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

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