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Tips and Tricks: CU4CU Digital Elements

July 30, 2014

What does CU4CU mean? Commercial Use for Commercial Use – not as redundant as you think. Many sites offering digital clip art for free or for sale use abbreviations to give you an idea of each elements terms of use (TOU). If you’re not familiar with the acronyms, this article – What Does It Mean? – will give you a quick explanation. For a more detailed run down, read Doreen Erhardt’s excellent Understanding Terms of Use.

If you’re a professional card designer, we believe you can and should invest in your business. Digital clipart lasts forever and foundation elements such as buttons, ribbons, bows, tags, etc., can be used in different ways to make different designs. Most sites sell CU4CU clipart for less than $5, making the files affordable for most any budget. You will also always want to avoid files that are less than 300dpi.

Be sure to keep a record of links to sites and TOU to include in your Notes to Reviewers when you use purchased or free 3rd party elements in your designs. Omitting this step may cause your cards to be Returned for Edits.

Don’t forget that you need to do more than slap an element on a blank card and call it a day. You must make a derivative work – in other words, while the element may be part of your design, it may not be the sum total of it. Clear? Okay, let’s go and find some new goodies for our toolboxes!

  • A good source of CU4CU material at low cost is Etsy. There are quite a number of digital designers offering CU4CU elements. Some require attribution, some do not. Check the individual TOU (found under Policy in Etsy storefronts).
  • Another source is, a large resource offering well organized categories of items. Again, check individual TOU for each element – some designers add restrictions on use or require attribution.
  • Here’s a list on Pinterest containing CU4CU scrap elements that are “free” but do check the TOU on each item. Be aware some of these are less than 300dpi – avoid those and stick with the higher quality. And while we’re on Pinterest, check out this list of CU4CU boards containing some interesting offerings.
  • Finally, Professional Scrap Designs offers CU4CU digital clipart at decent prices. Be sure to check each individual designer’s TOU before you buy/download.

Have fun creating your new card designs!

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