Why is My SVG Black in Design Space?

When you are using a Cricut machine to cut different types of SVG files that you probably designed yourself, you are most likely using Design Space because it is Cricut’s own software. However, using Cricut and uploading SVG files through Design Space hasn’t always been smooth for a lot of different people. For instance, there are moments when people reported that their SVG files turned out black in Design Space. So, why is your SVG file only black when uploading it to Design Space?

Your SVG in Design Space is black, maybe due to how the object stroke color is black, and that Design Space will also set the fill color to black if there is no fill color. It may also be due to how the design is a bit too complex or that there are some unsupported items that you are trying to upload to Design Space.

Black SVG

The thing you need to understand whenever you are using Design Space is that there is some nitty-gritty stuff that can be frustrating. That is why you need to learn more about the different settings of the different illustrator software that you use whenever you are designing SVG files.

Why is my SVG black in Design Space?

Cutting using Cricut requires that you use Design Space, which is Cricut’s partner software. However, you are not always restricted to using Design Space whenever you are creating the designs that you can cut using your Cricut machine. For example, you can create the design using Adobe Illustrator or any other software. From there, you can simply upload the design on Design Space before cutting it using Cricut.

However, there are some instances where things can get pretty complicated in relation to Design Space. You might notice that your design comes out as purely black after saving it as an SVG file and uploading it to Cricut. In such an instance, why is it that your SVG is black in Design Space?

The most probable reason why your SVG is black in Design Space is that, when you illustrate it using Adobe Illustrator or any other illustration software, you set the stroke color to black and that there the design has no fill color. When this happens, and you save it as an SVG file that you can upload on Design Space, what will happen next is that Design Space will recognize the stroke color as the fill color as well. This will make the fill color black, similar to how the stroke color is also black.

Print then cut and black svg

As such, you will end up with an image that is almost purely black while following the shape of the design that you illustrated or created. Meanwhile, the entire fill is black, such that the only thing that is recognizable here is the shape or outline of the image.

Another instance is when the design you uploaded is a bit too complicated or probably has a few unsupported items that Design Space will not recognize. In such instances, there is a chance that your SVG will be uploaded on Design Space, but the fill color turns out to be purely black.

How to make sure SVG is not black in Design Space

So, now that you know some of the reasons why your SVG file is all black whenever you upload it on Design Space, how do you make sure that it doesn’t turn out that way again? Well, there are some ways you can use, and they may vary depending on the problem you have at hand.

But before that, there is one thing you need to understand first. SVG files are vector files that have one set of instructions for drawing onscreen and another set of instructions on how your Cricut machine will cut it. The onscreen rendering when you are using something like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape will show the stroke that you applied to a vector shape. However, when it comes to cutting, the Design Space software will only care about the shape of the vector, all while the outline only serves as a modification for the appearance of the image without changing the actual shape of the vector.

What that basically means is that there are will be instances where the actual fill color is immaterial when you do upload the SVG in Design Space as long the outline is black and that you want the machine to cut through the outline.

In a way, everything is there, such as the inner shapes within the entire outline. However, because Design Space recognized the fill color as black as well, you will not see the other lines within the entire SVG outline.

Think of it this way. If you paint an entire house black, you won’t be able to see where the windows and doors are, but you know that they exist. In the same way, if Design Space recognizes the fill color to be black, then you won’t see the inner lines as well because of the fill color. But you know that they are there, and your Cricut machine will also recognize them to be there.

Adobe Illustrator actually has a function called “expand”. What the function does is that if you filled the shape with color, you are expanding it into one shape for the stroke and the other shape for the fill. If you want to cut the outlined shape, you probably shouldn’t use the expand option on Illustrator. However, if you want Design Space to recognize the fill as a shape as well, then you might want to use the expand option.

If you want the best way to prepare an SVG file for cutting, you should be using the outline mode. That is because outline mode will allow you to see the lines that the Cricut will be cutting. This way, you will know whether or not the black fill is immaterial to your design, as your cutting machine will simply cut through the entire outline.

How to make sure the SVG remains the original colors using Cricut Design Space only

Lets hypothetically say you are like I and most other creators and only use Cricut Design Space to create.If you upload an SVG that you purchased or even created and it shows up as black or now gray with the new Cricut updates you simply need to follow these instructions.

  1. Go to the original file and the upload page in Cricut Design Space.
  2. Select the file you want to upload
  3. Select “Complex”
  4. Remove background if needed and select “save & continue”
  5. Select “print then cut” not cut
  6. Your chosen file is now added to Cricut Design Space in color
  7. If your image is not like the one in the photo and you need several parts of the SVG to be in different colors you will need to break the image down using a converter like pngtosvgfree.com

Final Thoughts

Adjusting the colors of your SVG files can either be really simple or very difficult depending on how many colors you have, how many pieces and parts of the files you have and more. The end result will be the same, you should end up with a file that your Cricut machine will allow you to cut the parts in different colors to create a full layered project.


Hi! I’m Cierra and I’m a craftaholic! I’ve been crafting for a few years now and it’s honestly become my zen. I love crafting, fitness, spending time with my family and friends doing whatever the day allows, peacocks (hence the logo), the beach and adrenaline - give me all the roller coasters and fast cars!

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