Copyright and usage rules apply to clip art, just like any other image or photograph. It is important to understand the correct, legal use of clip art before incorporating it into any of your projects or content.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Microsoft Word with clip art installed
Distinguish between clip art licenses, realizing that most of it is either considered public, meaning it is completely free for use, or royalty free. Royalty free means you must purchase a limited license, which is sold to allow personal, educational or non-profit use of the clip art images. For example, purchasing the Microsoft Word program gives you a license to use all clip art images included within the program.
Check Microsoft Word's collection of clip art to see whether what you are looking for is available. Using clip art from a legally purchased version of Microsoft Word is the easiest way to ensure the clip art you are using is royalty free and legal to use for as long as your license for Microsoft Word is valid.
Purchase a CD of clip art images, which may include a collection of anywhere from a hundred to thousands of graphics for royalty-free use. These CDs can be found from online stores, as well as office supply and computer stores.
Get the best images you can afford. Finding the cheapest price for royalty-free clip art might not be the best approach, as cheaper clip art may be lower in quality and more widely used. If you are looking for a more exclusive or unique image, it is best to be willing to pay a little more to secure the rights to use it.
Access a website like Microsoft Office Online or CoolArhive.com to find royalty free clip art (see Resources below). Many websites offer free clip art for use on the Web, as long as you are using it for non-commercial purposes. Others charge low, one time or monthly fees to download images.
Utilize Royalty Free Clip Art
Tips and warnings
- If you plan to use clip art in a print publication, the images must be at least 300 dots per inch in resolution to be printed in their best quality. However, clip art used exclusively for the Web only needs to be 70 dots per inch. Higher resolution clip art will be more expensive, so if you only plan to use it for the Web, you may be able to find a bargain.