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Design Elements & Clip Art guide

Design elements, otherwise known as clip art, is primarily used for making templates, stencils, printables, images and graphics.

Nowadays, numerous design resources offer bundles of clip art that allow everyone to make their own digital products. These pre-made illustrations or silhouettes can help you make an invitation for a birthday party or planner stickers.

Whether you’re searching for royalty free clip art for personal use, or would like to purchase from other designers, you will mostly likely find clip art vectors in AI, EPS, CDR and SVG format.

Here is a quick guide and example of use:

Create your own clip art

If you have any experience with drawing, either freehand or digitally, you will find clip art relatively easy to draw. Some prefer to scan old books in public domain to use illustrations and other decorative elements that can be recycled into a new product.

Few popular online resources of free clip art are All Free Download, Pixabay, Classrom Clip art and Clip art. While browsing, you might notice most illustrations are created and distributed in electronic form and resemble cartoon style. Also, it does not include stock photography.

Most people are convinced they need to purchase expensive software to be able to design. Truth to be said, unless you are an aspiring professional, it is unnecessary.

Free software & tools

Clip art can be created in simple free online photo editing tools like PicMonkey. Their ”overlay” feature is extremely useful when creating clip art, plus they offer their own illustrations and silhouettes organized in numerous categories.

If you find their features lacking, why not try GIMP instead? It can be downloaded for free and is similar to Photoshop but easier to use and available for many OS. It is perfect for creating icons and mockups, as well as for graphical design elements.

Finally, I strongly recommend Inkscape. It is also free to download, a bit more complicated than previous two tools but the good thing is that the only drawing tool options you will need to use are already in the toolbar on the left. You don’t need to spend any time searching for them, only dedicate a few minutes to explore each tool. If you would like to create in this software, I invite you to my other article Inkscape for Paper Cutters which also contains video tutorials and useful information and tips.

Pre-made Clip art

When you don’t have enough time to develop your ideas into drawings or don’t feel inspired, you can always buy bundles or individual illustrations online.

SVG Design element bundles were introduced in our shop, followed by many questions about what they could be used for and how to open them. SVG is the most common file type associated with paper cutting with machines such as Silhouette Cameo. Therefore, SVGs can be opened in any cutting machine softwares that support it, as well as vector editing ones like Photoshop, Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator.

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With these bundles, you can choose designs you would like to use in your project and edit them until you’re happy with how it looks. The icon bundle is useful for presentations, stickers, stamps and stationery while, for example, mandalas can be used as wall decor or wall stickers.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest the next bundle theme, please write a comment. As with everything, learning how to use these illustrations and cutting files can be challenging, but it’s all trial and error so you will learn as you work.

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