Many times when I explain what I do in my business as a cut file designer, people get this glazed look in their eyes so in this podcast episode we go into what cut file design is and then more importantly why I chose and continue to choose to design cut files for a living. Because you see, I am a person who loves to create. I love to design. I love to make art. It makes me happy. BUT in addition to all these reasons, I also want hard proof that the area I am going into is profitable and worth all the effort! SO here's the top 5 reasons why I choose to make cut files and why you might too.
I am a person who loves to create. I love to design. I love to make art. It makes me happy. There is nothing I love more in working than popping in my AirPods, switching on my iMac, grabbing my graphics tablet, opening my design program, and designing away from hours and hours…(sometimes that comes to an end sooner than I’d like #mommylife.) But just letting my mind wonder, letting my creative juices flow, create and design whatever comes to mind. Listening to my favorite tunes...I am huge into all kinds of music..I have a pretty versatile library and I just listen to my favorite tunes and escape the stresses or everyday life, and I love being a mom but also escaping being a mom for a little bit. I can honestly tell you that I don’t watch as many tv shows, or movies, or videos as much as I used to because now my escape is designing and this business. So that's another reason I do all this BUT in addition to this I ALSO WANT ACTUAL PROOF AND REASONS AND FACTS THAAT all this time I am putting into this isn’t going to nothing. And I know many of you are the same way….Maybe you’re interested in making cut files yourself but you arent’ sure if its worth it or if this is for you OR if this will even be around in 10 years. SO I will share with you the reasons I do this and the trends I have seen and the proof I have found that cut file design is going to be around for a while and that it is a GOOD area to be in right now….which is exactly why many are succeeding at this right now right?? You look on Etsy and I am amazed at how many new shops are popping up all the time that either use cut files to create the things they sell OR who are actually selling cut files who are also seeing a lot of success….and I mean like 6 figure success year after year.
SO let's dive right in.
WHAT ARE CUT FILES
- Formats - dxf or svg
- Used on a cutting machine such as cricut, silhouette, or newer laser cutting machines like glow forge.
- To cut materials like - paper cardstock, vinyl - HTV or adhesive vinyl for decor items, walls, or decals for windows and cars….the material keeps expanding you can also cut fabric, leather, foam and foam board, and wood...and now with the industrial routers and laser machines you can cut thicker pieces of wood, plastic and even metal. ITS AMAZING
- PROCESS: cut files are designed on a program such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape...they have to be set up in a certain way to ensure they are in the right format (and as many of you know this is one of the many things I teach in my course) and then they are saved as a dxf, svg or eps and will work in the cutting programs.
REASON 1: THE SUCCESS I HAVE SEEN IN MY OWN SHOP AND FROM OTHERS.
- The success I have seen with my own shop...and the success I have seen as mentioned earlier that other businesses have had simply using their cut file designs to create amazing new products for their business OR actually selling those digital designs.
- Brilliant Business Moms - single mom supports her family simply selling cut files on her own website
- I have seen shops selling $200K a year, and new shops who just started a year ago making $70K their first year...which you take in the costs...they pay for the design program, they pay a percentage to Etsy when they make a sale or to whatever platform they’re on but thats it. They don’t have overhead, they dont’ have inventory, they don’t have all these materials and supplies to make their products….just the cost of the program and then whatever fees they have to pay to the platform they’re on but thats it.
- But the fact they’re able to make this much just starting out and the fact that I was able to replace my full time corporate job in marketing within 6 months is plenty of proof to me to keep going because this is a profitable area and thats why I continue to sell to this day.
REASON TWO: NEW TECHNOLOGY IN CUTTING MACHINES MAKE IT SO EVEN THE TOUGHEST MATERIAL CAN EASILY BE CUT IN THE HOME NOWADAYS
And specifically The improvements to cutting machines we are seeing and the more ways they can be used.
- Cricut infusible ink just came out this year.
- Cricut maker that came out last year - allows us to cut deeper material… now you can use use a knife blade attachment to cut wood or the rotary tool to cut fabric.
- Overall the materials we are able to cut at home continues to expand.
- SO just doing the math here….more cutting machines, and then more technical enhances, allows for more materials, which also draws more customers, creates more businesses and ways of creating items from home which in the end EQUALS…..what? DING DING DING. You Betcha…..cut file demand!!
REASON THREE: THE MARKET FOR CUTTING MACHINES IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO GROW SIGNIFICANTLY GROW OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS
- Here’s some stats: “Global revenue for Personal Electronic Die Cutting market was valued at $656.94 million in 2017, and is expected to generate revenue of $ 995.75 million by end of 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.34 % between 2017 and 2025.” THAT IS GREEEAT news for us cut file designers. The more the cutting machine market grows, the higher the demand for designs.
- THEN FOR THE LASER CUTTING MACHINE INDUSTRY…..”This increasing focus on automating metal cutting process will lead to the expansion of the global laser cutting machine market at a CAGR of almost 5% during the forecast period.” Rising digitalization in manufacturing processes is expected to continue!!
REASON 4: CUSTOMIZATION IN CRAFTING IS ON THE RISE
- Customization is and has been on the rise..!! How many moms are wanting a custom little shirt for bobby or a little monogramed folder for Betty??
- Or how about all these custom and graphic t-shirts! Uniqueness appeals to people!!
- OR custom coffee mugs.
- Millennials!! Love you people...but you are and have been putting a cork in things and your wants for customized unique products is what is driving this need. And you all aren’t afraid of technology so hopping on Cricut Design Space and Silhouette Studio to throw together a design you like...no biggie. BUT as a cut file designer going one step back in the supply chain by creating those really detailed designs you don’t have the time to make is where I wanna be right ya’ll?? You hear what I’m sayin’!!
REASON 5: THE REASON FOR DESIGNERS IS HIGH!
There’s sooo many machine owners but enough designers to provide the files.
BECAUSE these same people, unlike you, do NOT WANT to design every single design digitally. THey instead want to MAKE THINGS and create physical items with their machine. Some want to do both and I have students who do this...but either way...this increases the demand for cut file designs….and GOOD quality cut file designs. Cut file design has NOT been around for super long...not in the crafting industry SO there’s not really a guidebook that you’ll find out there. And having a designer that you can go to who knows how cut files work and what NOT to do is kinda hard to come by.. So finding Cut files that work well in the cutting machine is important to these machine owners.
WHY I FEEL CUT FILES ARE A SAFE BET
CRICUT/SILHOUETTE : What IF they cut us off like for instance cricut and silhouette decide NOT to allow design uploads any more…..well for 1) they would never ever do this because this is how it was before and since they’ve made this change their softwares have exploded. And 2) this would go against the trends and the rising generation who are demanding the ability to customize and who want more capabilities. AND 3) there’s a whole slew of other cutting machines, not just Cricut and Silhouette who offer custom uploads. So the more they can give people the option to further customize their experience with their software, the better this is for them.
Okay, that’s it for todays’ post. Leave any comments or questions if you have them below this article at the very bottom of the page if you have them. And IF you’d like to dig deeper and learn more I will be hosting a live free masterclass in just a matter of weeks to kickoff this upcoming enrollment period to the “Designer’s Course to SVG” to be added to the notification list for this go to penandposh.com/course. Have a fabulous weekend everyone. BYE!
Millenials and the Crafting Industry: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pamdanziger/2018/07/08/millennials-are-ready-for-crafting-but-is-the-36b-crafting-industry-ready-for-them/#bb7d3cb3a2cb
Laser Cutting Machine Market Stats: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-laser-cutting-machine-market-133500305.html