Wednesday, December 21, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ December 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ December 2011

Dec 21, 2011

Editing images as simple as Copy and Paste

It's quite simple really. A quick search of iCLIPART.com and you've found that perfect image to represent your company. All you need to do is get it trademarked, add it to documents, advertisements and promotional items and you're good to go, right?

Actually, the answer is a resounding no. While many clients use iCLIPART.com images for business, there are rules that must be followed to protect you against copyright infringement. The first is with regards to trademarking. Trademarking a logo that contains all of, or part of, an image downloaded from iCLIPART.com is not permitted. The reason for this is that the image may have been purchased by other customers and could, therefore, already be in circulation.

The second stipulation is that images need to be significantly edited for commercial purposes. Changing (editing) the image must be a combination of the following: adding text, combining two or more images together, removing parts of an image, changing colours etc.

For graphic design professionals and printers, any or all of those suggestions are easy alterations. But for small-business owners, just starting out on a limited budget, with little or no experience working with images, the idea may seem daunting.

Luckily, this need not be the case. Combining images and adding text to images are easy exercises. And if you don't already own image editing software to help you with the task, there are affordable options that are simple to use. A couple of free software programs for you to consider are: www.gimp.org and www.getpaint.net.

For this exercise, let's start with adding images to images. For fun, and because it's close to Christmas, the example here shows Santa on vacation. It uses images 482910, 439866, 159047, 303436, 208183, 155586 and 425629 and was created in Adobe Photoshop. While the background scene was a PNG file, we selected vectors for the images being placed over top, to ensure a transparent background.

After downloading and saving the images to the computer, open the one you need to begin your project in Photoshop, and size it. Then adding images, is essentially little more than 'Select', 'Copy', 'Paste'. Finding the size is a bit of trial and error. If the image is too small, you just keep trying. If it's too large, go to 'Edit' > 'Transform' > 'Scale'. With your cursor grab on to the corner of the box around the picture and tighten it to the preferred size. Finally hit return and place the image where you want it on the picture.

The only other tweaking required for our purposes was removing the background from the seagull picture, a task much easier than you might suppose. Because it was a gradient background, we changed the tolerance to 100%, then using the wand tool clicked on the picture. If, as in this case, only a portion of the image is highlighted, hold the 'Shift' button and click on another part. Go to 'Select' > 'Inverse', then copy and paste.

Having decided to give it a try and dive in, you'll be surprised how very little time and effort it takes. The end result here is pretty basic, but, then again, once the pictures were selected, our project was completed in minutes. Just imagine what you can do when you're serious!

It won't take long to master this, then when you start to feel a bit more adventurous you can turn to image editing software to help you with other projects, such as changing a colour or removing things from the image. Here are some GIMP tutorials to help: http://tinyurl.com/coqprux and http://tinyurl.com/d89b46t.

How To...

Why does the quality become very poor when I make a JPG/PNG/GIF image larger?

The problem is, when image editing software makes a raster image (JPG, PNG or GIF formats) larger, it has to add pixels that were not there before, leaving it to guess as to what these new pixels are supposed to look like. The larger you try to make your image, the worse your image is going to look. If you need a larger file than we offer, you may wish to purchase a vector version (if available) and then use the editing software to save the image to the required size.

Customer Feedback

I love iclipart.com and recommend it to my customers all the time! iclipart.com is my "go to" place for graphics! — D. Gallaway, Ridgeland, MS

back to top Back to top

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ November 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ November 2011

Nov 16, 2011

Season's Greetings created by you

Technology provides the means for expressing our creative side. And what better time than Christmas to send a message that doesn't just convey heartfelt wishes, but has that personal touch as well?

With help from iCLIPART.com, you don't need expensive programs or a graphic arts background to design quality holiday greetings. Using affordable programs such as OpenOffice and NeoOffice, along with iCLIPART.com graphics you can make beautifully, personalized cards for family and friends. And our diverse collection of holiday clipart and photos means there's something for every taste and style.

To make our festive example here we used NeoOffice. (The instructions should work similarly for OpenOffice as well)

First, open a new text document under 'File'. Next under 'Format' select 'Page', then adjust the width and height for the fold layout required.

Under 'Insert', you will find the option for 'Picture'. Select the one you have downloaded from iCLIPART.com and place it in the bottom right corner.

Click the 'T' (text tool) on the drawing toolbar to create a text box in the top left corner of the page. After you type in your message you can format the font, alignment, etc. by right clicking on the page. To flip the text so it will appear correctly in the card, right click in the text box and select position and size.

After inserting the picture over the text, go to 'Format' > 'Flip'.

Add your notes in the top right corner, formatting and flipping the text as before.

Finally, add the text and image to the bottom left corner.

Make sure you preview the card before printing.

The finished example I created can be downloaded here: christmascard.pdf.zip.

You may also want to check out this Microsoft site demonstrating how to make greeting cards using Publisher: http://tinyurl.com/752yhxx.

How To...

Some of the images on the website are missing. What can I do to fix this?

If you use Firefox then you may have accidentally hidden the images. Please choose the 'Preferences' option from the menu in Firefox and then go into the 'Content' tab. There should be a checkbox that says 'Load images automatically'. Please ensure this is checked. To the right of this checkbox there is a button that is called 'Exceptions'. Click on this and if you see either static.iclipart.com or www.iclipart.com then please delete them and then approve your changes. Go back to the browser and refresh the page and the images should be back again.

Handy Website

You've found the perfect image, but it's unfortunately a little too large for your project and you don't have any image editing software. All is not lost. We found a great website to bring that image down to size, simply and effectively. Check out http://www.picresize.com/.

back to top Back to top

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ October 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ October 2011

Oct 26, 2011

iCLIPART.com helps make your brochure picture perfect

When it comes to promotional materials, first impressions are important. So if a company brochure is your introduction to potential clients, you want to make sure that it's designed to impress.

The main goal of a brochure is to not just tell people who you are, but what you do. It's an advertising and marketing tool that can be broadly distributed at little cost. As they are relatively economical to produce too, you can even create several to focus on various segments of your business.

Not everyone has the time, or software to create their own brochure, but if you do, and want to give it a try on your own, here's a website that explains how to "Design a Ready to Print Brochure in Photoshop": http://tinyurl.com/r334eh.

Whether you decide to have the brochure done professionally or in-house, there are important factors to consider before you get the project started. Here are two websites we found with some great tips to consider: http://tinyurl.com/3fwrys5 and http://tinyurl.com/3cs8zzo.

Once you've got the key elements decided for design, selecting the right photos or illustrations from iCLIPART.com will make your finished project picture perfect.

How To...

What software do you recommend I use to edit the images?

If you want to work with vector file formats (AI, EPS, WMF, SVG or PDF formats) then you will need professional image editing software like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Adobe PhotoShop can open EPS files at the size you specify so that you can edit them further. There is also a free program called GIMP that may meet your needs. If you do a search for imaging editing software on Google, you will find there are many other options too.

What Folks are Saying About Us....

We switched to iCLIPART.com and here is the reason - much better quality of your collections. With the other company we had to go through dozens and dozens of very poor quality unusable stuff. Not in your case. So thank you!
Vladimir G. - Prudential- Ocean NJ

back to top Back to top

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ September 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ September 2011

Sep 14, 2011

Create a savvy presentation with PowerPoint and iCLIPART.com

In this fast-paced competitive world presenting yourself in a professional manner is essential for success. With companies looking not just at content, but how that content is introduced, it's imperative that professionals looking to make an impression know how to produce a powerful presentation. In the corporate world savvy presenters no longer stand at the front of the room with flip charts, whiteboards and slide projectors. Today the way to get attention, whether in the boardroom or classroom, is with a PowerPoint demonstration.

The images, fonts, sounds and animations from iCLIPART.com will most certainly enhance your PowerPoint presentation, but not everyone has the expertise within their company to create it. Fortunately, the internet, as always, is there to help. A simple search turns up a number of websites offering tutorials and tips.

Here are two we found to help get you started:
http://www.utexas.edu/its/training/handouts/UTOPIA_PowerpointGS and
http://video.about.com/presentationsoft/Start-PowerPoint.htm

How To...

How do I remove the white box (background) from the image I want?

JPG files will always have a background since that type of file does not support transparency. In some cases the PNG and GIF files on our website will already have a transparent background. If you download one of the vector file formats you should be able to re-save the image in your image editing software without any background. Note: you need to either have a Subscription Plus or a Professional Subscription in order to download vector images from iCLIPART.com. Most image editing software will let you remove the background of an image manually, and there are many tutorials on Google on how to accomplish this.

What Folks are Saying About Us....

Wow - a company that actually looks at customer activity, sees a potential problem and takes action in the best interest of the customer. How refreshing!
Mark W. - Professional Weight Control Centers

back to top Back to top

Thursday, August 18, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ August 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ August 2011

Aug 18, 2011

Play Time with Vectors

With access to online graphics, you don't need to be a budding artist to create dazzling projects. Sometimes, however, it is fun to play.

Whether adding, subtracting, or altering an image you're interested in, there's one format that allows you to download an image, then redesign or resize to suit your personal needs or style.

The versatile vector is unlike bitmap images as it's based on mathematical equations such as points, lines and curves, rather than being comprised of pixels. Therefore while a jpg or png might distort somewhat when you resize it, the vector formats will maintain an image's crispness and quality, making them perfect for large projects.

Another attribute of vectors is that they will, 100 per cent of the time, have no background. They can, therefore, be placed over other images, allowing the bottom one to show through.

Should you find two images close to what you want, but neither is exactly what you're looking for on its own, choosing vectors will allow you to combine elements of both to create your own uniquely perfect design.

Perfection, of course, is elusive, even for vectors. One disadvantage they have is that they cannot be used in producing realistic photos, as they don't possess a continuous flow of subtle colour tone and shade variations.

Vector images are available in a number of formats on iCLIPART.com, including AI, EPS, PDF, SVG and WMF. Working with vectors does require quality image editing software, however. Among the most popular are CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator. While vectors can be opened in Adobe Photoshop or free software programs such as GIMP, they will rasterize the image, meaning that you would no longer be able to work with the vector data. This is not to say that they don't have their uses. For example Adobe Photoshop does allow you to increase the size of an image when you open it.

To help you learn more about vectors check out these two informative sites: http://www.tech-faq.com/vector-images.html and http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/pixel-vector-graphics-difference/.

Helpful Sites

We have heard comments from people regarding how to open an AI file in CorelDRAW, or if it's possible. Check out this website: http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/us/en/Content/1153321236837

How To...

When I try and download a WMF file it opens in a program and I cannot save it to my computer.

When you get to the instruction page screen, please right click directly on the continue button and this should give you the option to "Save Target As". When you choose this option a file save box will pop up and you will have the choice of changing the file name and choosing a directory to save the image in. Please ensure the file extension is correct before you save the file.

What Folks are Saying About Us....

I love iCLIPART.com I found it is more fun to make my own greeting cards and iCLIPART.com has been a great source of graphics for me. I love the variety of topics and media. Your yearly renewal fee is really reasonable. Thank you. Noelene J-M - Laughlin, NV

back to top Back to top

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ July 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ July 2011

Jul 12, 2011

Making the Right Choice

Sure, life is about choice, but when you're stepping cautiously through the unknown, making that choice can be intimidating. Take clipart format choice for example. Technology has opened a world of options, for the economical and the creative. With boundless resources literally at their fingertips, everyone, from corporate bigwigs to good works folks, is getting involved in the world of graphic design. While they may leave the actual project to the professionals, most prefer to personally select the image they want to represent the company or cause.
This is, they shall soon discover, not the only decision they will need to make. Among the questions we get from clients is whether they should purchase a jpg or png.
Generally, the answer is straightforward. If you are using a professional designer or printer for your project, ask them what image format they prefer.
However, if you are exploring the world of graphics on your own, then it can quite simply come down to preference. Once you have worked with them a few times, you will soon discover the qualities you like about each.
jpgs are the most familiar of the formats. They will have a background 100 per cent of the time, so if it's transparency you are looking for in your clipart images you would be best to try the png or gif. Keep in mind, however, the latter has less depth of colour so is primarily used for websites.
The type of project you are creating, however, must also be considered. For example, as neither the jpgs or pngs can be increased in size without losing some quality, you will want to choose a vector if that's required. Keep in mind, though, you will need image editing software capable of handling vector files, such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. (There will be more about vectors in the next newsletter.)
Here are two websites that comprehensively offer detailed explanations on the differences among the web-ready formats: http://www.sitepoint.com/gif-jpg-png-whats-difference/ and http://snook.ca/archives/design/which_image_for/.

How To...

Some of the images on the website are missing. What can I do to fix this?

If you use Firefox then you may have accidentally hidden the images. Please choose the 'Preferences' option from the menu in Firefox and then go into the 'Content' tab. There should be a checkbox that says 'Load images automatically'. Please ensure this is checked. To the right of this checkbox there is a button that is called 'Exceptions'. Click on this and if you see either static.iclipart.com or www.iclipart.com then please delete them and then approve your changes. Go back to the browser and refresh the page and the images should be back again.

What Folks are Saying About Us....

I just want to let you know that the service you offer on iclipart is out of this world. I've been involved in vector art for my graphics business for the past 6 years and find your products a key part to my success. It's an absolute Alladin's Cave of wonderful vector art and the price is very good compared to other firms. Very happy punter here, keep up the good work. Will P - North Walsham, UK

back to top Back to top

Monday, May 16, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ May 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ May 2011

May 16, 2011

One little Word Makes a BIG Difference

When searching for graphics on the internet, free could be a bad word.

'Royalty-free', a very important descriptive attached to the service provided by iCLIPART.com, is a different story. What this term means is that when you make the decision to purchase a subscription or image from us, you have access to millions of some of the world's best images, fonts and animations, without any hidden costs. While the idea of getting something for nothing is undeniably appealing, that doesn't hold true in the world of online graphics.

Another benefit of purchasing images from iCLIPART.com is quality. All of the images are high resolution, 300 dpi, ensuring they will be a clean, crisp, professional addition to your project. If you've ever taken a 'free' image from a website you know it certainly offers no such guarantee.

Also, by purchasing artwork you help support the talented people who create the graphics. But even more importantly, you protect yourself. Lifting 'free' Images you might find on others websites is essentially theft and could land you in a lot of trouble.

To provide more detail and explanation, here's a link to an article we discovered, by graphic designer Chris Dunmire, that you might find of interest. It clearly outlines the risks in using web graphics for print: http://www.creativity-portal.com/bc/chris.dunmire/web.graphics.html.

How To...

How can I find out how large the photo will print out?

The sizes of our images are listed on the website and to find out how large it will print out, just divide each of the pixel dimensions by 300 (300 dpi is the standard resolution for printing) to get the printed size in inches. If you are printing at a lower resolution, then the final printed size will be larger.
*Tip* Computer screens have resolution of 72 dpi.

back to top Back to top

Thursday, April 7, 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ April 2011

iCLIPART.com Newsletter ~ April 2011

Apr 7, 2011

Create a New Spin on an iCLIPART.com Image

Whether you're a graphic designer or a grandma working on a special family memento, finding that perfect image at iCLIPART.com is easy, thanks to the diversity supplied by our many talented artists, and our various search options. Even so, for novices delving into the world of graphics can be intimidating, especially if using an image isn't going to be as straightforward as they hoped. For instance, there are times when a transparent background is required, and while a png may have one, depending on how the artist created the image, a jpg will always have a background colour. Only with vectors, a graphic that can be altered without any loss of quality, is transparency of background guaranteed. This may then seem the obvious choice. However, one would soon discover that advanced image editing software, something industry amateurs may not have, is required to open a vector file.

Professional software programs (like Adobe Creative Suite and CorelDRAW) are quality products providing tools to work one's own magic on an image. However, they can be rather expensive for hobbyists. The good news though is there are free options online for those for whom such an investment just wouldn't make sense.

One of the most popular is GIMP which can be downloaded at www.gimp.org. With this program people can add items, remove backgrounds and size an image as necessary, to name just a few of its attributes. A quick Google search also brings up a number of other free options, some specific to a task. This link (www.mashable.com/2007/10/27/graphics-toolbox/) is for Graphic Toolbox, a fun site that lists 35 free graphics programs.

While it's possible to find an image that won't require editing, with a little work, creativity and imagination you can open the door to a number of other possibilities. Be fearless. Have some fun and create a new spin on your favourite iCLIPART.com image!

How To...

How do I get the font from inside the ZIP file?

In newer versions of Windows and Mac computers, all you need to do is double-click on the ZIP file and then follow the installation instructions below with the TTF (TrueType font) file. Older versions of Windows may require a program like WinZip in order to extract the font.

How to I install your fonts on my computer?

Since the process varies depending on the version of your operating system, we recommend these great links to our customers:
Apple Mac: www.myfonts.com/support/help_install_mac.html.
Windows: www.adobe.com/type/browser/fontinstall/instructions_english.html.

back to top Back to top