When we needed a biplane for the banner graphic of a  blog, we started with the simple vector illustration shown below. The great thing about using a vector illustration (rather than a photograph) is that each element of the illustration exists on a separate layer. So we could open up the layers in Adobe Illustrator and just start playing.

Stock graphic of a biplane with banner

First, we changed the color of the plane, the pilot’s helmet, and the scarf. Then, we added a floral detail to the fuselage to “girl it up” a little. Next, we squared off the end of the banner and added the blog name. Once the text was placed, we exaggerated the wave of the banner to match that of the blog name.

The image was still a little flat, so we added a drop shadow to give it some depth. Then, last but not least, we added a background tile to the blog site to put some sky around the plane.

Below is the finished banner graphic.

Midlife Flyby banner graphic

Even though the blogger didn’t have the budget to hire an artist to create the bi-plane for the banner graphic, we were able to deliver a fun and unique image by starting with a stock vector graphic.

If you’ve used stock illustrations as the starting point for some of your custom graphics, we’d love to hear about it.