and unusual here but in Open Peeps’ monochromatic style.
A quick browse through the available collection shows this alternative is not for every designer or project. Certainly not for anyone working on a public-facing project for a client. But it might be useful for designers working on a personal project or a brand that wants to stand out by catering to a select audience.
The illustrations include artworks like a lightbulb in a human coat with a tap watering a plant and a human eye shaped like a fish.
If it is right up your alley, 15 illustrations on Absurd are available for download for free in PNG format. You also have to give credit if you use them for personal or commercial projects.
However, for a couple of dollars every three months to become a member, you get access to the entire collection in PNG and SVG formats and file editing permission.
Inability to edit the illustrations for free might make this a disappointing option for those who enjoy Open Peeps for that reason. But suppose you are attracted to Peeps because of the human imagination and non-corporate feeling behind it. In that case, you might find Absurd useful for your work.
As mentioned earlier, the lack of options in design elements is the major Achilles heel of Open Peeps as a graphic resource library.
When you combine your Peeps with different design elements, you either have to look for ones with a similar style, create them yourself, or accept the mismatch.
That is where LukaszAdam’s library shines as a valuable alternative to Open Peeps. Owned by an illustration designer of the same name, there are illustrations of different elements—people, objects, industry-specific, and icons.
There are also Pattern sets, Emoji sets, UI sets, 404 Illustrations, and many more. All are available for use as a hero image anywhere to capture the service offered by your brand or tell your story.
You don’t have to worry about a style mismatch when crafting a story with different elements for any project – be it a website, web app, or mobile app – all while retaining the personal touch that makes Open Peeps a beloved resource library.
Aside from that, all the illustrations are available for free in SVG file format. You can scale any image you want without losing quality or attributing credit, although it is encouraged. The files are available under the CC0 license, making them free to use, even for commercial purposes.
It also means you are free to customize them as you wish. You can change the color, cut parts out, or reshape the vectors. But that is something you have to do on your own with your preferred design tool. There is no in-built editor in this library.
That said, if you find the illustrations useful, you can buy the designer coffee and get an additional illustration pack in return.
unDraw is another personal project in the same vein as Open Peeps. Owned by Katerina Limpitsouni, an illustrator, it contains more than 500 illustrations in multiple categories, all of which are free in SVG and PNG formats.
Designers working on a project can download the SVG file for their projects. Content creators can use the PNG formats for blogs and social media.
The website design is similar to ManyPixels discussed above. You can browse through every available illustration on a single page or streamline your search using keywords using the search box.
Similarly, it has a color selector that enables you to match any illustration to the brand’s identity. As a result, if you find an element you like, you don’t have to edit it in a separate editor, making this a plug-and-play alternative to Open Peeps.
It also has the same CC0 license as Open Peeps, freeing you from any need to pay to use the illustrations or give credit. However, this only applies as long as you don’t intend to sell or redistribute the files.
Furthermore, it is pretty easy to download any file you want from the library. No sign-up is necessary, so you don’t have to worry about compromising your privacy or invasive emails. Simply click any illustration you want and select your preferred file format.
Another significant advantage is you can embed code for each illustration in your HTML and save your server requests.
Flaticon is the most unlike Open Peeps alternative on this list but a necessary addition all the same. It has the most extensive collection of icons in the world, making it a handy resource to have alongside Open Peeps or any resource library in this list.
This collection includes over 5.7 million icons and stickers, available in different categories that make them easy to find. Flaticon also has a search box front and center of its website that enables you to jump straight into what you need without wasting time browsing.
Of the 5.7 million icons and stickers, over 2.2 million of them are vector icons that you can use for social media graphics, web apps, and websites. These files are also available in different formats, including PNG, SVG, PSD, BASE 64, and EPS formats.
Another unique feature and one that makes it a valuable complementary resource to Open Peeps is WordPress integration. With it, you don’t have to visit the website to find an icon. You can search for one directly from your dashboard, and it is extremely easy to use.
You can also integrate it with Google Workspace in apps like Google Docs and Slides, giving you access on the go and enabling collaborative development.
Most of them are designed to appeal to the average user. However, you can still personalize and create the perfect icon for your project with its in-built editor. The editor allows you to adjust the size, position, and colors.
Flaticon also allows you to create your own collection by saving a copy of your icons to use later or share with other designers and illustrators.
Explore the best alternatives to Flaticon.
The final resource library in our list is another Pablo Stanley project, Avataaars. It is a free Sketch library that allows designers, creators, illustrators, and anyone to create avatar illustrations quickly.
It comes with all the trademark diversity and inclusion in design that makes Open Peeps a helpful resource. There is support for unlimited variation of avatars, enabling its use for any type of project.
Those who love Open Peeps’ mix and match feature will also find that available and easy to use here. You can mix and match hairstyles, accessories, clothing, skin color, eye expressions, and graphics on t-shirts.
This feature means, even with a limited number of avatar templates, you can create any look you need to match a brand’s identity or your vision.
While the library is mainly for Sketch, you can edit and download avatars online using a web editor. It is a simple interface with a form structure to choose your preferred option for each element in the avatar and download in PNG and SVG file formats.
Expectedly, Avataaars is completely free for commercial and personal use, with zero need for attribution. However, it is good manners to always give credit. Simply visit the website and hit download to get the library from a Dropbox page to get the library.
Another advantage of this alternative is that you can combine elements in this library with Open Peeps since they are both available on Sketch.
Open Peeps is one of the better graphic resource libraries out there for illustrators, designers, and content creators. It is free, easy to use, and flexible enough to allow individual input in the final design.
However, nothing is perfect, which is why the ten libraries discussed above are accessible alternatives worth considering. Some are great as a direct replacement, and others are suitable as a complementary graphic resource. Most of them are entirely free.
That is why it is hard to pick the overall best alternative. It all comes down to your needs and budget. Whatever your needs might be, there is something for everyone.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.