Quick Tip:
How to Use Clip Art Like a Pro

As with everything else, there are trends in the design of direct-mail packages. For example, flashy, 4-color magalogs were THE thing for quite some time – but now we're seeing a lot of 2-color jobs again. Same with graphics. For a long time, flashy photos were “in” – but now clip art and other illustrations are back in favor with Master Designers like Lori Haller … and with good reason.

When used properly, clip art can add punch to your design, help emphasize the sales message, and communicate it to your prospect. And clip art is often royalty-free, so you can use it over and over in many different designs.

Here are 5 strategies to help you use clip art effectively:

  1. When choosing clip art, keep your audience in mind. Take into account their age, gender, race, and any other factors that may affect how they view the illustration and your design as a whole.

  2. Avoid widely distributed clip art, such as that which is distributed through Microsoft Office.

  3. People used to think the use of cartoons destroyed an organization's credibility, but that idea is changing. They actually create an approachable image. And direct-mail experts say that cartoons get envelopes opened. Just make sure they're appropriate for the design, the company, and the purpose of the mailing.

  4. Quality varies from one supplier to another, so before you buy a clip art collection, get samples of the work and check the copyright provisions. Some suppliers don't let you use their collections for commercial purposes.

  5. As always, avoid the trap of using too many illustrations. Use only as many graphics as necessary to support your message

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: September 21, 2006

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