5 Reasons Why Designing Cut Files is Perfect for Artists and Crafters - Even if you're new to design.

“I could never be a graphic designer.”

“I’m just not creative enough.”

Guess what?! Me Too!!!  Working as a designer my skills were limited to using only Photoshop.  Not to mention, there were so many designers creating amazing designs that I believed I never had a chance. 

How could I possibly compete? But, I did!  I made that leap. My first designs listed in my Etsy shop, weren’t pretty. <<FACEPALM>>  For example, I included a photo of one of my initial creations in this Instagram post.  They were basic, plain and just flat out UGGGGLLYY.  However, people still wanted to buy them. I was amazed!

Believe it or Not! There is a common misconception that one must be a great or experienced designer to succeed in online design commerce.  Unfortunately, many don’t even try because they let this misconception get in the way. It is my hope that by writing this post, I can clear the air about this common misconception and to encourage anyone interested in the design field to give it a try.  You’ll understand why I am passionate about cut file design and Adobe Illustrator.  

Third time’s a CHARM!!  I tried three different graphic design areas before I began working with SVG and cut file design.  Photoshop was my go to program for design. I heard a lot about what I could do with Adobe Illustrator.  But, learning a new program scared me. I was hesitant to spend the time and money if it didn’t work out.  However, after much thought, I decided to give it a try! I am glad I did. It was worth the risk! Adobe Illustrator opened up more design options than I knew existed.  It could do the same for you. Give it a try. You won’t regret it! 

Here are 5 reasons why you should create SVG cut files using Adobe Illustrator.

Let’s go ahead and count the reasons……

1. You’ve Got What It Takes!!!

Believe it or not, as a crafter (professionally or as a hobbyist), you are already ahead of the game!  Why? Look at what you are naturally compelled to do: create! It is in your blood. Assembling vinyl, finding designs online and re-creating them, coming up with a new saying for a t-shirt….This is Art! You have been practicing design the entire time!  It takes many graphic designers years of practice to learn what you already know. Knowing what looks good together, what colors and element positioning to use…..You’ve been doing this with your cutting machine this entire time. 

“I am mostly using someone else’s design online.” Most likely, anyone will use parts and elements from one design and use it for other projects.  This is definitely warming up your creative juices and exposing you to design in general. When starting out, you will most likely use parts and elements from another designer’s work.  With time, you will be able to build up your own design inventory to draw inspiration from. 

“I see something online and re-create it. How can this be practice?” So what if you receive inspiration from online? This is a method also used by the best graphic designers.  Take Philip VanDusen for example. His Pinterest is filled with design inspiration, that he encourages people to check out, if they need inspiration on a certain style of design.  Now, he does NOT copy, nor does he encourage it, (and neither do I).  He emphasizes the use of these designs solely for design inspiration. It is HARD coming up with new designs as a full-time designer. Creative juices run short sometimes, so relying on inspiration from other sources is important to keeping a constant inventory of design inspiration. 

2. If you have used an electronic cutter, chances are you have used a major design program.

Cricut, Silhouette, ScanNCut... Those nifty electronic cutters with their multitude of capabilities, require learning their accompanying software like Cricut Design Space, Silhouette Studio,  and ScanNCut Canvas. These design programs are your introduction to design software. Adobe Illustrator is the next step in reaching your design potential! You have proven that you are capable of learning a complicated electronic design cutting program.  After Adobe Illustrator, you won’t ever need to learn another design program ever!! It can do everything! Seriously! What I thought was my “security/ comfort blanket” (Adobe Photoshop) program, I now only use about 1% of the time. Any experience with these other programs, will enable you to learn Adobe Illustrator that much faster. 

Adobe Illustrator Is The Bomb Diggity!  While SVG files can be created using other programs, I find that Adobe Illustrator is my favorite.  However, I’m not saying it is easy to learn. There is definitely a learning curve and a bit of an adjustment after working with other cutting programs.  But once you make the switch, you’ll be hooked. Also, Adobe Illustrator does not replace your electronic cutter program completely. It is a graphic design program that will enable you to make cut files that do not need any further adjustments once you upload them to the  electronic cutter program. 

Start From The Beginning & Learn At Your Own Pace!  I teach this concept to my students in the Designer’s Guide to SVG Course.  Each student progresses from knowing nothing about graphic design or Adobe Illustrator to feeling confident using this professional design program.  I also identify the step-by-step process of how to create a variety of cut file designs from simple clipart styles, to 3D boxes, to converting hand lettering in Procreate to cut file formats.

3. SVG Cut Files Are Easy Peasy To Design!

Keep It Simple Silly! It may not feel like it at first, but cut file design is the most simple of graphic design elements that you can create.  Especially, compared to illustration, hand-lettering and sketches. In a short amount of time, you can create a simple clipart-like design and then you’re off to the races!  The possibilities are endless!! In the beginning you are able to focus on one small simple project, such as a football. (my first cut file as mentioned above) From there, you continue to learn at your own pace.

4. There Isn’t Anyone More Motivated Than A Creative!

No Couch Potatoes here!  You’re a busy, multi-tasker. You have many responsibilities with very little time.  You never waste a free moment. YOU ARE MOTIVATED!! If you aren’t cutting vinyl, you’re painting something.  If you aren’t painting something, you’re crafting something. If you aren’t crafting something, you’re pressing something!  And on it goes... 

Your creations are amazing! As true DIYers and artists, once you combine all your creativity, motivation and energy and put it into a passive income business lifestyle.  I don’t know about you, but I am seeing dollar signs. You are natural business owners who are on a mission. Combine that with an online design business, and half the battle is already won!

5. Your Etsy Business RICHES are in the SVG Design NICHES.

Cut File Design Is The Business And Business Is Good!  Looking to sell your designs? You’ll love this section!  With cut files, you’re able to niche down more than any other design commerce product!  Our customers are searching for SPECIFIC cut files.  They want a butterfly to go on a ruler board for their daughter’s room, or a football for their son’s binder, or a specific phrase for a wall.  As a beginner, you’ll want to research what people are looking for and niche down hard and make that specific, single item. Usually the item or design is very basic. 

 For instance, I found out in the early days that people were searching for school related SVGs. They would type “school svg” in the search bar of Etsy. Not finding what they wanted after entering “school svg” they then would enter “pencil svg”, “apple svg” etc.  By narrowing or niching down what customers were looking for, I was able to identify the SIMPLE or BASIC items that I knew how to create.  

All throughout the early days, I stuck with what I knew and gave customers the bare basic design they were asking for.  Just knowing WHAT to create, takes the pressure off of designing the item. By investigating what is being searched for, you are more likely to meet the client’s needs and will most likely sell your design.  No matter how simple the design is, no matter what your skill level is, if you know people are searching for it, there will be at least a few people who want what you have to offer!

In Conclusion, I hope that I have encouraged you to design cut files.  You DO have what it takes to learn Adobe Illustrator! You are creative enough for graphic design! Remember all that I do - and all that it takes is some design inspiration, a little bit of research (if you’re selling), a smidge of motivation, and some helpful tools (maybe a person to help you through the process).  Then you’re Off To The Races with cut file design!

Still not convinced?  What is still holding you back? Are you still hesitant to try graphic design or designing cut files? I’m here for you.  Let’s Chat! Respond below. Otherwise, until next time….






I think I would enjoy creating the SVGs and other digital downloads but I am having a hard time figuring out Adobe Illustrator. I need someone to teach me as if they are talking to a 3 year old monkey that has never even seen a computer before! Ok well maybe I’m not that bad of I will need someone to be very detailed in their instruction. So I guess that is what is holding me back, I am worried I will pay for a course and still not be able to learn.

Team Pen and Posh

@Beth I am so glad that they help you, and I am so glad you are here!


I am sooooo glad I came across your materials on starting an SVG business! I am so excited but get scared and overwhelmed! Your emails send me digestible chunks of info to take in and learn! Thank you! I am on my way there! Now to learn AI. My next hurdle.


Hello there, I’d like to begin by saying thank you for this inspiration. I am new to designing but I’d love to get into it. I am everything you’ve mentioned above anxious, unsure, reluctant, confused and still I manage to create some things daily. I’d love to have guidance like a course to chur out proper art. I’d like you to suggest me here. I CAN’T WAIT to start my Etsy shop.
Thank you
Love & Light

Melissa Sewell

Hello Kasey,
I started your program, but got discouraged…(it’s not your program, it’s probably an imploding marriage..). I needed to read this today and get myself started on learning the process again. I am the creative! I am the one my friends come to when they need something special designed and they have never been disappointed. I use Design Space mostly, but eventually I want to give more of my time to enriching my gifts.

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