Clipart vs Illustrations: What Is the Difference?

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Clipart is a type of bitmap image that is often used in digital designs. Clipart is usually created by tracing a photograph or other image using a software program. Illustrations are high-resolution images that are often used in print designs. Illustrations are typically created by drawing the image by hand.

Clipart is typically cheaper and faster to produce

When creating visuals for your next project, you may be wondering whether to use clipart or illustrations. Clipart is typically cheaper and faster to produce, whereas illustrations can look more polished and professional. Clipart and illustrations are both art forms, but they are used for different purposes.

Things to consider

  1. What is the purpose of the visual?
  2. What style will best represent the tone of the project?
  3. How much money do you have to spend?
  4. Is there a time limit?
  5. Will the visual be colored or monochrome?
  6. How much detail do you need?
  7. Is there a specific size or resolution requested?

In a world of computers, smart phones and digital everything, many people are unaware of the different between clipart and illustrations. Clipart is generally created on a computer using software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Clipart is a bitmap image which means that it is made up of small squares called pixels.

Illustrations are generally created by hand using traditional mediums such as ink, watercolor or acrylic paint. In my case it would be created digitally in a traditional painting style. My preference using my iPad with my iPad Pencil.

Can the project be done in a different style or format?

When creating a project, such as a presentation, advertisement, or even a simple flyer, you may be wondering if clipart is the best way to go, or if illustrations would be a better option. This can be a difficult decision to make, as both have their own benefits and drawbacks.

In a traditional approach, the artist would create their project in a painting style and then transfer it to the computer for production. This way of working is time consuming, as well as requiring more skill and experience. Why I work from my iPad in a traditional painting style with lots of texture.

I always vectorize my images for the best quality. I use a few apps to do that. This method is far easier than the traditional painting method, as it eliminates all of the steps of uploading to my computer and “cleaning it up”, and allows for a lot more time to be spent on creating new designs for my customers.

So, what’s the best option for you?

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