Selling Digital Graphics Online

Selling Digital Graphics Online
Are you considering creating and selling digital graphics but don't know where to start. That's a question that I get a lot. So I checked one of my favorite online marketplaces for the best examples of graphics by other artists and how those artists package their products for sale. Here's what I found to be the most common practices.

Color or Line Art

The first decision you need to make is whether you will be using color in your graphics or just line art. Line art does give the customer more choices when using the graphics in their own products. However, when creating colored graphics, it's best to keep in mind that the customer might have a specific color palette. Set up your images so that the customer can easily edit or change the colors as needed.

File Format

The second question is which file format is best. You need to make your decision based on your software and your customer's needs. You can create your graphics in either the vector or raster format.


What makes vector graphics so popular is that the format has no limitations on how the customer can resize or scale the image, especially when enlarging the image. The vector graphic will maintain its quality.

Vector graphics are usually created in the SVG, PDF, EPS or AI file formats. In order to edit an AI file (native format for Adobe Illustrator), your customer will need to have Adobe Illustrator or the ability to convert the AI file to an SVG, EPS or PDF file format. Most vector software can import these other file formats for editing. If you package some or all three of the other files along with the AI file, you will save your customer the headache of converting the AI file using a third-party app.


The raster format limits your customer's ability to scale the image. The options for resizing raster graphics are to use the graphic in the original size or go smaller. The customer cannot enlarge the graphic without loosing quality. However, when it comes to effects and filters, such as drop shadows or blur filters, raster images are better than vector images.

Most artists sell raster images in the PNG, GIF, TIFF, JPEG, PDF and PSD file formats. Just as the AI file format is native to Illustrator, the PSD format is native to Adobe Photoshop. However you will find more third-party software that can open a PSD file, especially free open source software such as GIMP. The other raster formats listed above can be imported into most raster software.

Package as Individual Files or One Large File

You can place all the vector images in your set in to one vector file. This is because vector images are made up of vector paths instead of pixels and therefore are usually much smaller in size. However, you will want to organize your images in to layers and label those layers, to make life easier for your customer.

Instead of packaging all raster images in your set together as one file, which would be a very large file, most artists create individual files for each raster graphic in the set. The JPG image will automatically have a solid background and the PNG will have a transparent background, giving your customer more options. Also, when selling raster graphics, it's best to make each graphic as large as the customer might need, due to the problems when enlarging raster images. A common size is 1,920 by 1,080 pixels minimum and a HD resolution of 300 dpi.


When it's time to set a price for your product, keep in mind the amount of time and effort it took to design and create your product. If you must set a low price for your product, check the guidelines for your marketplace. Most online marketplaces have a minimum price.

Most new shop owners start by selling small sets of 10 to 30 images for a low price. Once they have enough small sets of the same theme or style, the artists can combine these small sets in to a larger cohesive set, which they then sell at a higher price.

Adobe, Photoshop and Illustrator is/are either [a] registered trademark[s] or a trademark[s] of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.