Design Space 101
Have you ever been at your computer, beating your head on your desktop in frustration because you simply can NOT find the perfect image for a project in Design Space? You are not alone! It is definitely possible to find just the right image, but with over 60,000 images to search through, it can seem like an impossible task.
But it doesn’t have to be. You CAN find just the right images, and it doesn’t have to take you forever, either. Here are 5 easy tips to shorten your search (and frustration) time.
1) Search Free Images of the Week
Every week Cricut releases images that are free to access (for just that one week). During that week you can put these images into Design Space and create wonderful projects with them without paying anything for the designs. Free is great! But only if you can find them.
When I first got my Cricut, I didn’t even know these free images existed. Then when I accidentally found them one day, I couldn’t find them again. They hid from me like a flea racing away on a cat’s stomach. But there isn’t any mystery about them – if you know where to look for them.
But before you go hunting, you need to know that Design Space on mobile devices and Design Space on computers are completely different! Darned near everything is in a different place in the desktop version than it is in the mobile version. Why did Cricut designers do that? I don’t know, but I suspect it was make sure we were paying attention. (It worked.)
On both devices:
Login to Design Space
Click on the big circle with a + (plus sign) in it. Under the circle it says, New Project.
Next click on the Image logo. On a computer this is on the left side in the middle. On a mobile device, it’s on the bottom on the left side.
Next click on Categories. It’s on the top of the screen, in the middle on computers, on the left side on mobile devices.
That brings up link to the Free this Week images.
Click on that and you will see all of the images that are free for that week.
2) Search Images
Once you have checked out the free images for the week, it’s time to get serious about searching for the perfect image. Go back to the Images link, but this time click on the Filter link. It’s a word on computers, a little funnel on mobile devices. Note that only mobile devices have the choice of searching In the Cloud or On your device. (Example: On this iPad)
3) Be creative with key search words
Start with the most obvious word/s. For instance if you want to find a pretty filigree heart image to put onto a card, put “heart” into the search box and then click on the Search button. Immediately you will be bombarded with heart images.
If you don’t want to have to pay for your image, use the filter and click on Free, Purchased or Cricut Access (if you have a Cricut Access account).
When you find an image you like, even a little bit, click once on it. Do NOT go past it without clicking on it. You can alway delete it later, but it can be very time-consuming to find an image again that you liked if you go past it without out choosing it first.
NOTE: On a mobile device, sometimes you won’t see the Insert link or the images you have selected. To fix that, flick your finger down on the screen.
4) Search Cartridges (and find & use cartridge manuals)
In the past, users needed to buy cartridges to use in their Cricut machines in order to find and use Cricut images. Now, however, everything can be accessed online via Design Space, so you no longer have to buy the physical cartridges.
NOTE: People who have purchased cartridges in the past, can “link” them via Cricut so they can use them with newer machines that no longer have a cartridge slot built-in. (Contact Cricut directly if you need to do this. They will help you link your cartridges to your new machine.)
Now, all of those cartridges are available to everyone via Design Space. Some are free with a Cricut Access account, others need to be purchased if you want to use the images in them. To find the cartridges, start with Home, then click on +New Project.
The Cartridges link is right next to the Categories link (the one you used to find the Free this Week link).
NOTE: Many cartridges have instructions for how to do their projects in handbooks. To access the cartridge handbooks go to the Cricut Help website: https://help.cricut.com.
Search for Cartridge and click on Cartridge Handbooks.
The chart will tell you if the cartridge is free (or not) via your Cricut Access account, if it includes fonts, and whether there is a handbook for it, when it was released, Notes about it — if it’s a “retired” cartridge or has patterns, printables, etc. included in it — and if there is special information for the projects in the cartridge such as Sizing. Lastly, there is a link to open the cartridge in Design Space.
Some projects, such as the All Occasion Box Cards *(I LOVE these and bought this cartridge) really NEED these instructions. They are extremely helpful!
5) Use free shapes
Don’t forget to make use of the free shapes available in Design Space. They can be changed to any color you want using the Layers panel, and you can manipulate the shapes into almost anything – but we’ll go into how to do all of that on another day.
But for now, here is your challenge for this week: Using the skills you just learned on how to find perfect images, locate two or three and use them on a card like the one you made last time. Use pop-up dots or foam squares to make these images add a three-dimensional look to your card.
See you next time with information on how to keep the cost of images under control – how to not pay more than you need to for images.