Illustrator Cleanup for Microstock Sites

Illustrator Cleanup for Microstock Sites
Are you interested in selling your vector images on microstock sites such as iStock (previously iStockphoto). iStock has an extensive online training manual, including a quiz, that will help you understand the guidelines for submitting your IllustratorR artwork to iStock. Below is a summary.

For vectors, iStock lists the specific file formats that they accept.

  1. Images in the .eps format and Illustrator 10 compatible.
  2. Preview in the .jpg format and a minimum size of 1900 x 2800 pixels
  3. Optional files, such as Illustrator .ai or .pdf files, are to be combined in zip file.

Your files must be easy to edit by your customers. Here are a few points to consider.

  1. Only include vector elements in your illustrations
  2. Do not include raster elements or linked raster elements
  3. Keep your layers as simple as possible
  4. Group related elements
  5. Unlock all layers
  6. No invisible or work layers
  7. Clearly label your layers
  8. Remove all guides
  9. Remove all unused color swatches and brushes
  10. Do not use effects such as drop shadows
  11. Avoid clipping masks
  12. Strokes are OK
  13. Opacity and gradients are OK

Fonts, Dingbats, Fills, Strokes and Open Paths
  1. Convert fonts to paths/outlines
  2. Expand any custom fills, strokes or brushes
  3. Close any open paths

Some Help with Cleanup

Illustrator has several built-in options for cleaning up your vectors for microstock sites. You might also want to check out the Select Menu plugin.

Custom Brushes
To find and expand custom brushes
  1. Select - Object - Bristle Brush Strokes
  2. Object - Path - Outline Stroke
  3. Select - Object - Brush Strokes
  4. Object - Path - Outline Stroke

Stray Points
To find and remove stray points
  1. Select - Object - Stray Points
  2. Edit - Clear


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