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Digital Stamps

Digital Stamps
By: Susan Wolf Caplan, Product Guru

 Digital Stamps is a new stamping term to me.  I have been hearing some chatter about them for a couple of months now.  Seeing, as I didn’t know what they were all about, I “googled” them.  I was directed to a few sites that were offering digital stamps for sale.   After looking through a few of them I realized that these digital stamps were in fact a fancy term for Clip Art.

They are line drawn images that you download onto your computer and upload them into your graphics program.  You can then resize them and use them as you please.

I was not quite sure how I felt about using these images instead of stamps, so I thought I would experiment with them to help form my opinion.

Below are the  pros and cons I found in using these images.


  • No storage needed, except your computer
  • Manipulates to virtually any size
  • Clean to use
  • Immediate gratification.  One click and it is downloaded on to your computer for immediate use
  • Inexpensive


  • Must have a computer
  • Computer graphics knowledge, a must
  • Whole collection can be lost if your computer has a virus
  • Cannot be used with water based mediums, such as markers, water color,  etc.   The image will bleed
  • To date, most images on the cute side
  • Image will need to be cut out to be used, unless extensive graphics program placement knowledge  ( which I do not have)
  • Can’t repeat image, or mask images for dimensional stamping  

    After using these images I realize that I am a stamping purist.  I like the way a stamp feels in my hands.  I like the creative process of not knowing how an image is going to stamp out, and where it is going to be placed.  When I create art I feel as if my mind and hands are in sync.  They are free and in their own “zone.”

    I am not able to get that freedom and creativity with Digital Stamps.

    They are too planned out for me.  I can’t just stamp one in a corner and  another in the center of the page.  It has to be thought out in advance.  I don’t work that way.

    So, for those of you who have found that the pros have out-weighed the cons, you might enjoy them.  I, for one, prefer to have a good old rubber stamp.

    I can’t give this form of stamping a grade.  I see the use for them, but I don’t like them, and won’t be using them in the future.  It is all in personal taste.  So, be my guest and let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.



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7 Responses »

  1. I love the discussion going on here. I am happy for those of you who are finding digital stamps useful. You give the rest of us ideas for how to possibly use them in the future. Thanks for adding....

  2. I agree that some computer knowledge is helpful but there is an entire world out there for the taking. To add to the comments - if you're looking for a clipart of a -rose on google you can redefine your search as either clipart, photo or line drawing. As well you can narrow your search down by colour (if you're looking at photo) so that you only have images of eg yellow roses. You can then place multiple images into your document and print them out on 100gsm/68lb paper to papertole them.

    While I love my rubber stamps sometimes clipart/digital stamps gives me more variety for what I need. And this technique like any new technique needs to be practised Isn't there a saying that the best creativity comes from the biggest mistakes?

  3. For your con of not being able to use markers or watercolor that is wrong as well. All you need to do is heat set the image with your craft heater or blow dryer and it sets the ink from your printer. Or let it sit and dry for several days before using. I usually heat set it after letting it sit for a few days to make sure it is fully dry and it really doesn't bleed! I use prismacolor markers and H2O's all the time.

  4. On one point I feel you are incorrect. You can't use water based colorants if you use an inkjet printer, but if you have a laser printer, water will not disturb your image. If you don't have a laser printer, it is very inexpensive to go to a copy shop and make copies - photocopies are all toner based.

    I have been using clipart on my cards for a long time - calling these images digital stamps is just hokey.

  5. Vicki,
    I appreciate your comments. But, I do have to admit, you lost me a bit on how to repeat images. If I concentrate and try your process, I am sure I could do it, but it is not a straight out easy process, for me anyway.
    Thanks so much for your input.


  6. Nice article, but just to clarify you can certainly repeat the image (you just make a copy of it on a new layer) and you can put a mask on it if you wanted to, but in digital design, since the image can be on its own layer, a mask is not needed. The changes you make on another layer are independent of the layer your stamp is on. Also, you can burn your collection of a CD/DVD so that you don't have to worry about losing it if something goes wrong with your computer.

    Also, in the pros, not only can you change it to any size, you can have as many of them as you want in your working project, but they can each be a different size, orientation, color, etc.

    I LOVE TRADITIONAL STAMPS, but realize that digital (if you like that genre) has many more positives than negatives.

    Thanks for letting me share,


  7. I agree with you. I am a stamper through and through.