Imagine that you spent a lot of time working to make sure your first 10 vectors were perfect for submission, only to have them rejected for a simple technical issue. These 6 simple tips will help you make sure your initial 10 vectors have a much better chance of passing review the first time around.

1. Save Down to Ai 8 or 10 EPS

In order to ensure that our customers are able to open your files no matter what vector-editing software they use, we require this Adobe Illustrator format for your vector submissions.

It’s simple to save your work down: When you’re done with your file, just go to “Save As” and select EPS. In the EPS options window that appears, select Illustrator 10 EPS (or Illustrator 8 EPS) as the version, then click the “OK” button at the bottom of the screen.

eps version-screencap

2. Make sure your file size is under 15 MB

Vector EPS files must be smaller than 15 MB in order to ensure a speedy download for our customers. If your file size is larger than 15 MB, try scaling your entire vector file down. This will reduce the file size — but be sure not to make it too small in the process.

3. Be careful with multiple artboards and windows

Often, vectors are accidentally saved with multiple artboards or windows. Be sure to watch for this issue when saving your files.


For full details on the subject, check out this post:
There Can Be Only One: Avoid Vector Rejection for Multiple Artboards or Windows

4. Outline all fonts

Because we can’t be sure if a customer will have access to the fonts you used in your designs, we require all fonts to be outlined, so that they are no longer “live.” This will not only eliminate the need for the font to be loaded on a customer’s computer, but will also maintain the integrity of your design or illustration.

To outline your fonts in Adobe Illustrator:

  • Select the live fonts you wish to outline
  • On the menu bar, go to Type and select “Create Outlines”
  • Your fonts are converted to vector shapes!

5. Expand Pattern Fills

All elements of vectors must be accessible so that customers can easily edit the files. Not all customers are using more recent versions of software that provide the ability to edit a pattern fill. For that reason, we require all pattern fills to be expanded.

Pattern fills can be included in your EPS file, as long as the the actual vector pattern in the EPS is expanded.

To expand a pattern fill in Adobe Illustrator:

  • Select the shape that contains the fill
  • On the menu bar go to Object > Expand
  • A dialogue box will pop up
  • Make sure that “Fill” is checked
  • Your pattern fill is expanded!

6. Unlock all Layers/Sublayers

Also for accessibility, we require all layers/sublayers to be unlocked. When customers open your EPS, they need to be able to select all parts of the vector file. If there are locked layers or sublayers, it will require additional steps to make the vector accessible.

To make sure all content is completely unlocked look to two areas:

1. In the Layers window, make sure no layers are locked. (You should not see any padlock icons.)

Layers Locked
Layers Locked

2. On the menu bar, go to Object > Unlock All

If you follow both of these steps, all of your vectors & layers will be unlocked.

Looking for more tips on submitting vectors? Check out these related posts:

Learn About Stock Illustration and Vectors in Our ‘ShutterTalk Live’ Workshop

6 Tips to Follow When Submitting Illustrations for the First Time

How to Avoid a ‘Too Large’ or ‘Too Small’ Vector Rejection

Learn About Shutterstock’s Reference Image Policy for Illustrations and Vectors

Top image: Vector floral seamless pattern by Anna Paff