How To: Use different clipart in a design while keeping it a consistent style

There is a lot more to being a good sublimation designer than sticking a bunch of clipart together and calling it a design. Oh my... please, don't do that. It's a fine way to learn and I support that fully but if you want to actually sell digital designs (and sell well), you're going to need to develop your own style and learn how to fully integrate completely separate elements into one design. 

Just a quick note here! This is a general "how to" and not a step by step Photoshop or Procreate guide. All of the things I have done here can be done in most stand alone graphics programs. And I assume you have a basic understanding of how to use your software.

Let's begin! 

I had a quick Google search and found myself some freebie clipart. See the links below for the items I used. You can do this with my clipart of course but I wanted to show you with different styles of clipart first since most of you will have element sets from many different artists.

 Free Clipart

These are all fun elements to make a summer or beach vacation design - Tanned and Tipsy. As you can see, they're all different styles, some are flat, some are shaded. There's no color scheme at all. 

Putting free clipart elements in their places

Over top of a plain blue circle background, I placed each element where I wanted it to go, leaving some room for the texts. As you can see, they really don't look like they belong together but we're going to fix that by changing colors and flattening some of the clipart.

How to make clipart into a cohesive styled design

I filled in the sun completely as one flat color. I did this by sampling some of the colors in the palm trees and made a yellow to match the green. The same for the wayward martini. I selected a color range and changed the hue on the glass and the drink to match my new color scheme. I didn't do anything to the palm trees. They're lovely and I wanted to base the design and color scheme on that clipart piece.

Tanned and Tipsy using clipart to make a sublimation design

Next step was to choose my text and fonts as well as text colors that go with the design, not fight it. You could use black of course and so many do with sublimation, but black doesn't fit in here. This is a summer design with green palm trees, sunshine and colors to remind of the blue ocean.


Final sublimation design using free clipart

I added a light yellow stroke color to the sun as well as the light green text behind and around the brown text. More color to tie into our scheme. To ensure the text stands out, you could add a white stroke around the letters or expand the selection and cut out the background images to leave the expanded transparency. And voila!  A nicely cohesive summer design using completely different bits of clipart.

This is only one way! I have more How To guides to come.

I used clipart from Freepik -  Sun, Palm Trees and Martini