Adobe Education
Educators and Professional Development Specialists

Is clip art dead?

How do you help students add visual interest to their presentations and projects without resorting to the cliche' of clip art? Share your suggested resources for finding vector assets, stock photography, and other types of visual assets that help young people keep their design work fresh.

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Judy Durkin

Posted on 4/23/18 8:02:12 PM Permalink

​I don't mind clip art - it is when the designer mixes different style that it looks like a mess.

Ciera Hall

Posted on 11/29/17 8:40:39 PM Permalink

Clipart is like the Comic Sans of graphics, overused and outdated. ​I emphasize learning the elements and principles of design to my students which helps them understand the importance of visual interest in their projects and assignments.

James Rafferty

Posted on 11/2/17 2:53:55 AM Permalink

Fostering creativity in any form is always beneficial, i'd gladly never see a clip art again but everyone has to start somewhere and this can be an easy option to beginners. Just a place to get the mind thinking.

Norma England

Posted on 10/26/17 9:15:01 PM Permalink

Making students understand that adding visual interest and color to their projects helps to draw the attention of the audience. In doing so you must be beneficial in making the students understand the difference in clip art and vector graphics. When showing the difference understanding the difference in free art and the ones who have a copyright attached is most important so they do not become among those who use the wrong artwork and owe copyright infringement charges.

Julie Van Mersbergen

Posted on 10/3/17 8:33:19 PM Permalink is a good source for free images.

Jon Vandermeer

Posted on 9/20/17 8:10:04 PM Permalink

​Vector assets tend to be more dynamic, while I deal primarily in the audio format, I do have students put together a poster of their capstone project and vector assets has the potential to enhance the poster

Annemarie Armstrong

Posted on 8/3/17 3:40:13 PM Permalink

​I would offer the various options, text, clip art, customized vectors to the students and discuss when to use each. If time is not a factor, customized vectors would, in many cases, be preferable. Stock photography is another option but so is personal photography, since most students have cameras on their phones. Students can learn from using all the types and making comparisons in the same way as was done here in the course. Also, one would like to discuss the presentation mode--screen vs. print. By offering options students would be more motivated and less likely to avoid the tasks. Eventually they would try all of them. Peer discussion and groups learning could also be applied so that students can maximize their time and efforts. This works with all ages up through adults.

Miriam Shaw

Posted on 7/27/17 9:30:36 PM Permalink

​Lots of great comments...Fred, your links that you share with your students are Awesome! Not having done much with vector graphics, I am limited on my thoughts. Personally, I believe there is room for both clipart and vector graphics...both for the novice and the expert.

Tony Fling

Posted on 7/19/17 11:34:04 PM Permalink

​I try to encourage students and staff to always use high quality assets in whatever they are doing. It doesn't matter if it is vector graphics, photo, audio or video I encourage them to always pay for the rights to use an asset or check to see if there is a creative common or royalty free license. We have a lot of students and even staff that think it is totally fine to steal content from online sources like you tube or google without consideration for the people that created that content. I try my best to steer them in the right direction! We use sites like,, digital juice, adobe stock, etc for obtaining assets.

Carlos Calla Huayapa

Posted on 7/18/17 6:13:04 AM Permalink

​I think vector is more friendly and clean.

Tyler Dockery

Posted on 7/11/17 7:58:46 PM Permalink

​ we try to encourage students to use their own assets or their own creative art pieces. I teach advertising and graphic design, and students to try to get by banking their work on someone else's creative designs usually end up with a big visual problem. Either the designs they find online are not as good as they could've done in which case they look like they did A very sad or half – bottom job. Alternatively they might find a piece of vector artwork which is so good that it overshadows the rest of their work. This can cause big problems if that is the main reason they were hired, and then they cannot do that work on the job. It's a pickle and no mistake

Shadara Peters

Posted on 7/11/17 7:24:41 PM Permalink


I'm not a student, but when I was there were different resources that were available. To avoid resorting to clip art, it helped me to be more creative and create my own vector art for example. Also, stock photography that are available and sometimes and image can depict what your trying to present. The design industry is changing so fast that the way information received is way different visually. I was introduced to the noun project when I took a infographics training class and this is I think a good way to help add visual interest.


dorothy lynch

Posted on 7/4/17 4:32:06 AM Permalink

​I would first start by informing them of the types of images and how they can affect their presentations. For example, Rasters or Bitmap images can get distorted or become fuzzy when resizing the image but vector images can be scaled up or down without losing quality ( become distorted or fuzzy). I have located two site for them to use am sure their are more. and

Shadara Peters

Posted on 7/11/17 7:28:17 PM Permalink


I agree Raster or Bitmap images can get distorted, but vector images are better and can be easily scaled without losing its quality. I have also used freepik, and sometimes you don't have to create completely from scratch and resources as so can hello visually.


Ari Vega

Posted on 7/3/17 1:10:49 PM Permalink

I don't clip art is dead, because it depends on it end use. If you are not planning on scaling it or make other modifications, then a bit map would work fine. However, if you are planning to change the image size or independent colors of the image, then bit map would not be the wise choice.​

Shadara Peters

Posted on 7/11/17 7:34:50 PM Permalink


I don't think clip art is dead also, and like you said it depends on what your using it for and how you will be using it for.


Ken Thomas

Posted on 6/29/17 6:42:16 PM Permalink

​I haven't yet had a use for this type of application in my particular class. However, I can appreciate the knowledge about the adobe family of vector images available and illustrator as a way to design your own images.

dorothy lynch

Posted on 7/4/17 4:33:51 AM Permalink

​I found this info to be very interesting, it is my first time experiencing this activity as well.

Fred Benitez

Posted on 1/23/17 7:15:30 PM Permalink

dorothy lynch

Posted on 7/4/17 4:36:22 AM Permalink

Shadara Peters

Posted on 7/11/17 7:33:00 PM Permalink


These are great resources that can be used for different things.