A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s a cliche but it’s also true, which means including images can be a good way to dress up your posts. If you’re like me, though, you hate to look for clip art. I love looking at the images, but I’ve experienced that most free clip art sites are torture to navigate. A clip art hunting session usually involves wading through endless sites that have little art and plenty of ads. This more often than not exhausts me before I even find what I need.
But for you, dear reader, I braved clip art hell to find the best free clip art for your blog. The result is the list below, which contains sites that not only have quality free images but also are easy to navigate (with one exception, noted below). I’ve also included several sites that charge a nominal amount for clip art, in case you can’t find what you need at the free sites.
This free e-book is free to download and contains links to thousands of free contemporary and vintage clip art images, photos, craft templates, paper dolls and many other types of images. All the clip art at each link is completely free!
You can find stylized images of Barack Obama on this page, along with generic election and “vote” clip art buttons that can be used for any election, and Democratic and Republican party icons.
This resource is close to my heart because it’s WordPlay’s sister blog. I created it because I had a hard time finding free vintage images and assumed others were too. So I bought my own collection of postcards and photos. If you’re looking for authentic vintage art, you’ll like this collection.
Dover produces high-end clip art, which is available in over 120 books and a few CDs. Fortunately for us, they also offer free samples, which are sent in a link every Wednesday by e-mail. If you’re looking for classy images, Dover is a good place to start. Click here to receive Dover’s weekly samples.
This site doesn’t have a giant inventory, but what they have is good. You do have to provide a link to them in return for using their images though. (Read their clipart usage rights for details.) Their art comes in two formats: .wmf and .gif (.wmf format for printing and .gif for blogs, Web sites, e-mail newsletters, etc.).
This site has an uneven mix of image types and drawing quality, but many of the images are worth using. This wouldn’t be my first choice because there are so many ads and the navigation is clunky, but if you can’t find images elsewhere, give this site a try.
Although we all like getting things free when we can, sometimes you have to pay to get what you want. The following sources provide quality images, yet aren’t too expensive.
At 6.2 million images and counting, iCLIPART has an amazing collection. Their art is of uniform high quality, which is unusual among clip art sites. For the subscription fee (one year is by far the best deal), you also can access photos, fonts, sounds and Web graphics. This site would be particularly useful for people who want all their images to have the same “vibe,” because although there are some variations, most of the clip art is in the same style.
RetroArt is great for when you want a retro look and nothing else will do. There’s no neo-retro art on this site; all the images were originally created in the 40’s and 50’s. The drawings are priced individually and range from $4.95 to $14.95, and quantity discounts are available.
Clipart.com has over seven million downloadable images (including photos), most of which are of good quality. There are some clunkers, but you can usually find a decent image to illustrate just about any topic. You can download as many images as you want once you’ve paid one of the subscription fees, which start at $14.95 for one week. The site allows you to search for images without paying, so you can find what you’re looking for before you spend any money.
This site is so affordable, it’s almost free. For only $9.95 a month, you get unlimited access to one million clip art images, animations, Web graphics, photos and fonts. They also have a $59.95 plan, which gives you a full year of downloads._
If you want access to an assortment of quality animations, Animation Factory offers them at a reasonable price. For only $59.95 a year, you can download as many of their 400,000 animated elements as you want.
You might also be interested in these other resources on WordPlay:
- Free photos
- Free cartoons
- Avatar Central, your home for free images, image software and information about avatars