In 2014, Microsoft killed and buried Clipart in the digital graveyard.
Clipart had outlived its usefulness as users relied more on search engines than Microsoft’s somewhat limited supply through the Office suite.
Today’s clipart needs to be modern, colorful, and less cartoonish. An online search for clip art images will net you files that are of far better quality and relevance. But you need shortcuts when searching for the right image is a daily workout.
These are 13 of the top websites for free clipart downloads. Browse through them and bookmark the ones that meet your needs.
The designs come from many other stock sites and from the online community. You can also make your own graphic and upload it to the site.
Vecteezy covers the gamut of vector art – from vector icons to vector patterns. Both free and premium image files are available for use. You can visit the small section for free vector clipart downloads which is still choc-full of nearly 75000 assets. The community contributions keep the artwork fresh and updated.
Start with any of the 71,500 clip art images on this simple site. The site keeps its focus on classroom friendly images that are appropriate for school websites, class projects, student reports, homework assignments, presentations, posters, art projects, picture books, bulletin boards, and creating teaching aids. For instance, go over to the Fractions collection that has nearly 500 files to help demonstrate math concepts in class.
Downloads are available in 240 dpi TIFF files, which gives you more scope with your layouts. The site offers a ClipArt ETC Free Classroom License for non-commercial classroom projects and a ClipArt ETC Paid Commercial License for commercial reproduction rights.
Webweaver’s Free Clipart
Free images and animations without the annoyance of pop ups or registration. That’s how this simple site announces itself, and it lives up to its name. Clip art categories include Holidays, Animals & Nature, Celebrations, Historical, and even a dedicated one for Fantasy. No Game of Thrones here, but I spotted a few that could be passed off as Gandalf from LOTR.
You might like the variety. For instance, the Speech and Thought bubbles are always useful for presentations and digital comics. Download them with a right-click on the image file and save the clip art to your desktop.
Clipart Of is a stock image website offering royalty-free vector, cartoon and 3D files, illustrations and clipart from artists around the world. One glance at the home page tells you that the quality is better than the average. But you have to pay for them.
The good news is that the site has reserved a small corner for free clip art downloads. Just five pages with about 100 free files. But, they all look useful. If you are an artist, you can also contribute to the site.
The free clip art database gives you more than 10,000 original images to choose from. The files are neatly categorized and you can also use the Google custom search engine to go through the vast collection. Some useful categories include Shapes Signs & Symbols, Math, Callouts, and Stickmen & Figures.
There’s nothing remarkable about the site apart from the fact that someone has gone to the pains of collecting the best clip art found over the web. If you are a clip art buff then the simple site is worth a bookmark. I usually find some excellent files here and use them in my projects.
Do note that you should at least link back to the original source of the files even though the images are free for personal and commercial use.
The site creates and showcases free stock vectors which designers can use in commercial projects. The library includes a good collection of stock vectors and clip art images which you can use with an attribution. Vector Portal allows you non-exclusive, non-transferable right to use and modify its images which carry a “for commercial use” license. Most of the files are in the EPS and AI formats (supported by Adobe Illustrator).
You can you can download free PNG images, pictures, icons and clip arts in high resolution quality. Categories covered include animals, artistic icons, cars, cartoons, clothing, electronics, games, fantasy, and more. It is effortless to drill down to the one you want with the detailed category breakdown. Some of the icons you might not find on most sites cover learning, internet, and entertainment related themes.
Public Domain Clip Art is a growing trove of clipart images which requires no sign-up to download and use. The collection numbers more than 25000+ at this point in time. This is a useful resource for students as they can tap images files on American history, U.S. Presidents, historical maps, and even women’s rights.
More than 21000 clip art choices organized in 700 pages should be enough to keep you busy. You don’t have to rummage around as all files are organized around tags. Most files are in the Adobe Illustrator (AI) and Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) format. As new files are added daily, sort them by newest first. Any download is free for commercial use with attribution.
Discovery is one of the more kid-friendly websites you can visit on the web. Go straight to the space devoted for clip arts tucked away among their educational videos and curricular resources. The graphics are excellent and cover most of the categories (including animated clip arts) you would need to complete any school assignment. The designs are consistent because they are made by one designer.
This is arguably the largest collection of free images on the web. So far there are 38,205,390 freely usable media files and it is always open for contribution from anyone in the world. Use the search box at the top to ferret the files you want to use. As a regular user, you can take advantage of the syndicated feeds to grab the latest images that come into the archive.
One of the littler known features of Wikimedia Commons is that you can also request a picture if you cannot find it among the thirty-eight million images.
Do understand the Creative Commons licenses before you use the images.
Clipart or Stock Photos — What Do You Pick?
Clipart took on some bad rep because of their overuse on PowerPoint presentations. But there are places where a clipart is a wiser choice over photos. Clipart can be used to communicate with simplicity while a photo can make it more complex than necessary.
Also, photos can be more expensive to purchase than clipart. And this creative constraint can be a better option if you are a graphic designer on a budget.
As there are pros and cons to the argument, it all boils down to the purpose that is in front of you.
How Do You Use Clipart in Your Work?
Do remember that clipart is an umbrella word for different types of non-photographic graphic images and that can include vector images. All vector images can be dubbed as clip art, but not all clip art is made of vectors. They can be JPEG and bitmap files too.
So, tell us about your best sources for clipart images? Do you prefer photos to clipart? Also, tell us your best tip to modify any clipart you download.
Image Credit: Iulian Dragomir via Shutterstock
Originally written by Simon Slangen on October 16, 2009