Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clip Art

So I chose clipart for a reason. I'm not just lazy. I remember using clip art in like 3rd grade when I was trying to spruce up a paper on clownfish. I got two points off for using clip art of a marlin instead of a clownfish in the clip art.

There are a lot of questions I have about clip art. A lot of them pertaining to the "artist" who made them. Do they even want credit for this work? Do they hate their job as clip artists? I would throw myself off a cliff before I had a job creating clip art.

I think clip art is the perfect example of the flaws of Communism. Everyone has access to clip art as long as they have access to microsoft word or even google. (google specifically searches for clip art if you ask it to... which is sad because that implies that there is an actual demand for clip art...) All of clip art is free and you don't need to credit the creator. And yet all clip art is crappy. Without actual devoted artists and a demand for higher quality all we will have is generic horse shit.

The reason I'm on such a rage against clipart is because I found my backpack from 3rd grade... which included my clipart endowed paper as well as about a billion handouts, all of which were coated in a copious amount of clip art illustrations.

With teachers I think its acceptable for them to clip art since they aren't dealing with adults. One time, though, I caught my older brother layout out a spreadsheet with a bar graph clipart for his job. I smacked him in the mouth and relayed it out for him with an appropriate aesthetic.

I think the only thing worse than clip art is the massive amount of Jesus GIFs that come with every chain mail I get from my great grandmother. Again I can't blame her though. The fact that she can email is astounding... even if she is still running Windows 2000... God I'm a nerd.

So in conclusion, clip art sucks and I hate it. Its great if you are appealing to anyone under the age of 12 or I.Q. of 80 but otherwise I think it should be abolished.


  1. I agree that it should be abolished. My mom used to work for a Lutheran church so she was responsible for publishing newsletters and other materials for the Sunday School, and of course, they were loaded with clip art. She was even a member of this religious clip art site, so you're right, there's obviously a demand for it! Sure it's useful for those who don't have access/funds for a graphic designer or an artist, but it really makes the piece look substandard.

    Probably my biggest embarrassment was over the summer, helping a domestic abuse shelter design their fall newsletter. It was going well until I got asked to find an image of a "happy tooth" for an article about dentistry. After that, I didn't want anything to do with them and I really hoped that no one I knew would know that I had made it.

  2. Clip art is incredibly ugly, yes. But it works okay for those who aren't that concerned about design. We're aspiring professionals, so do you think maybe we see things differently than some volunteer who has to put out a newsletter with basically zero budget and an old version of Microsoft Word? Unless they have a nephew who can draw, they're pretty much forced to use clip art. And they probably won't care, because art isn't their thing. It's weird for us to think that there are people out there slapping ugly shit together, truly having no idea of the monstrosity they're creating, and even if they were aware they'd still have no concern over it whatsoever. For us it grates on our nerves, like for an English teacher it grates on their nerves when someone confuses "they're" and "their."

    Since clip art is basically what poor people use when they have no financial access to fancy-pants expensive designers, I'd personally put the blame for that one on capitalism. ;)

  3. I am really glad you posted this. To be honest, I laughed when I read it. I agree with you 100%. I remember using clip art in elementary school and I am ashamed. I have never seen clip art have a positive effect on anything. Yes I realize that is it free and easy to use, but that doesn't mean you should use it. Maybe if the clip art actually had some quality to it, then it might be ok to use. Whenever I think of clip art though, I think of shit like this palm tree scene. All of it looks cheap, which makes the document that it is put on look cheap. I really wonder what other people think about clip art. Too bad we don't have a business major or something in our class to ask. Overall, clip art just seems like a way for an illustrator to make a buck off of cheap pieces of garbage.