Vectors are a powerful type of content. They are editable, adaptable, and scalable without loss of resolution. Our vector collection is one of the most diverse on the market. At their best, vectors are simple, clean, well constructed and easily editable in clearly labeled layered files. Well constructed vectors are a result of using tools within vector editing software such as the pen tool, gradients, fills and blends.

Up until now, images converted into vectors solely using auto trace or live trace have been accepted into our library of content. While an auto traced image is technically a vector, the result of the tracing process drastically diminishes the quality of the original image and severely limits the capability of the vector beyond scalability. We see beautiful watercolor paintings and gorgeous photos converted into vectors simply for the sake of making these pixel based images into scalable vectors, but the end result is a poorly executed vector version of what was previously a beautiful image.

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Close-up of auto-trace

We have received feedback from customers who have expressed frustration when downloading auto traced paintings, photos or textures. They find that while the vector is scalable, the image quality has been completely lost when viewed in a magnified form and is far too complex and time consuming to edit within an acceptable time frame. Vectors containing thousands of poorly constructed paths are not only extremely large files, but they are also nearly impossible to edit. The usefulness and power of a vector is severely diminished when burdened by excessive amounts of auto traced elements.

Crop of auto-trace
Close-up of auto-trace

Based on our analysis of content performance and customer feedback, moving forward we will only accept auto traced one-color line art and flat art. Auto-traced full color photos and illustrations will now be rejected with the following reason: Unacceptable Auto Trace – We are no longer accepting this type of content.

Acceptable traces can be based on drawings and paintings using any technique from pen and ink to graphite. As long as the trace results in a one-color vector element or texture being created. The trace should be tight and accurate in order to maintain the quality of the line, but overall remain easily editable.

 

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<a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/pic_supervisor.mhtml?src=id&id=256590244" target="_blank">Bakery vector set. Hand drawn sketch Collection of bread by Knopazyzy</a>

 

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<a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/pic_supervisor.mhtml?src=id&id=290592785" target="_blank">“You are my little miracle”. Black and white isolated Hand drawn typography Poster with Star. by Irina Kouznetsova</a>
There is a market for traditional, hand created elements such as watercolors or gouache paintings. Please scan your non-digital artwork and submit these as JPG illustrations. Be sure to include a property release with your submission. When creating digital paintings or non-vector digital assets, remember to work in a large enough size to meet our requirements for JPG images.

If you wish to submit vectors that have a hand painted quality, an alternative to auto trace is to construct vectors using the pen tool, various shape tools, or the pencil or brush tools. Apply brushes or even create your own vector brushes and layer the elements. Apply transparency to achieve a watercolor look and feel.

abstract design elements with women face by ant art
<a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/pic-138713348/stock-vector-abstract-design-elements-with-women-face.html?src=lSi2HW2fbCwvhbhqG-I2Mg-3-50" target="_blank">abstract design elements with women face by ant art</a>

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<a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=110278763&src=id" target="_blank">Abstract vector background set for design use. by Lunarus</a>
Keep your vector portfolio powerful and marketable to customers who are looking for well designed and constructed graphics by submitting forward-thinking icons, patterns, infographics, characters, template, illustrations or whatever else springs from your imagination.

This way your portfolio and our vector collection will be stronger and keep customers coming back for assets and images that are easily adaptable to their needs.

Top image: Abstract colorful splash background. Watercolor background illustration by HAKKI ARSLAN