Clip Art Crazy

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge it. Use your browser's "BACK" button to return to this review when done.
Type of Book
Title: Clip Art Crazy
Author: Chuck Green
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 360
ISBN: 0201883619
Price: $34.95

Clip Art Crazy is a compendium of sources, tips, and techniques for clip art lovers. It provides you with what you need to incorporate clip art into desktop created projects. There are tips for finding, choosing, and using clip art, along with projects that can be re-created with word processing, desktop publishing, or presentations software. The CD that comes with the book contains nearly 500 reproducible samples. These images can be viewed with the Kudo Catalog Reader that is also on the CD.
User Level    
This is a book for just about anyone interested in clip art. Beginning, intermediate, and advanced PC users would find something of value. Clip Art Crazy is full of fun ideas for beginners, and you don't have to immediately invest in clip art packages as there are enough images on the CD to get anyone started. Intermediate and advanced users will appreciate the encyclopedia of over one hundred clip art sources and some of the technical ins and outs of using graphics.

The book is divided into three parts: Clip Art Basics; Clip Art Projects; and Clip Art Catalog. Below, I will briefly describe each part. Throughout this review, I have included some of the images that are contained on the CD that comes with the book.

Part I: The Clip Art Basics--introduces you to clip art.

Chapter 1: Find It. This chapter briefly profiles and provides the names, address, and phone numbers of more than 100 clip art sources.To the left is an image of a page from Chapter 1. The list includes all manner of graphics and companies. Clip art companies are all different. Some choose a subject niche--BBL Typographic, for example, publishes collections based on medieval, Renaissance, and Greek art. Tech-M provides highly detailed drawings of computer parts, mechanical fasteners, and network symbols for technical publishing. Judith Sutcliffe: The Electric Typographer, crafts pictographs in font form. Other companies generate art for the full spectrum of business and personal publishing. Dynamic Graphics' Electronic Clipper has a different range of general and seasonal images every month of the year. New Vision Technologies' Task Force collection includes people, cartoons, food, music, nature, and more in a single collection. The purpose of pictures runs the gamut, too. Art Beats has a gift for decorative borders and backgrounds. And Ultimate Symbol publishes a CD-ROM filled with beautifully simple symbols, icons, and ornaments. These are just some of the companies listed in Chapter. The chapter is full of graphic examples, as are the other chapters, and all of the artwork used to illustrate Clip Art Crazy is from one of the sources listed in the book, with the credit located with the image.

Chapter 2: Choose It. How to determine the style of image that best suits your project is discussed in this chapter. The author presents some concepts such as a cliché, an icon, a metaphor, a sign, a visual pun, and a symbol and illustrates each with a graphic.

Chapter 3: Use It. This chapter maps out the technical terrain--the file formats that best suit your system, clip art effects you can re-create, and some things you need to know about using copyright art to keep yourself legal and out of trouble. Different types of printers are also discussed.

Part II, Clip Art Projects--the author presents 50 design projects that break the mold. There is everything from stencils, calendars, and posters to multimedia presentations, "cake stakes," and clocks that are worth watching. Each project has a how-to description and a photograph.

Chapter 4: Business Projects. Projects designed to enhance your business image are presented in this chapter. The author discusses how to use humor to deliver a message people will remember; how to mix artwork and typefaces to establish a mood; mix different clip art styles within a single design; using clip art in font format for logos and symbols; using an image within an image; repeat type ornaments to create borders and intricate patterns; using an image as a background; and more. Each project in the book has a text description on a left-hand page, with an illustration on the opposite right-hand page. Here is an example of text and illustration for a T-Shirt.

Chapter 5: Just for Fun. This chapter contains fun-filled projects from bookmarks to wrapping paper. Learn to use an image as a puzzle; print a project on a variety of paper colors and textures; create visual artwork for kids; use shades of gray or reverse an image on a dark background for a unique effect; and add interest with subtle details. The author has a great use for milk bottle caps. See the example of text and illustration.

Part III, Clip Art Catalog--provides 20 of the authors favorite clip art sources: companies that he thinks demonstrate the innovations that have redefined the business of clip art. Each chapter contains 25 images from one of the 20 companies. On the opening pages of each chapter is an overview of the company, its products, and the people who make it work. The remainder of the pages catalog the images by file name and type. All of these images are provided on the CD that comes with the book.

Chapter 6: Aridi Computer Graphics. Borders, initials, ornaments, and fluid calligraphy.

Chapter 7: Arisen Corporation. Environmental images.

Chapter 8: Art Parts. Humorous illustrations of people, places, and parts that will bring a smile to the face of anyone who sees them.

Chapter 9: Creative Media Services. Cartoons, cartoons, and cartoons!

Chapter 10: CSA Archive Company. Images that have elements of illustration and typographic design from the earlier part of this century with the knowledge and energy of a new era.

Chapter 11: Dynamic Graphics. Clip art for just about anyone: advertising agencies, art studios, retailers, and newspapers.

Chapter 12: Harter Image Archives. Reprints of engraved woodblock images compiled from nineteenth century books and magazines.

Chapter 13: Iconomics. Images from illustrators who have pooled resources to market their services.

Chapter 14: Image Club Graphics. A variety of clip art such as gestural ink sketches of food and entertainment subjects; silhouette images; and high resolution stock photography.

Chapter 15: Letraset USA. Font form images with themes such as health, fitness, celebrations, special events, travel, and comedy.

Chapter 16: Metro Creative Graphics. Images for advertisers such as a collection of ready-to--use ads for retailers. Original artwork for automotive, real estate and other businesses.

Chapter 17: MvB Design. Images that capture the idyllic, crafted style of the 1920s and 30s. Includes retro ad cuts from the 1920s through the 50s, and a revival of nineteenth-century printer's cuts, offbeat creations by other designers.

Chapter 18: New Vision Technologies. Collection of high-quality graphics that can be used with just about any hardware and software configuration you can imagine.

Chapter 19: The Oswego Company. Images created in Adobe Illustrator. These are photorealistic illustrations for corporations and advertising agencies.

Chapter 20: Daniel Pelavin. Spot illustrations for art directors, art studios, and publishers.

Chapter 21: Periwinkle Software. Antique illustrations of flowers, vegetables, fruits, food, romance, household inventions, automobiles, trains, aircrafts, and ships.

Chapter 22: PhotoDisc. Royalty-free library of visual symbols for illustration, design, advertising, desktop publishing, and presentations.

Chapter 23: T/Maker Company. Clip art series that includes such titles as ClickArt Cartoons featuring Beastly Funnies, On the Job, Bulletins & Newsletters; ClickArt Studio Series featuring Artistry & Borders, Sports & Games, Business Art; The Incredible Image Pak 25,000, a collection of 25,000 images covering a variety of subjects.

Chapter 24: Ultimate Symbol. A museum-quality collection of design elements, over 3,200 of accents, devices, symbols, designs, shapes, and ornaments.

Chapter 25: Youth Specialties. Images that stay current with the look and the language of teens and young adults. The illustration styles run the gamut--cartoons, woodblocks, and photocollage.

Appendix. Information provided by the 20 companies that have included clip art on the CD and have been discussed in Chapters 6 through 25. There are coupons for special offers on various pages.

Personal Comments    
This is a great book for anyone interested in clip art. It is crammed full of ideas, information, images, and sources. It is visually a treat with all the images, and it is well-organized and easy to read and use as a reference. Clip Art Crazy will have you grinning just like the image of the cat!

Web Page Editor: Symantec Visual Page