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Saving Your Vector Illustrations Using Adobe Illustrator

If you are an illustrator, then you know how important vectors can be to financial success – designers love them! Not only are they scalable to any desirable size, they also contain fully editable elements, and so there are no limits on a designer’s creativity. However, before running off with your pen tool and gradient meshes, you will want to know how best to save the finished product to make it as desirable as possible to buyers. To that end, we have collected some helpful tips for properly preparing your vector files for saving. Avoid Type Conflict

Remember to always convert your type to outlines, otherwise your file will only open correctly if the computing system happens to have the same font as used in your illustration. Creating outlines of your type simply converts each letter to its own editable shape. You cannot edit the type once it is converted to outlines, so make sure your text is satisfactory, as it will be finalized. Press ctrl + A, to select all the type objects. Then choose type > create outlines.

Courtesy Cleaning

Keep your files organized! A messy file is as uninviting as a messy desk—who wants to work with it? Keep our customers coming back for more by taking those extra few moments to tidy your illustration.

Check for broken or sloppy paths: Get out your magnifying glass and zoom around the Illustration to make sure everything is neatly in order. Try to eliminate any sloppy and overlapping, or open paths. [Choose object > path > clean up] to have Illustrator search for stray elements.

Other Points: Keep your Illustration neatly within the confines of the artboard and always check outside the drawing area for any stray points or paths. You should also organize your illustration components neatly into labeled folders in the layers palette for the neatest presentation.

File Size Matters

  1. Reduce your artwork size: Choose File > Document Setup and adjust the size of your artboard. Select your artwork by pressing Ctrl +A, then Alt + Shift drag on one corner of the bounding box to resize your artwork to the artboard dimensions.
  2. Disable the preview generated by Illustrator: Including a rasterized preview will only needlessly increase the file size. When you save your file, choose “None” for the preview section under the EPS options dialog box.
  3. Remove unused symbols, graphic styles, brushes, and swatches: If your actions palette is not open, go to Window > Actions. Scroll down until you see an action titles “Delete Unused Palette Items,” choose this action and press the “Play” button at the bottom of the palette window.
  4. Flatten transparencies at High Resolution: You will find this option under Object > Flatten Transparency. Make sure you do NOT rasterize your artwork – as it will not remain a true scalable vector.

Final Saving Protocol

Congratulations! You’ve created a work of vector art. Before uploading, there’s just one more crucial step – saving!

Please note that Shutterstock® requires all vectors to be saved for Illustrator version 10 or earlier. The reason for this is as follows. Let’s suppose one of our subscribers, using Illustrator 10, tries to open an EPS Illustrator CS2 file they downloaded from Shutterstock®. They will receive an alert telling them that in order to open this file they must use an upgraded version of Illustrator. File incompatibility is unfortunately an issue for many subscribers, and so our policy is to standardize all vectors as Illustrator 10 or earlier (aka Legacy file).

To save your file as an Illustrator 10 file:

Using Illustrator CS: Choose File > Export. Choose “Illustrator Legacy.” Save your work as an Illustrator 8 file.

Using Illustrator CS2: Choose File > Save As… At the top of the dialog box, choose “Illustrator 8 EPS” under “Version.

Related Links:

Useful freeware plug-in that allows you to search for open paths, stray points, etc. Thank you to Shutterstock® user “hkuchera” for providing this link.

Random Q&A on Illustrator Illustrator Forums