Designing for Die Cut Machines

Designing for Die Cut Machines
One of the first steps in creating SVG cut file designs for electronic cutting machines such as SilhouetteR Cameo is to study what is popular in the crafting world. After a little research, you will have a good idea of what types of projects, themes, color schemes and techniques are used most often by your potential customers.

You can do this by visiting company websites for the popular die cut machines, craft magazines and scrapbook/paper crafts. Most of these websites have an inspiration area with great suggestions for projects made by a design team of artists using the companies products. But don’t stop there. These team members are very experienced artists. Go to the blog or website of each member of the design team for even more information, including where they go for their inspiration.

Other resources that open the world of crafting to the masses are PinterestR and YouTubeR, which have quite a large crafting community. After you spend a few days browsing these sites, you will notice what is popular with your potential customers. Make a list of what types of projects are being “shared” on these sites? Follow the link from Pinterest to the site from which the image was pinned. You will find great information and more helpful links.

At this time, a few very popular projects include artist trading cards (ATC), tags, mini albums, several variations of cards and stationary, altered and mixed media, banners and other party decorations, seasonal decorations, scrapbook pages and collage. Some 3D projects include recipe and other types of storage boxes, desk organizers, printer trays and configuration boxes.

Besides the project, you will want to look deeper to find the most popular styles and themes. Some of these most popular themes are family and friends, seasonal and occasions, hobbies and sports, travel and journaling. For each theme there are several styles such as shabby chic, vintage, clean, classic, romantic, ephemera and retro. The style determines the color scheme, types of embellishments and how the photos or other points of interest are presented. For example, the vintage style has muted colors, inked edges and tea stain. Some embellishments are ribbons and bows, doilies and borders, flowers and lace, metal accents, pearls and beads, glitter, twine and alphas.

Some scrapbook and paper craft companies have a variety of paper craft products in several themes and styles. Some of these companies are Echo ParkR, Bazzill BasicsR and PrimaR Marketing. On the other hand, some companies specialize in a certain style. For example Graphic 45R has beautiful paper, stamps and embellishments in the vintage style including the Steampunk Spells, Mother Goose and French Country collections. Tim HoltzR products, including the very popular Idea-ology collection, have a distressed style. Another of his most popular products is his Distressed Ink.

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