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Images Clip Art / Artwork Tips

Read these 27 Images Clip Art / Artwork Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Newsletter tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Where can I find free artwork and illustrations?

Free -

Thousands of free to use clip art images, as well as how-tos, tips, and tricks for creating your own graphics can be found at Fresher Image. Choose from 3D animations, symbols, backgrounds, banners, borders, black & white images, color originals and more. Online tutorials include Adobe Photoshop and Jasc Paint Shop Pro.

Where can I find graphic design help?

Free Illustrations

You can usually get free illustrations from government agencies on anything they've published. If you see a piece you're interested in, phone the company that published it, and ask where you can send your written request. Also, check into books that have passed into the public domain, old advertisements, and contact local newspapers, historical societies, colleges and universities for free artwork.

Should I crop photos?

Cropping Tools - L's

One of the handiest cropping tools you can use is two "L's" cut from cardboard. Simply lay them over the photo to form a frame, and adjust to see what the cropped photo will look like.

How can I present statistical information to readers?


Looking for a creative way to display statistical data that your readers will easily understand? Use infographics! Such elements as pie charts, bar graphs and comparison tables can say volumes in a minimal amount of space - just be sure to match the data with the appropriate infographics!

Once you have created your infographics, think of it as part of your story. Insert it within the article without disturbing the reader's eye flow.

What is the definition of a duotone?

Technique - Duotone

A duotone is a black and white halftone that is printed in two colors (one is usually black), using a camera process involving two screen angles and two exposures.

What is the definition of vignette technique?

Technique - Vignette

When you frame your photo within a textured edge, such as a fade, or with a shape, such as an oval, it is referred to as a vignette.

What information should I include with my photo for the printer?

Sending Photos to a Printer

Accidents happen and a misplaced photo can be disastrous. Be sure to include the following information with each photo you send to your printer: 1) Location (page and placement); 2) Identification (name of your newsletter or business); 3) Halftone or lineshot; 4) Percentage of enlargement or reduction (100% if stays same size); and, 5) Cropping instructions.

How do I know if my artwork is the best quality available?

Black & White Artwork

Whether you are scanning or manually cutting and pasting a piece of artwork for your newsletter, try to obtain the best quality original as possible. Your artwork should have dense black areas and clear white areas.

How can I make sure mug shots will look good when arranged on my page?

Mug Shots

When placing several mug shots horizontally on a page, keep photos the same size and crop so the size of the faces is approximately the same. Line up the faces using the eyes as a guide.

What is a halftone?


A halftone is a reproduction of a photograph or other original subject that has highlights, shadows, and intermediate tones. These tones are achieved by "breaking up" the image into a graduated series of dots through a photographic process.

(Also see "Contact Screen," "Continuous Tone" and "Line Copy")

When cropping a photo, is it okay to cut at a person´s limb?

Don't *Amputate!*

When cropping a photo, don`t make the mistake of cutting at a person`s joint (elbow, knee, wrist), thus, giving them the "amputated limb" look.

What can I do to insure interesting photographs in my newsletter?

Take Your Own Photos

By following a few simple suggestions, you'll be taking photos you can be proud to publish in your newsletter!

Begin by investing in a 35mm camera that has autofocus and a zoom lens (a range of 35mm to 70mm) - this will accommodate most of your photographic needs. Any brand of film will work, but it's best to use a black and white film such as Kodak Tri X (or similar) with a film speed of ISO 400 - this will allow you the greatest flexibility in lighting situations.

Then, visualize your picture through the lens before you click! Imagine what the finished photo will look like and try to eliminate as much distracting background as possible. This special effort will help you get the pictures needed to attract your audience.

What is a contact print?

Contact Print

A contact print is a photographic print made with the negative (or positive) in contact with sensitized paper. The images are reversed and prints can only be made the same size as the original.

What tools can I use to crop photos?

Cropping Tools - Grease Pencils

Grease pencils can be used to make crop marks directly on your photos (or to write other instructions in the margins). Simply wipe off the marks if you need to re-use the photo at a later time. (They usually sell for under $1 in most art shops.)

Should I remain stationary to take photos at an event?

Use Different Angles

There's nothing worse than a photographer who remains stationary and doesn't move to get the best possible photo. If you're shooting an event and the crowd is rather sparse, move in and get as many people in the shot as you can to give the illusion of a well-attended function. Stand on chairs, crouch down to a child's level, go up the stairs to a balcony...just move!

Should I crop photos?

Improve a Bad Photo

Almost any photo can be improved with proper cropping. Focus on the main subject of the photo and eliminate any dead space or distracting backgrounds. Close-ups of faces and gestures are important, but you can usually cut off legs and tummies for a more dramatic statement.

What is the definition of a blowup?


A blowup is another term for a camera enlargement.

What are the two most common types of art in a newsletter?

*Most Common

The two most common types of artwork in a newsletter are: line art - black & white or solid color, usually type, pen and ink drawings, and continuous tone - black & white or four-color, with shades of greys, usually photographs.

How can I improve the subject matter of a photograph?

Vertical Shots

One of the easiest ways to get variety in your photos is to hold the camera vertically to get a tall shot.

What is continuous tone?

Continuous Tone

Continuous tone refers to any art, or its reproduction, that has tonal gradation without the use of halftone dots.

(Also see "Halftone" and "Line Copy")

What is a contact screen?

Contact Screen

A contact screen is used with photo-sensitive film or paper to produce halftones for reproduction of photographs in your newsletter. The screen itself is created photographically and has a dot structure such as 85-line, 100-line, etc.

(Also see "Contact Print")

What is the definition of silhouette technique?

Technique - Silhouette

By eliminating a distracting background in a photo, leaving only the subject, you create a silhouette.

What is a Scale-O-Graph?


If you need to automatically enlarge or reduce a desirable segment of your artwork without computation, use a Scale-O-Graph.

Begin by placing in on your photo or artwork, select the most effective composition and lock in the proportion. The plastic arms slide freely on a diagonal bar to maintain the proportion you have chosen. A pencil outline can then be drawn on your layout using the Scale-O-Graph opening as a guide.

What is line copy?

Line Copy

Line copy refers to any original art that will be used in your newsletter that is made up of solids, lines or dots, but NOT of gradations of tones.

(Also see "Continuous Tone" and "Halftone")

How can I organize my clip art?


Clip art is available from a number of sources (including online) who produce this material in book form or by a monthly subscription service (usually for a fee). In order for clip art to have value, you must be able to readily locate a specific piece.

One of the best ways to do this, is to organize your hard copy clip art by subject headings in some sort of filing system. Use terms that are descriptive (relevant) and familiar. You can also include sub-headings under your headings.

For example: Sports

Under “Sports,” you could include such sub-headings as: Basketball; Baseball; Golf; Swimming; etc., and also a “General” category. (If you're really organized, you could even include a brief summary of each specific piece - i.e., line drawing graphic of basketball going into basket)

What is clip art?

*Clip Art

Clip art is the term given to drawings and/or illustrations that are available either free or for purchase and that may be used for unlimited reproduction purposes (copyright-free). In most cases, the art is simply clipped out and pasted up directly onto your layout.

What is a border?


Borders are either a plain or ornamental frame around text composition, graphics/art elements or a combination of the two.

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Guru Spotlight
PJ Campbell