The Silhouette Design Store is the place where Silhouette America sells cut images, printable patterns and fonts that you can use in the Silhouette Studio software. When you purchase a design, it is downloaded into your library in your software and then you choose which image from the library you want to use on any project. Think of the Silhouette Design Store as the bookstore and your library as a bookshelf in your house. You only have to buy the book once, then you can store it on the bookshelf and read it as many times as you like.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and purchase something, I receive a small commission. You pay the same price. This helps me to be able to keep my business going and provide more tutorials. I will always be honest about my opinion of any product.
The Silhouette servers record your designs in your account and they are yours to keep forever. Even if your computer crashes, you can download the images again onto a new computer. In fact, you can keep your library on up to 5 devices at once. The designs are for you only. You are not allowed to share the designs themselves with others, although you can sometimes sell products you make with the designs.
The store can be overwhelming at first, so let me walk you through it step by step. If you see a term you don’t understand, just keep reading. I’ll talk about everything in detail in this or future lessons. This post isn’t a short story — it’s more like an encyclopedia. Scan it for now, come back to it when you need more details.
To start with lesson 1 of the Before You Begin series, go here.
Your Silhouette Design Store Account
Your SDS account is the same as your Silhouette America account, the one you use to register the warranty on your machine and purchase physical products on the Silhouette website. If you have not yet set this up, see the post here.
How to shop for images
You can access the Silhouette Design Store from within the software itself using the second tab in the upper right of the software called STORE. This opens up a web browser (internet site). The designs you purchase download into your library when you complete the order.
Or, you can visit the website on any computer or mobile device. You need to have an internet connection to do to this, as that is how you browse and download images and how your purchases are tied to your individual account. The next time you go into your Silhouette Studio software and have an active internet connection, your library syncs to your account and downloads any newly-purchased images.
This is the page that you first see when you go into the Silhouette Design Store.
Let’s go over all the areas of the SDS.
The site navigation bar
Across the top of the screen is what I call the Site Navigation Bar. This helps you quickly navigate to the various areas of the SDS.
On the left is the logo for The Design Store. That’s not very exciting, except that it works like most web pages nowadays. If you click on it at any point, it will take you back to the home page.
The middle section helps you navigate to a variety of places.
New – to view designs based on which week they were added to the Silhouette Design Store.
Bundles — to see design and/or font bundles. The designs in the bundle are themed in some way — coordinating designs, images or fonts from a specific designer, etc. It’s like buying in bulk. By buying the full set you pay less per item.
Deals — These are discounted designs and they change. Daily Deals change every 24 hours and these designs are 30% off most days, 40% off on Fridays. Weekly Steals are designs that are 50% off and the designs in this sale change every Tuesday. Last Chance Designs are those that will soon be removed (they’re on clearance). You’ll still be able to use and download those Last Chance designs in the future — they just won’t be available to others to purchase.
Subscriptions – to go to the page to purchase a subscription. I’ll discuss this in detail in the section “Ways to Pay.”
Credit Boost — to go to the page to purchase credit boosts. Again, I’ll go over this in the payments section.
On the right, the links you see are different depending on whether or not you are signed in.
If you are not signed in…
…you’ll see a link to choose your language (the A or Chinese character), to sign in or to go to your shopping cart. You’ll also see how many items are in the cart and the total of the items.
If you are signed in…
…you’ll see links to your notifications (the bell), Wishlist (the heart), account page (the person) and shopping cart. You’ll also see any credit balance you have, along with the number and total of items in the cart. Hover over the icon of the person to open a drop down menu with quick links to your subscription and credits page, the page to purchase a subscription, your notifications, Wishlist, cloud device management page and account page. This is also where you sign out.
The design navigation bar
Just below the Site Navigation Bar is a long black bar. I’m going to call this the Design Navigation Bar.
On the left you’ll find links for Designs, Fonts, 3D Crafts, Patterns and Projects. The arrows at the far left help you go back or forward on the pages you’ve been visiting. Designs and Fonts also have drop down menus. Because there are a large number of each in the SDS, there are categories for easier searching. Some categories even have subcategories. I’ll go over those more farther down. For now, hover over the Designs column and click “All Designs” at the bottom to browse the whole store.
Once you’ve selected “All Designs,” you’ll see this page–
You’ll see in the menu at the left ways to navigate to the different types or search for designs. There are 7 unique design types in the Silhouette Design Store. You want to learn their symbols and their uses so you know what you are buying. I’ve listed typical prices, but there will be some variance.
These designs are made up of single or multiple pieces that are cut information only. They are shown in the Silhouette Design Store and your Library pieced together and filled with colors or pattern. But when you add them to the Design area in the software they will usually be a set of separated pieces with only a red outline and no fill. The thumbnail pics give you an idea of what a design will look like when cut from different colors of material and pieced together. You have the flexibility to cut the pieces from whatever colors or materials you want (although some designs are better for certain materials than others). Some designers are beginning to include a colored, stacked version along with the individual pieces, but this is the exception rather than the norm.
These types of designs have no special icon to designate their type and are called “Regular Cut” in the description. The regular price for these is .99, but it can be more based on how many pieces there are.
These designs contain both print information and cut information. With these, you first print them on your home printer and then cut around the printed shape with your Silhouette. They will come into the Design Area of your software as you see them in the Silhouette Design Store – filled with color and/or pattern. They will also have a red cut line around them, but that line does not print.
These have a letter “P” and registration marks by the price in the Silhouette Design Store and say “Print & Cut” in the description. The regular price for these is .99.
These designs are used to create non-flat projects such as boxes, rolled flowers, pop-up cards, etc. As with regular cuts, they will come onto your drawing area as a set of separate pieces. Be sure to read the description before purchasing these designs to see if assembly instructions are included, either in the description or on a website for which the link is given. Some designs will include the instructions in the design properties in the Library. The Design Navigation Bar has a direct link to 3D Crafts.
These designs have a 3D box by the price and are listed as “3D Crafts” in the description. The regular price for these varies depending on the number of pieces or on the designer.
These are fonts that can be used to type text in Silhouette Studio. They are different than regular cuts, even if those regular cuts are letters. They are installed on your computer just like any other font, so are able to be used in other programs as well. In the Design Navigation Bar there is a direct link to fonts.
Notice in the drop down menu that fonts come in 2 types–
These are fancier. They have extra glyphs such as multiple styles for the same letter, curly beginning letters, extra flourishes, complementary fonts families, coordinating dingbats, etc. The description tells you what’s included. You pay more because you get more. You’ll recognize a premium font because the thumbnail picture is the name of the font only. The price varies depending on the designer and what’s included. The current range is 4.99-14.99. These always have the option to purchase commercial license (more on that later).
These are simpler. They include just a single style. The typical price for these is 2.99, although dingbat fonts (typing a letter actually creates an image) are 5.99. These also have commercial licenses available. The thumbnail for a craft font will show a sample of the characters.
Sketch fonts are a type of craft font that are intended for use with a pen. You replace the blade with a Silhouette sketch pen or your own pen in the pen holder. Instead of cutting, the machine draws your design. The letter width is very thin so that they look like a single line when drawn. These have the word “Sketch” in the title.
You’ll also notice sub-categories for fonts such as decorative, dingbats, serif, etc. That just helps you find more easily what you’re looking for.
Fonts have “Aa” by the price. Some designs that look like fonts are actually letter sets, so they don’t have special properties. Instead of typing, you have to add each one separately. Also, if you see only capital letters in the design preview page, lowercase letters aren’t included. Fonts will say specifically that they are fonts. If you see “regular cut” instead of “font” as the file type, that’s what you’ve got. Fonts also have have an area where you can type something to get a preview of how the letters look; letter sets do not.
These designs are print information only (although sometimes you can trace elements of the pattern to create cut designs). It’s just a square filled with a raster image (picture, such as a jpg or png). You don’t usually cut these by themselves (although you could to create a patterned paper), but use them to fill shapes for print and cut. They can also be useful for helping you as you design to visualize how your finished project will look. In your library they are in the Patterns folder. They are also added to the Pattern Fill panel.
These types of images have an argyle square beside the price and the words “Printable Patterns” in the description. The regular price for these is .79.
These designs are created for use with sketch pens or with your own pen in the pen holder. They are “cut” (vector) information only. But the image, instead of being cut, is drawn with the pens. Some will also include a cut line to cut around the outside edge. You won’t want to actually cut them other than with that outer edge piece, as you would get a shredded mess. With the proper steps, these can be turned into Print and Cuts.
In the Silhouette Design Store, they have a pen by the price and the word “Sketch” in the description. The regular price for these is .99.
These designs are a set of circles of the correct size for cutting rhinestone template material. They cannot be resized, so be sure to read the description carefully for the size of the image and stones, as well as the stone count. Some contain several versions of the image for use with different sizes of stones; others do not. There are some clever ways to use these images other than as rhinestone templates if you think outside the box.
These have a gemstone by the price and have the word “Rhinestone” in the description. The regular price for these is .99.
Projects (formerly called Ready, Set, Make)
This is a special category with its own column in the Design Navigation Bar. Projects include designs, fonts and/or patterns to make a complete project. The description tell you the approximate time needed to complete the project. Some include what resources are required (such as a t-shirt for an HTV project) and a materials recommendation. You typically get instructions for completing the project. The price for these varies.
Finding what you want
Always sign in before you start browsing designs. That way you can see which designs you already own as well as any credits you have.
There are currently close to 250,000 items in the SDS. That can be quite overwhelming if you’re looking for something specific. There are several tools to help you find what you need.
General word search
On the far right of the black Design Navigation Bar is the Search option. Look for the magnifying glass. You can type a word in here to search the entire store.
One thing to be aware of is that if you type “flower card,” you will get all images with flowers AND all cards. Because of this, it is easiest to search with just a single word and then narrow your results. For example, type the word “heart” and see what types of images you get. It will include cards that have a heart as part of the design.
You can also search here by design ID number, the unique number given to every image in the Silhouette Design Store. This is helpful if you and a friend are trying to view the same image on different computers. You can search by artist, but I’ll show you an easier way to do that below.
This helps you narrow down the type of design you’re looking for. Think of it like the grocery store – baking goods are all in one aisle, while canned fruits and vegetables are in another. If you understand this, it’s easier to find things. The store helps you by putting a hanging sign over each aisle telling you what’s in it. You may know you want to bake something but you aren’t sure what. If you go into the baking aisle, you see muffin mixes, cake mixes, etc. to give you ideas.
That’s what the categories are like. You may know you want some sort of Christmas design, but you don’t know what. Hover over Designs, scroll down to Holidays and select Christmas.
That way instead of looking through 120,000+ designs, you’re only looking through 12,000.
If you aren’t sure what you want, you can just browse at this point. But since 12,000 is still a lot of images to sort through, let’s try to get more specific. What you do next depends on whether or not you have an idea of what you want.
Word search within category
Let’s say you know the type of graphic you want. In the Category menu is another search bar. You can type a word in here to search within that category only. I’m going to type “tree” to narrow down to only Christmas trees. Now I’ve got just around 2300.
File Types Filter
Okay, let’s say you aren’t sure what type of Christmas design you want, but you know you want to cut it from vinyl. That means you’re looking for a regular cut. So in the Category box, instead of doing a word search choose Regular Cut as the Design Type. Now I’ve got a little over 11,000 results.
Another option in the Category Search menu is Commercial Use Licenses. We’ll talk more about those below, but just realize you can narrow your search for those types of designs.
Often you gravitate toward the designs of a particular person and this helps you find them easier. It’s also a good way to find designs that coordinate with ones you already own. If you like a particular paper company, some have designs in the Silhouette Design Store that match their papers. You will see a bio of the artist or company along with all the designs by them and possibly a link to their website or blog.
You can find designs by a particular artist several ways:
- Select it from the list in the Category menu.
- Type the artist’s name in a word search.
- Click on the name of the artist in the Design Description page (more below on this).
Let’s say you’ve been doing some searches and want to go back to seeing everything. That means you may need to clear out your filters. You’ll see this option at the top of the Category menu. Click this to remove your search word and any selections you’ve made for file type, artist, etc.
To remove just one of the filters, you can uncheck the box next to it. To remove a search word, click in the search box and then on the “x.”
Once you have gotten a set of results from your search, you can choose some different options for viewing them. These first 3 options are at the bottom of the Category menu. The 4th one is at the bottom of the page.
You can sort the results by trending designs, date added to the SDS, price, popularity or relevance (best word match). For example, if you were looking for what designs are on sale you can sort by Price: Low to High. Or if you were trying to find an image you know you saw last Christmas, you can sort by date.
Results per page
Select how many results you get per page. If you have a slower internet speed, it can help to have fewer results per page so the page loads faster.
This shows the number of results your search turned up.
I’m pretty sure you already know this from experience with other websites, but you can go to the next page, previous pages, end page, etc.
Examining the Design
When you see a list of designs in the Silhouette Design Store, for each one you see a thumbnail (usually for plain designs) or a photo (usually on projects and 3D designs) plus a few little bits of information. This is what I have used above when described the various cut types. Let’s look at one more closely.
–Click the shopping cart in the lower left corner to add the image to your shopping cart.
–Click the heart in the lower left corner to add the image to your Wishlist. The Wishlist is where you save designs you like but don’t want to buy it right away. For example, you see a really cute Easter design but you know they will go on sale closer to the holiday. Put it on your Wishlist so you can find it again easily. You must be signed in to add an item to your Wishlist. Once you do, the heart will be blue instead of gray showing that you’ve got it on the Wishlist.
–In the lower right is the current price. Black means that’s the regular price, red means it’s a sale price.
–If the design is not a regular cut, you see one of the icons to the left of the price telling you what type it is.
Hover over the thumbnail and click to see a larger version, along with more information. This is what I’ll called the Design Description Page.
The Design Description Page
This shows you the largest picture of the design and the most information. On this page you’ll find the design ID#, file size, the date the image was added to the store, along with a short description if the designer gave one. This one tells us a Print and Cut version is included.
The designer for this one included directions on cutting and assembly.
This one has a link to the designer’s website for instructions.
On rhinestone designs, the description will include information about their size and how many stones you need to make the design. Notice also on this one that you sometimes need to click Show More to get all the info.
You can scroll down to find suggestions for other designs you might like.
Personal Use vs Commercial License
There are 2 types of licenses for images you purchase in the Silhouette Design Store.
These designs can be used as many times as you like for projects that you make for yourself or as gifts. You cannot sell items made with designs that are Personal Use Only. All designs in the store have this option. The Rolled Rosette shown above is an example of a Personal Use Only file.
If you are going to sell any items you make using a design, you need a Commercial Use License for it. You pay the designer more for that privilege. You are not allowed to sell the design itself — only projects made with the design.
This option is available on some designs but not all. It just depends on the designer. The Medium-Size Rhinestone Unicorn design above has the option to purchase a Commercial License.
You can view designs for which you have purchased a commercial license on your Account Settings>Purchased Design Licenses page.
Formerly, you had to make a guess as to how many items made with that design you might sell. That’s changed now — they are all unlimited use.
Let’s say you bought a design for Personal Use Only and then later decide to sell some products using the design. Here’s how you do that:
- Go to the Design Description Page for that design. You can either search for it or find it in Account Settings>My Designs.
- See if a Commercial License is available for that design within the Silhouette Design Store. If you don’t see a line for that, it’s personal use only.
- Click the box beside Commercial License and you should see a price come up.
- Add it to your cart and check out.
If a design is listed as Personal Use Only, some designers will sell you a commercial license through their own websites. Most artists have contact information on their artist page.
I’m going to get on my soapbox a bit here. We are all makers – folks who are creative. The artists who sell designs in the Silhouette Design Store make their living this way. They spend a great deal of time on their designs and don’t get paid very much for it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not cheat these folks by selling products made with the designs without purchasing a commercial license. You know you wouldn’t want someone else to do it to you. Okay, rant over.
Studio or SVG file type?
This option confuses some folks. SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphic, a special type of image. For an explanation of what vector files are, see this post. In this lesson, I’m just going to tell you specifically why you do or do not need the SVG option from the Silhouette Design Store.
Some people are confused because SVG files purchased ELSEWHERE can be used in Silhouette as cut files with Designer Edition and above. They think for some reason that if they have Designer Edition they need to pay the extra $ for the SVG in the Silhouette Design Store. That’s not the case. All files you purchase in the Silhouette Design Store are ready to use in the Silhouette program — you don’t need to do anything to them. They are cut files in the special silhouette file type, which is already a type of vector image. That’s why Studio is selected by default on the Design Description Page.
You can use SVG files in a variety of software programs, on other brands of cutting machines and in web and print media. For that reason, Silhouette has recently begun to add this file type option to designs purchased in the Silhouette Design Store. That broadens their customer base and allows users to use their images beyond just Silhouette Studio. For example, someone who uses Adobe Illustrator may see a file they like the look of in the Silhouette Design Store and they want to use it for a project in that program. AI can’t open a Silhouette file, but it can open an SVG. So, that person could purchase the SVG from the store.
Bottom line — if you don’t know you need to use the design in another program, don’t spend the extra money for this option.
Purchasing the design
When you find an image you like, you can add it to your cart. Once it’s in your cart, you’ll see a box around the design telling you it’s in your cart on the page that shows you all the designs. On the Design Description Page, Add to Cart changes to Checkout.
If you see a design you like but don’t want to buy it right away, you can put it on your Wishlist by clicking the heart icon. For example, you see a really cute Easter design but you know they will go on sale closer to the holiday. Put it on your Wishlist so you can find it again easily.
Once you navigate to your cart, you’ll see all images so that you can remove them, move them to the Wishlist instead, change the license type or add or remove the SVG option.
At the bottom of the cart, you’ll see the subtotal, any credits that will be applied and your final total that will be charged to you.
Ways to pay
You have several options for how to pay for designs in the Silhouette Design Store.
You can add a credit card to your Account in the My Account page. This will keep your credit card information on file on your account page and will charge the cost of the designs to the credit card with each order. This is a “pay-as you go” option.
You can purchase Download Cards in specific amounts and load them into your account. This is helpful as a gift, if you don’t want to keep a credit card on your account or if you don’t want to see charges on your credit card for just a couple of dollars each time you buy designs.
Download Cards are purchased on the Silhouette America website (not in the Silhouette Design Store) in the or on the Silhouette America website and from some retailers. You then add them to your account in the Silhouette Design Store (not on the Silhouette America website). These are physical cards that are mailed to you. They have a unique 16-digit code number printed on the back that you then apply to your Silhouette Design Store account. They come in $10 and $25 options and you will have to pay shipping on these.
You add a Download Card to your account by going to the Account Settings page in the Silhouette Design Store. There one of the choices is “Add a Download Card to My Balance.” You will type in the 16-digit code and the amount gets added to your account as a credit. Credits from Download Cards never expire. If you choose to purchase a subscription (see below), the SDS computer automatically used subscription credits before the Download Card credits that don’t expire. This applies no matter when you add the Download Card to your balance.
Gift Cards are not the same as Download Cards. You use Gift Cards to purchase products on the Silhouette America website. That includes physical products, software upgrades, prepaid subscriptions and even physical and electronic Download Cards. You can only use Download Cards in the Silhouette Design Store to purchase designs.
You can purchase a Subscription. This involves committing to spend a set amount of money each month for a number of months. In return, you get massive discounts on the prices of images. Here’s the catch — subscription credits don’t last forever — they expire.
Because this has many things understand, I’ve got a separate post about subscriptions. I highly recommend you not start with a subscription. Don’t even add your 1-month trial subscription to your account yet. You want to have some more knowledge before you end up spending money unnecessarily.
This is a type of hybrid between pay-as-you-go and a subscription. You don’t get as large of a discount as you do with a subscription, but the credits never expire. Here’s how it works.
• You choose the level of credits you want to purchase — $30, $50, $75 or $100.
• The higher level you choose, the lower percentage you pay. For instance, you can purchase $30 of credits for $20, so you save 33%. If you purchase a higher level like $100, you pay more ($50) but you’re saving 50% of what you would spend if you did a pay-as-you-go option.
• You are getting a discount because you pay up front. Since you’ve in that way committed to spending at least $30 in the SDS, you get a cheaper price per design.
• These credits are added onto your account and they never expire. So if you have $30 in credits and purchase 1 design, .99 is deducted from your credit balance. But since you got the $30 in credits by only paying in $20, you effectually get that design for .67. (Trust me — I did the math).
We discussed free designs in our last lesson. There’s a sale in the Silhouette Design Store all the time. For example, in late August there’s a Back to School sale where all education-related images are on sale. Sometimes it’s the images of a specific designer. The sale is usually 25% off, but often between Black Friday and Christmas it’s 50%. And if you have an upper level subscription, the discount you get once you’ve spent all your credits still applies.
So go ahead and get familiar with the Silhouette Design Store in general. Refer back to this post as needed, both now and in the future. Then check out the Before You Begin Series lesson about Subscriptions.