Illustrator Templates Requirements GUidelines FOR ADOBE STOCK Contributors

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics application specializing in scalable illustration and design work. This page will go into detail about the specific requirements and best practices for Adobe Stock Illustrator templates.

On this page:

General: Templates Categories

Illustrator Best Practices: File Type | File Setup | Text | Images | Colorspace & Swatches | Global Colors | Vector Points/Paths | Clipping Masks


Templates Categories

Submit templates for the following categories:

  • Print: brochures, business cards, flyers, invitations, layouts, logo kits, posters, stationery sets
  • Web: icon sets, infographics, logo kits, presentation graphics, screen vector mockups, social media kits, UI kits, wireframe kits
  • Mobile: icon sets, mobile vector mockups, social media kits, UI kits, wireframe kits
  • Art & Illustration: editable design elements sets, pattern kits

Illustrator Best Practices

Follow these best practices to ensure acceptance of your files to the Adobe Stock marketplace. If you would like to see examples of how files are correctly set up for acceptance, check out these free Illustrator templates.

File Type

Illustrator template files must be submitted as .ait. The difference between an .ait and a regular .ai file is that the .ait will open up as an "Untitled" file. This allows end users to save the template as a new file when they edit it, and ensures that they do not overwrite the original template file.

To save your file as an .ait, select the Illustrator Template (ait) format

File Setup

Use standard paper and screen sizes accepted by Adobe Stock. Layout formats that are not listed are subject to rejections.

Do not combine digital and print assets in a single file (such as combining a social media set with a stationery set) - you must submit your template in a single category.

Utilize artboards for multiple pages and screens within a file. Each screen or page should have its own artboard to allow users to easily export them as separate files. Do not leave any elements outside of artboards.

Do not use 3rd-party plugins or add-ons - these are not included in the template and will not work for end users.

Organize layers by grouping Text, Placeholder Images, Graphic Elements, and Background.

Each page/screen within a template file should be organized with separate layer groups

Illustrator retains the last view setting when saving a file. Fit the template into the view area (View > Fit All in Window) when you save the template to ensure that users will see the full template when they download and open the file.

Fit your template into the view area so that the full template is visible to users

Print Layouts

Include bleed for all print layouts, especially if there are background color or design elements that are mean to extend all the way to the edge of the paper. This ensures users can properly print files without running the risk of having a white border (blank paper) revealed along the edge of the printed piece.

Example of bleed settings included for print layouts

Bleeds should be set up using File > Document Setup, when applicable. Do not include additional crop marks or bleed lines.

Margins should be clear of text and images (unless they are intended to bleed to the edge) to ensure that users can properly print files without issues.


All text must be editable and use Adobe Fonts - do not outline text. Users expect the ability to edit and customize text to their needs.

The minimum acceptable font size is 8 pt. Anything smaller is subject to rejection for legibility reasons.

For more information, see Text in Templates.


Images must be embedded in the template. Adobe Stock templates are single files that do not allow for packaging of external files. Do not link images in your template - they will not appear for the end user.

Embedded images must be saved as .ai, .eps, .jpg, .png, or .tif files. We do not accept images in .psd or .indd format in Illustrator templates because end users may not have access to all Creative Cloud apps.

Make sure that embedded images have the same effective ppi as the resolution of the document - a web/mobile template at 72 ppi must have embedded images also at 72 ppi; a print template at 300 ppi must have embedded images also at 300 ppi.

For more information, see Images in Templates.

Colorspace & Swatches

A document should be set up in CMYK for print templates, and RGB for screen-based templates.

Change the color setup in File > Document Color Mode

Swatches are named and saved colors, tints, gradients, and patterns. Using swatches in Illustrator files allow users to keep track of the colors being used and makes it easier to change them across the entire document.

Every color, gradient, and pattern should have its own swatch. Do not create gradients manually with solid swatches.

Examples of gradient and pattern swatches

Do not include spot colors (such as Pantone) - only CMYK or RGB swatches should be used. All swatches in a file should match the document colorspace.

  • A Print template with CMYK colorspace must have CMYK swatches
  • A Mobile or Web template with RGB colorspace must have RGB swatches

Select all unused swatches and delete them before saving and submitting the template to avoid confusion.

In the Swatches panel, click on the menu icon > Select All Unused, and click on the trash icon to delete the unused swatches

For more information, see How to use and create swatches in Illustrator.

Global Colors (for commissioned templates)

Global Color swatches allow for quick and easy changes to all items that are assigned that swatch. If you alter a Global Color swatch, everything that is assigned that swatch will update.

Global Colors are indicated with the white triangle on the right corner of the swatches; Check "Global" when creating a new swatch.

For commissioned templates, we require all swatches to be Global. Set up Global Color swatches by checking “Global” when creating a new swatch.

For more information, see Save time with Global Color swatches.

Vector Points/Paths

Excessive vector points on a path weigh down a file. To remove any stray or unnecessary points, go to Object > Path > Simplify.

In the Object menu, select Path > Simplify to simplify your paths.

For more information, see How to smooth and simplify paths.

Clipping Masks

Clipping masks are objects used to show/hide parts of an image. Use clipping masks when creating templates with images to ensure that they are displayed accurately and are easy to replace.

Example of a clipping mask in the Layers panel

The clipping mask must not be overly specific to placeholder images (such as outlining shapes of people or specific objects). Make sure the clipping mask is generic enough that a user can insert their own image without needing to change the mask.

For more information, see How to use and edit clipping masks in Illustrator.

Last Published: October 25th, 2019

Top image credit: Hands-on Everyday