Today I am going to teach you how to create SVG files using Adobe Illustrator. As you guys know, I create and sell SVG files in my Etsy shop Toteally SVG. I am going to share with you the method I use when creating designs for my shop + give you some tips on how you can open your very own SVG shop on Etsy.
The Method – Vision, Plan, Create.
When creating new designs for the shop I use a VISION, PLAN, CREATE method. It’s pretty simple, but can make a HUGE difference in your final design/product.
This is the fun part, but it’s also the most vital part of design creation. This is where it all begins. The vision can come from anywhere – a tv show you just watched, song you listened to, or book you just read – wherever it came from, it has a meaning and a purpose. There’s a reason this vision came to your mind when it did.
Write it down – write down all the details: the phrase, word, etc., where it came from, why it means something to you, and what you hope to accomplish/message you wish to send with this phrase/word.
Now that you have your vision (word and/or phrase) written down with all the juicy details, let’s start planning: Ask yourself THREE QUESTIONS:
- What will it look like
- Who will it appeal to
- How can they use it
I’m not a big pen + paper drawer. In fact, it’s rather funny cause I can draw with the pen in PS and Illustrator and make a flawless design everybody loves, but if you give me pen + paper you will ask “what is this supposed to be?” (confession: my daughter Mia actually makes all the hand-drawn graphics in my designs/clipart collections)So for me the “what it will look like” is usually done in my head. On occasion I will pull out pen + paper, but it’s not a pretty sight.
When thinking of your design and what it will look like it is important to think about the audience. Who will this design most appeal to? Who is this design created for? This will help with the element aspect of the design (images, embellishments, etc.)
Next, you want to think of all the ways your customers may use the design. Are they going to create t-shirts and mugs? I like to envision the design on t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, etc. because it helps you create the perfect mockup for your design (ps. we have a blog post all about mockups here).
I use Adobe Illustrator to create all of my SVG files (including the ones in the Etsy shop). All SVG designs are created on a 12×12 INCH artboard in CYMK color format.
Short commands for processes used in the video tutorial:
- Create Outlines: CTRL+SHIFT+O
- Create Compound Path: CTRL+8
NOTE that I saved the image right after creating outlines and “adding” the overlapping layers of the cursive font. This would be the “ungroupable” aka fully editable SVG file customers can open in Cricut. I then saved the file again after adding the entire design and creating a compound path. You do not need to do this last step if you prefer to only offer one or the other. I give my customers one of each, but you don’t have to do it this way.