Best Smilies to Buy

I want to buy a set of REALLY great, clever smilies for a forum.  The ones that are used over and over are ok... but I'm looking for something awesome - clean, crisp, jovial, friendly, well-wrought.  and just RARELY seen around the web.  I'm happy to pay... just don't know where to find such images after HOURS of searching.

Or, perhaps a professional smilie designer / foundry?

Thanks...
cabinchairAsked:
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David BruggeCommented:
Hi Cabin!

As you have probably found out, the graphics that you get for free are usually not very good, or are used quite frequently because they are free.

In order to get graphics that are good quality and are not being used very often, you will need to hire an illustrator or buy or lease some illustrations from a stock photo/image site.

Stock illustrations come in two forms--royalty and royalty free. Unless you have a large budget, you will be interested in the royalty free. Depending on the source, this can also be quite expensive.

If I were in your position, I would look for an illustrator who's work is in the style that you are seeking and approach them to see how much they would charge.

Another avenue would to be to make an offer on a site such as Craigslist in Singapore or UK seeking an illustrator and inviting interested parties to send you samples.

Another way to go is to search stock photo sites using the advanced search feature and limiting your search to illustrations. You can also call of email the larger houses and describe exactly what you are looking for and they will send you what is available. This last approach is the fastest, easiest and by far the most expensive.

There are also sites such as hireanillustrator.com which displays portfolios of illustrators, but it can be quite daunting to wade through all of the illustrators to find one for a simple job.

This site is a handy guide to may of the speciality sites out there that can provide illustratons and design work for the web: http://www.bluevertigo.com.ar/bluevertigo.htm

In addition, here are some sites that I have used:
http://www.fotolia.com/
http://www.bigstockphoto.com/
http://www.istockphoto.com
http://www.shutterstock.com/

There are also sites that will let you search on many stock photo / illustration sites at once. My favorite is http://www.mediabakery.com/index.asp

Hope that this helps,

David


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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
TIP:
If they are clean, crisp, jovial, friendly, well-wrought and Awesome then they will not be RARELY seen :D :P
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cabinchairAuthor Commented:
Ha!  How TRUE!!

Any smilie foundry?
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cabinchairAuthor Commented:
You are AWESOME!!  Thanks a million! )))))))))))
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