The Issues of Clip Art

01 Jun The Issues of Clip Art

A classic clip art womanOne of the most common mistakes that small businesses make with their branding and marketing is using clip art. Clip art found online is seen as a cheap, simple way to use graphic design elements in marketing materials. However, just because it can be so easy, that doesn’t necessarily make it a good branding option. Here are a few of the issues that come with using clip art in your business.

Often looks cheap

First of all, the quality of a lot of clip art isn’t particularly anything to write home about. The point of clip art is to be a common denominator for businesses to use. As such, the sparse designs that are found on clip art websites are usually the fast-food equivalent of minimalism. Because of this, clip art looks cheap to customers, and may not be the best thing to attach to your company’s image.

“Free” clip art isn’t always free

One of the supposed benefits of a lot of clip art is that it is supposedly free, if you look on the right websites. However, while there is clip art that can be used for free, in all instances, there is a much nefarious truth behind a lot of clip art usage. Some websites that aggregate clip art will take clip art designs that aren’t actually free, and will not attribute the designer. This can lead to your company getting in trouble for not paying for creative property, despite having the best intentions. Another problem is that a lot of clip art is under creative commons licensing, which is free for some uses, but not commercial use, which can also get your company in trouble.

Other companies might use the same thing

The generic usage of clip art leads to another problem, besides looking, well, generic: anybody can use it. If there is clip art that you feel like works to market aspects of your particular industry, then there is a good chance that your competitors may use the same thing. A lot of the most popular clip art is used by a multitude of companies, which means that using it doesn’t help you stand out in any way, which should be a major goal of your marketing materials. As such, it also makes it much more difficult to build a brand identity around your branding strategy.

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