Cricut is a nifty crafting machine that lets you cut and print in one go. Perfect for card stock, foil, stickers, vinyl, thin wood, plastic sheets, and many other delightful craft materials you may need custom cut for your projects. Cricut machines come in big and small sizes, and you can custom design any cut/print job with the handy Cricut Design Space program.
To create output for cutting with Cricut, you’ll want your images and shapes to be in a vector file format such as SVG. SVG is an obscure format that you may not have previously encountered, but it is extremely useful for certain types of work. Here's how to create your own custom SVGs for Cricut projects.
SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic. In other words, it doesn't lose quality if you shrink the file or blow it up. Why? Because it is a "vector", so the image is saved in coordinates and directions.
A vector graphic is layered blobs of digital color with each change in the image dictated mathematically, instead of by pixels. For example, an image of a pie-chart would have a vector for the angle of each pie section. The angle will stay perfect no matter what size the image is adjusted to, and it will never be pixelated because, the vectors will still be the same at each point in the pie chart, down to the 0.0001 of a millimeter. The same is true of every angle and curve in a vector graphic. Because SVGs are just saved coordinates, they are also very lightweight.
Because the cutter is very precise, and it needs a direction. SVGs provide that direction with every point on the image, making your cutting tool far more precise than any tracing software could make it with raster (pixel) graphics.
The quick and easy way to convert your PNGs and JPGs into SVGs is an SVG converter program. You can find these for free online and in apps. Image editing software like CorelDRAW also has tools inside for converting various file types into SVGs.
Quick SVG converters have mixed results, so you'll want to experiment and decide if you're satisfied with the quality that any SVG converter you test provides. For a quick project where you need a simple shape converted, SVG converts can provide reliable and fast results.
If you are crafting your own original Cricut SVG designs, the best default filetype is PNGs. PNGs have an alpha channel—a clear background layer—allowing for cut-out shapes and easily removable backgrounds. They convert best when dropped into an SVG image editing program. If you need to save original assets or collect assets to make your designs, PNG is a good default, as most collections are not available in SVG format yet.
You can create SVG files and convert files to SVG using the right image editing tool. CorelDRAW and others make it possible to save your images in SVG form, no matter where each component came from. SVG editors are popular with graphic designers and offer a vast set of tools for art creation in many different styles, including making designs for Cricut that import to the Cricut Design Space.
If you are using CorelDRAW to convert your SVGs, take a moment to explore your creation options. The Cricut Design Space offers some basic tools and even has a simple SVG converting tool. However, CorelDRAW makes it possible to custom-craft your own shapes, prints, and whole-project designs before exporting your chosen files to print through your Cricut.
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