Do’s and Don’ts for Selling SVG Cut Files for Silhouette or Cricut

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Additionally, I may get commissions for purchases made through other affiliate links in this post.

Not interested in making and selling physical products with your Silhouette or Cricut? Good news for you: If you are creative enough to make high quality designs for others, there’s always a need for original cut files. Today, let’s look at some of the things you should know before you set out to sell cut files.

Do’s and Don’ts for Selling SVG Cut Files

DO

  • Create your cut files from scratch. This ensures that your design is unique from all others – and eliminates potential trademark and copyright infringements.
  • If you are using phrases, be sure to check the US Trademark Database to be sure the phrase isn’t trademarked. However, in some cases, you can sell trademarked phrases in your cut files. For example, if you look up a trademark registration and it states that the trademark is only protected for use on tee shirts, you can make and sell a cut file.
  • Price your cut file accurately. Remember that you will only create the design once and (hopefully) sell it multiple times. The going rate for SVG cut files is between $1 and $5.
  • Include a license with your file. Make sure you let other crafters know if it is okay for personal, commercial, or limited commercial use. If you need help deciding, see this post.
  • Remind buyers that their license does not allow them to sell/trade/gift the file.
  • Test your file by cutting it on your Silhouette or Cricut machine before you sell it.
  • Watermark your images. You do not want non-buyers to simply trace your design and use it without paying for it.
  • Offer your cut files for instant download. When customers don’t have to wait, they are more likely to purchase.
  • Offer your designs in several formats. It is standard to include a .png, an .svg, and a .dxf file at minimum.

DON’T

  • Trace images/clipart from the internet and sell it.
  • Don’t make changes to a file you have purchased and sell it as your own.
  • Don’t use portions of images/cliparts in your cut file without checking the file license.
  • Don’t use fonts in your design that you don’t have a commercial license for.
  • Don’t use trademarked or copyrighted material in your cut file – this includes popular cartoon characters, company logos, and other copyrighted/trademarked materials.
  • Don’t sell .studio or .studio3 files. These are proprietary file formats exclusive to Silhouette and cannot be sold.

Bonus: If you would like to sell your designs through the Silhouette Design Store, you can view information about becoming a contributing artist at this link.

Looking for other ways to make money in the craft world without making and selling products? Head to this post.

Was this information helpful? Save the image below to Pinterest!

Do's and Don'ts for Selling SVG Cut Files for Silhouette Portrait or Cameo and Cricut Explore or Maker - by cuttingforbusiness.com

103 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts for Selling SVG Cut Files for Silhouette or Cricut”

  1. Things I honestly didn’t know! Thank you for the heads up! I was looking for free designs/fonts on Pinterest and came across this. I would love to get into vinyl decaling and am finding it so hard to find a way to start with all these rules that I never new existed!

      1. So if the file is marked for personal use only is it only for personal use? And business files you can cut and sell as you wish? I’m not looking to sell files, just the finished product that pops out of the Silhouette machine. Getting overwhelmed with trying to start up. 🙁

  2. How do you report it when you come across someone who is selling .studio files? I recently purchased some SVG files on Etsy and they all came with .studio files. While they didn’t advertise that they were selling them as .studio files, wouldn’t that still be illegal?

    1. Hi Bianca! You can let Silhouette America know by using the contact form on their site. I’m not sure what Silhouette’s take will be on the issue since the .studio or .studio3 files are being given away. I know that many large designers removed the .studio files from their kits several years ago to comply with Silhouette America’s terms. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Katrina! You can upload a file for sale on Etsy by selecting digital product when creating your listing. Etsy will then give you a spot to upload your files. Hope that helps! Christine

  3. This may sound like a silly question, but it pertains to the confusion behind giving away your studio file versus selling it. Why we can’t sell a file format that is free for anyone to access is beyond me, apart from people trying to claim they created the software… But to my question:

    At the top “DO” section of this blog post, you wrote “DO offer your cut files for instant download”. Then underneath that, for “DONT”, as is heatedly debated online, you state not to sell studio or .studio3 files.

    What other format of a cut file CAN we sell? It seems by your first statement that we CAN sell our cut files, but the only format I’m aware of that has cut lines is the studio file we’re not supposed to sell… It’s very confusing and seems contradictory, unless I am just not aware of another file type that is acceptable that is still a cut file?

    I’ve asked Silhouette myself, I know we cannot sell studio files.. but again, this topic is confusing and I feel like I cant get a straight answer. Thanks for your help! 🙂

    1. Hello! The only silly question is the one not asked. I’m happy to clear up your confusion. NO – you cannot sell .studio or .studio3 files. Why? They are proprietary to Silhouette America. They invented the file type and they can control who does what with it.

      As far as the DO – yes, you’ll need to offer cut files as immediate downloads. Buyers won’t wait. The immediate download has nothing to do with the Silhouette format.

      What can you sell? SVG and DXF files are also for cut files – as referenced above in the post as well under DOs.

      Hope that clears up confusion for you. Christine

  4. Hi Christine

    Thank you for your article. Just want to check something with you. Can I make a drawing of a photograph, create a cutting file and then offer it for re-sale? Or even use the photograph itself to make a cutting file?

    Regards

    Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy! As long as you took the photo, have rights from the photographer, or purchased it (obtained it) from a royalty free source – it should be fine. Hope that helps! Christine

    1. Hi Diana! It depends if they would like an exclusive design (you won’t use it for other customers) or if they’d like to use it for themselves. I recently wrote this post which addresses this question. Hope that helps!

  5. When you sell the cut files, do you offer them as a separate listing that people can buy? Or do you just include them in your downloads as a type of perk for buying your item as opposed to somebody elses?

    1. Hi Mikaela! Yes, you would sell the file as a stand alone listing. Generally, if you are selling cut files, you wouldn’t sell the same finished products. Hope that helps!

  6. What about if someone is selling a certain file type but includes the .studio files in the download folder as a free bonus? I’ve had that happen with a few of my orders

  7. Hi Christine!

    I see a lot of people taking a commercial font and then converting the font to individual SVG letters for resale? Monogram fonts are a good example of this. Is this legal??

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Gina, In many cases, yes, it is allowed. Some licenses say that the font cannot make up more than a certain percentage of the finished product. In these cases, this wouldn’t be allowed. Hope that helps!

  8. I do so much appreciate the time and talent you are offering. I’m trying to get into the business and your advice is so valuable.

  9. Thank you! Very helpful! I create my own designs but I am unsure how to sell them on etsy? Because etsy does not allow svg downloads, how can i do this? please help

  10. If I buy a file and I buy the commercial right to sell items with cut image on it am I liable if it’s later gl found that the individual did not own rights when they sold the file?

    1. I would, however, guess that in that instance you could make a pretty good case that they’ve gone after the wrong person.

  11. Hi,

    I love your blog and all the information you share so freely! Thank you for making the process a little less confusing. I have just listed a file on Etsy, and you say you can’t sell the .studio files. How about the gsp files? I haven’t seen any mention of them.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    1. My pleasure! I don’t think there are restrictions on gsp. The only reason you can’t list .studio files is because the format is proprietary to Silhouette and they don’t allow it.

      1. Thanks! Just remembered that I asked this, and thought to check back and see if you’d answered it. That’s GREAT! I’ve actually sold 2 sets of the US map that I made. So, I’m encouraged to continue! I think I will include the gsp files, I actually like that better than including the studio files, because they can’t edit them in gsp form, as far as I know. Thank you again for being so helpful and accessible!

        Liz

  12. Hi there! I have a question regarding fonts purchased through the silhouette studio. I am having trouble finding fonts that are for commercial use. I’d like to be able to create things with the fonts and sell them. Is there a way to purchase a commercial use license by contacting the designer or am I out of luck? Also, can you help me understand why a designer would not want to make a commercial use license available?

    Thanks!

    1. If you are referring to the fonts in the Silhouette Store, you can often contact the designer or visit their website to obtain a commercial use license for the fonts. It is up to the designer whether or not they want to offer a commercial use license.

  13. How do you find graphics to sell in your files? I want to make and sell some cut files but I don’t know where to get graphics from or what’s legal. If I buy a file of just graphics, can I use them when making my file?

  14. Thank you so much for your helpful post!
    I have a couple questions that I wondered if you could help answer?
    If I create an SVG file using fonts that are standard in Inkscape or even from a free site like dafont,com and I able to sell my finished designs?
    Also if I use clipart that is listed as public domain in my SVG’s am I allowed to sell?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. You’ll need to check the licenses for the fonts. If an image is public domain – you’d be able to use it. I will caution you about public domain, be sure the source telling you it is public domain is legitimate.

  15. So wait, I can’t sell the cut files but what about if i download a free file can i sell the actual product i made with it?
    for example i get a free envelope design so i cut various envelopes, i can sell those or can’t I?

  16. This post is really helpful! Do you know if there are any restrictions on giving away cut files? Let’s say I want to offer a studio file to people that sign-up for my blog.

  17. I have a question, i am trying to start a cut business and i am seeing alot of peopleselling items made from the cameo. What do i do if i am paying to cut these designs and there are people doing it illegal.

  18. I wish I had found this site before I opened my etsy shop and had made over 100 svg files. I shut the shop down last week because of some of the do’s and don’ts you have listed. I used coloring pages and made layered svg files. Time to start over!!! Lesson learned now

  19. Hi Christine,

    If I buy a design from the Silhouette design store with a 1000 units+ commercial licence (the largest on offer), would i be able to use it within my company logo after changing the colours to suit my corporate colours? I’m so confused with what a commercial licence allows – especially with it being on a website as I wouldn’t be selling the design per se but it would be reused in my own design and on display for all to see!

  20. It’s been a long time since I had the free version of design studio that I can’t remember if you can import svg files at that level. I have BE version now with my cameo 3 and I can import from many other formats. What import option does the general user have?

  21. Hi Christine,

    If we make our own design using fonts from Office, such as Comic Sans, do I need a license for the font? If so, how do I go about getting a license?

    Cherie

  22. Hello first of all, thanks for the super helpful tip :>

    Anyways, I just want to ask if it’s ok to sell an svg if it’s all fonts with commercial license of course…

    Also, if I bought like cliparts or illustrations from let’s say design bundle with commercial license is it ok to add them to an svg file I would sell? For example, i bought an illustration pack of pumpkins and add a quote and other designs to the pumpkin… Cause this is one of the restricted uses in the commercial license

    “Creating a digital product to sell/distribute which only consists of the letters/numbers of a font, or a design which closely resembles the design element downloaded/purchased from us.”

    Sorry if my questions seem confusing ><

  23. Thank you! I’m new to creating files that are potentially for sale, and I wasn’t sure what file(s) I needed to include in order for an Etsy-listed item to be “cuttable.” This included exactly what I needed to know!

  24. Hi, I have been searching for Printable Stickers/Kits on Etsy. Most of the shops include cut files. How can these sellers offer silhouette cut files if silhouette studio files cannot be sold?
    I am new to printables and I do not want to purchase anything that is illegal.

      1. All the shops I have seen on Etsy that sell printable stickers/kits do not specifiy what type of file their cut files are. All it says is that cut files are included. How do I know what file is included if it is not specified?

  25. Has the selling of silhouette files, policy changed? I ask, because I purchase svg files from font bundles/design bundles, and they are including silhouette studio 3 file format.

  26. Hi Christine
    I bought Silhouette Cameo 3 and I’m would love to sell cut files but I am not 100% sure what can I sell or what I can not? Also I would like to sell customize baptism favors for example: boy& girls angels with clients name. That means I can’t take an angel picture from Internet and re design it? which design programs do you recommend? Thanks
    Sandra

  27. What software do most designers use to create cut files? Am I able to design something with Silhouette Studio then export it into a different format for sale or do I have to design in a totally different software?

    1. Hello! It varies from designer to designer. Many design in Adobe Illustrator, while others use Silhouette Studio. Since you can’t sell .studio3 files, you’ll need to export to somewhere else to save as .dxf. Many designers use Inkscape for this.

  28. Hey there! So, I have been making my own files for a few years now, but have no idea how to size them for sale? Like what is the optimal size for jpeg’s and png’s for this type of thing? I usually just input the dimensions of the board i will be painting my design on before designing, so I have no clue what kind of pdi or ppsi that gives me and what i should be doing to sell files? I’ve been looking all over the internet and the answers I’ve gotten usually pertain more to printables or photos, which are totally different IMO? Right?

  29. Hi there,
    Thanks for your post. How do I know that my SVG will cut cleanly? I don’t own a cutting machine to test on. This design is hand-lettering I made myself using paths in Illustrator. The font is semi-bold.

    1. There’s two things you could do: 1) Buy a machine to test or 2) Gather a group of test cutters. These would be machine owners. You’d give them the file in exchange for test cutting it.

  30. Hello! Thank you so much for all of the helpful information that you post- I refer to it frequently! I have a question about watermarking my svg files. If I created my own design (using commercially licensed fonts) and display it on a mockup that I also purchased with a commercial license, is it ok to place my watermark on the photo of the mockup with my design? I don’t want people to steal the images I use to display my work, but also don’t want anyone to think I am claiming the mockup photo either, only the cut file design 🙂 I read the post about watermarking, but that seemed to refer more to actual products rather than svg files.
    Thank you for your insight!

  31. Hi. I’m wanting to make & sell cut files, but, I don’t know how to. Can I make then in studio BE, to sell? As in .SVG. PNG, .DXF, etc. Or did I just waste my money upgrading to BE from basic studio?

  32. If you have Business Edition and you create your design from scratch you can now sell the .studio files. I checked with Silhouette at length about this last year because I saw so many big designers openly selling their designs and I couldn’t work out why they were allowed and I wasn’t!

  33. This may seem like a silly question but… I see many posts about cut files but no-one defines what they are. It is not easy to figure out what they are. Also what are SVG files? Thanks for your feedback

  34. I will be designing SVG files using Inkscape and my Cricut. I am unsure based on this blog post as to whether my SVG files would be able to be sold using the fonts within Inkscape. Please advise. Thank you!

  35. Good Day! I am so happy and grateful to come across this post! I always make my designs from scratch in Cricut but with two babies and a full time night job I unfortunately do not have the time to make the actual products so I want to just sell the files. Are you able to share some information on how I can take my cricut files to sell? Do I have to have a licensed business to sell my files on Etsy? And since I make them myself to sell, is there a way to prevent the person who buys my files from just sharing it? Thank you so much for your time and kindness!

  36. Hello, I have a silly question, but I new in this , I have Silhouette Business Edition, I can create SVG files and there and sell in Etsy ? is that possible, because most of the people talk about Inkscape,
    Please let me know and Thank you in advance !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *