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About This Site
Design philosophy: all information in this web site should be accessible to the intended audience regardless of platform, browser, or size of screen. Graphics are kept to a minimum to reduce download times. If you see a frame or an animated GIF, feel free to flame me mercilessly.
This site uses fully compliant cascading style sheets (CSS). Older browsers should display text in their default fonts, while more recent browsers will all display fully formatted text. (However, the styles sheets will look best viewed in Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.) The site also complies with major accessibility standards.
The base font for this page is Trebuchet MS, a free font from Microsoft designed for on-screen readability at small point sizes. The headlines are 32 pt Times bold italic, combining elegance, classical proportions, and compactness.
The logo is variation on the original logo from Aldus PageMaker and depicts Aldus Manutius, a student of Johannes Gutenberg and inventor of italics. This is to echo the roots of desktop publishing, both in the 1450s and the 1980s. The logo uses Courier from ITC to evoke the feel of metal type and Poetica from Adobe Systems to evoke the era of hand lettering.
Stock Art & Clip Art
Clip art started out as (literally) cut and paste illustrations in books, such as the Dover series. As computers began to take over publishing with the Macintosh, Apple LaserWriter, and Aldus PageMaker in 1985, electronic clip art began to appear as 72 dpi black and white bitmaps in MacPaint format (or a similar one) often scans of the old books. As PostScript printers became more common, EPS ruled. These files could be color, greyscale, or black and white, output at any resolution, produced extremely sharp lines and text, and were compact. However, they tended to have a computer-ish look and feel, and as high resolution output devices and high capacity storage devices becmae cheaper and more available, people began returning to bitmaps but this time, they were 24-bit color, high resolution TIFFs of scanned photographs and fine art or hand drawn art. Today, art is available in many forms, from free GIFs to free or commercial EPS drawings icons, infographics, medical diagrams, maps, etc. to high resolution TIFFs of the hottest photographers and greatest renaissance painters. What you use depends entirely on your budget and the needs of your publication.
Note: we will use "clip art" and "stock art" interchangeably, tending to refer to clip art as more general purpose art, typically free and in EPS format, and stock art as collections of related images, usually in TIFF format and sold by commercial vendors.
It's my understanding that downloading clip art from the web is fine for web sites, but the quality is not good for publications. Is that true?
There are two issues. First, you can't necessarily download a graphic off the web and use it legally. Second, the graphic you download will be 72 or 96 dpi and thus unsuitable for print unless you resize it. If you scale it to 50% e.g., you double the resolution, which may then work fine. But you have to clear the copyright issue, which can be a huge hassle since you may not be able to find the copyright owner, or even the web designer!
The Worsley Press <worsley@WORSLEYPRESS.COM> wrote:
Getting images from the web (assuming no copyrght problems) depends on how much work you are prepared to put into it -- I've been forced into turning gifs back into vector art with Streamline, and if you really have to, you can achieve a lot in Photoshop. But you have to be desperate.
What is the correct format for clip art?
The best are EPS and TIFF. GIF and JPEG are best used for the web, and PICT (Mac) and WMF (or BMP, Windows) are mainly for interapplicatrion use or informal internal use (pasting something into a word processor, for instance) and are not suitable for quality desktop publishing work, especially if that work will be sent to a service bureau or prepress shop for output.
For tips on converting PICT, WMF, BMP, JPG, or GIF files into TIFF files for use in PageMaker, see our tip on "Preparing a Screen Shot for Use in PageMaker."
Can anyone recommend some good basic (and not too pricey) clip art?
The Worsley Press <worsley@WORSLEYPRESS.COM> wrote:
My vote for the best value in clip art would go to Corel for their One million images version of Corel gallery (about 14 CDs with, and this matters perhaps even more, a reasonable search engine to find the one you want).
If you like the Dover clipart range, then it is well worth getting one of the IMSI Masterclips range (I know the
But remember that you get what you pay for -- these are collections of clipart which have mostly been around for a long time, so that even with a million to choose from you'll see a lot that you've seen many times before. You can also buy them at any electrical store that sells software, often at a discount.
And both originated for PC, so, while I think they have Mac versions, they may not be organised in the same way.
For originality you need the collections from people like Dynamic Graphics...expensive, but good value for what they are -- quality eps images you can separate into their components and use as a basis for your final artwork rather than as just something to copy and paste.
I have one of the large IMSI Masterclips collections (can't recall which one offhand & it's not with me). I was very disappointed to find that the Dover clipart that's included is all in the form of 72 dpi TIFFs. Even after resizing and blurring & sharpening in Photoshop, I've found it practically unusable for print. I also echo Gordon's comment about the search facility -- I've found it almost non-existent. It is nice to have a printed catalogue, but I'd trade that for a decent search function.
Free Clip Art
A collection of Maps of the U.S. and the 50 states, as well as a few other assorted pieces of free clip art, can be found on our Downloads page. Click on the links or, if clicking a link does not cause the item to download properly, try a "Save Link As." On the Mac, click and hold or Control-Click and choose "Save As" from the pop-up menu. In Windows, right click and choose "Save As" from the pop-up menu. Please notify Peter C.S. Adams if you have a problem or wish to donate clip art.
Other sources of free clip art include:
Margery Feller <MARGERYF@AUSTIN.RR.COM> suggests Art Today. "They have some nice clip art and you can get some free."
Stock Art Vendors
Following are a few sources recommended by list members. For more links, see our Links page.
Check out Eyewire <http://www.eyewire.com>, which has the old Image Club clip art. There are many subject and styles, ranging from junk to gorgeous illustrations to woodcuts to high tech to cartoons to retro to ... you get the idea. I did a search for "tennis" and came up with several images, one or two of which I would have used, and a couple I wouldn't touch with a 10 meter pole. You can buy themed CDs or buy and download single images.
I'm also surprised no one has mentioned the web-based Art Today. Contrary to popular opinion, not all downloadable art is bad, just most of it. Art Today has a huge selection of line art plus greyscale and color contone images all large enough for hi-res printing. Subscriptions start at $29.95 a year and they also have web graphics and fonts, though I can't attest to the quality of these.
Hal Wendt <halsan@GLIS.NET> wrote:
If all you really want is the mundane then Corel or clickart will probably be all you need. 300,000 pieces of mostly unusable rubbish. It looks just like the stuff the kids down the street use for the cub scout car wash on Saturdays. If you aspire to more then you should take a look at Metro Creative Graphics or Dynamic Graphics. They're subscription based and I prefer Metro to DG. We get a CD each month that has 600 themed pieces, a full color magazine for thumbing through and each month has a cumulative electronic catalog on it. Annually you receive a CD with the complete catalog on it. You have access their vast libraries of art that they will research and E-mail art pieces to you for no charge. This is truly high quality professional art in EPS & TIFF format that can be colored, edited and combined. But then you could never call this stuff "clip art" There are links available to both companies at <http://www.printweb.org> then click on links. Quality art complete with sample ad layouts which is what I usually use them for.
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Peter C.S. Adams
STEPPS -- Stop Tax Exempt Private Property Sprawl -- Framingham