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Find Free Photoshop Brushes for Commercial Use

Updated on June 8, 2014

Sample of Free PS Brushes

These are a few of the brushes I've found that are free to use commercially. I've just added them to a white background for demonstration purposes.
These are a few of the brushes I've found that are free to use commercially. I've just added them to a white background for demonstration purposes.

Commercial Use Covers a Lot of Ground

In most cases, commercial use covers a lot:

  • Personal websites that generate income
  • Squidoo
  • HubPages
  • Zujuva
  • Weebly
  • POD sites like Zazzle
  • Artwork for book covers


Don't Rely On Old Lists

If you type into Google free photoshop brushes commercial use list there will be over one million results returned. The first page is filled with comprehensive lists that were painstakingly put together. In reality, it is close to the same list repeated over and over again.

When opening links to the sets of brushes, there are several things that become obvious:

  • The lists start to repeat themselves, almost word for word
  • There are links that lead to nowhere
  • Some of those free, commercial-use-friendly brushes are no longer free

The lists are a good starting point, but after a couple of hours the process seems to drag on without many new files to download.

Start Out With a Broad Search

Unless you are looking for one brush that accomplishes a task you have your heart set on, start out with a very broad search. Why? To find out what you may be missing. Looking up apple brushes ps free commercial use returns almost 10 million pages. Why? Because there are not many brush packs with those keywords - Google just decided to pick the next best thing without 'apple' included.

If the search is expanded to fruit brushes ps free commercial use there are over 18 million results returned - and many of those on the first page are pretty relevant. It isn't as obscure as apple, but not so broad that unicorns are highlighted, either.

Sites You'll Come Across Often

It is inevitable, there will be sites you come across on a regular basis. I no longer click on links that start in all-free-download, because it is a curated list that may have brushes that I am interested in, but for the most part they are not for commercial use. I have to click through to another site to find out the terms of use and most of the time I've already been to that site. Fun, huh? Not when time is a factor. I want to work efficiently.

  • Brusheezy.com

    Every single brush is going to require a link to the site, and they prefer you also name the artist. For printed works, they hope you make efforts to still credit brusheezy. I've actually started to consider making a QR code to add to the back of greeting cards that leads back to the site - or a landing page giving credit to the site and linking to my POD store. It's a start of an idea.

  • Webdesignerlab.com

    Free brushes and no attribution required, but would appreciate it just like anyone else giving away free brushes. There are butterfly brushes here! =) That made me very happy. Using a custom gradient to show off the wings is a perfect way to make each butterfly unique.

  • Webtreats.mysitemyway.com

    Most of the posts are from 2009, but the brushes are free for personal and commercial use with no attribution needed. This is the type I add right away and don't remove when I'm done with the brush.

  • Theshoreways.com

    Most of the posts are from years ago, but the links are still good and their terms of service are commercial-use friendly.

  • Brushchick.com

    She offers free and paid brush packs. She doesn't seem to ever state whether or not commercial use is allowed. There aren't mentions of crediting or linking to her on the blog (that I've found) or on her deviantart account page. Which brings me to...

DeviantArt.com

This site has to have its own section. The number of users grows all the time and the availability of free brushes is incredible.

Having a hard time finding the download link? It is along the right hand side. There's usually an ad (unless you have a premium membership with the site), several related pages you may be interested in, and then the download button. Tricky little bugger if you aren't familiar with the site, let me tell you.

No download button? Some users will seem to make it difficult to download their packs. It isn't really trying to be difficult, there's usually a [link] << really, that, to click in the description area for the pack. Most of the time the link leads to their own blog and the deviantart site will let you know via pop-up window that you're leaving the site. You have to click to confirm leaving.

Many users will have clear terms of use, stating whether they're for personal or commercial use. I've found hundreds of brush packs free to download, all with commercial use allowed. I could spend hours searching for brushes, but usually don't (I'm on a mission and shouldn't by lolly-lagging along!).

Not everyone has their usage restrictions on the download page, but have included it on their profile page. When searching for the terms of use, right click links to open them in a new tab -- that makes it easier to keep track of where you've been and even where you want to go.

One of the brushes used side by side with alternating colors.
One of the brushes used side by side with alternating colors.

Commercial Use with Credit Required

As you get going, you'll find a few sites in common for downloading the brushes. Some work better than others, and the terms of use will vary from site to site and between the designers. An important term to look for is 'credit required' - because in most cases they're requesting a link back to a specific page.

  • When credit is required, there is usually a terms of use file with the download. For easy reference, add the URL for the download page to that file. I do not keep these brushes installed all the time; I add them when I want to use a specific one and then remove it from the brushes folder. This keeps me from accidentally using it where I won't be able to give credit.
  • I also add the link text to the brush's terms of use page. This makes for a quick copy-paste and not much hassle.
  • Watch out for 'no Print on Demand' (POD) use allowed. If your intentions are to create designs for Zazzle or CafePress, these brushes are not to be used.

Also watch out for 'free photoshop brushes' that are free for personal use, but there is a fee for commercial use. I have the personal use brushes downloaded and in their own folder, only adding them for my family projects and then removing them.

Is Free Worth the Hassle?

If it saved you a lot of time, would you just prefer to buy brush packs to use in your commercial ventures?

See results

Adding Brushes to Photoshop Tutorial

Install Brushes

If you aren't familiar with the brush installation process but are familiar with PhotoShop, check out the video to the right. There are instructions for adding your new loot but it moves along pretty quickly. If you don't catch it the first time around, don't worry! I couldn't keep up the first time, either. It gets easier once you have run through the process a few times.

I Use Photoshop Brushes in GIMP

The GIMP software is free to download and use, and without being able to upgrade to Photoshop just yet...it's the only option for me. I've found the process to be pretty painless and very enjoyable. The hardest part is sizing the brushes and picking the perfect color. I've learned that playing around works great!


I hope you are able to find brushes that accentuate your work. If something takes off like a rocket, think about buying the developer of a brush some coffee via PayPal. It never hurts to give appreciation that way.

Get Educated on Photoshop CS6

How do you look for free Photoshop brushes?

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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      This is a detailed and very helpful and useful hub for those that are looking for free Photoshop brushes. It's good how you listed sites that could be of much use to readers as well as showing them suggestions of what keywords to search for and how to interpret the search results that they see.