Even though I am a graphic designer for many years I discovered Cut Files after researching what to sell on Etsy. Art Prints were already a big category with a vast competition so I was researching for something like a niche. Then I discovered Cut Files, bought my First Silhouette Cameo to test, and there you have it. I started my own journey.
Let’s see some points: they are vectors (SVG) Scalable Vector Graphics but also come in DXF because Silhouette basic edition reads the latest format.
Personally, I use as a program Adobe Illustrator but I am sure you can find other free vector programs online.
SVGs don’t have to be created as vectors. You can also use Photoshop or Procreate and then trace the file with a vector base program so you can turn bitmap into vectors.
The files that we create for use with the cutting machines are rather simple. Cutting machines can’t cut details, they cut shapes, so when you create an svg file you should be aware of the following facts:
- Brush fonts and fonts that have gaps or shadows are a NO.
- For the cut machine to cut smoothly the outline of the fonts or the designs should also appear smooth without rough edges.
- The stroke weight (the outline) shouldn’t be too thin. For example, if you use a font with a thin outline remember to add weight to the stroke otherwise the cut vinyl might be too thin to be cut successfully if the user cuts it in a small size.
- For overlapping areas you need to unite them through the corresponding panel ( in Adobe Illustrator you can use Pathfinder).
To create interesting Typography if you are creating quotes (unless you can hand-letter) you must invent in purchasing Fonts so you have the right to use them commercially. It’s ok to vectorize phrases made of a font.
Varieties of Fonts that match well:
- Thin vs Fat
- Script with Sans Serif
- Serif with Sans Serif
- Calligraphy with modern
In general, try to create a smooth contrast that will catch the eye of the buyer. From adobe Illustrator, you can export as svg and dxf. I usually include also a png for sublimation projects or clipart uses.