Clipart Guide: Clipart.com, Big Box of Art 410,00, and Art Explosion 800,000

ClipArt.Com

This guide cannot make direct comparisons due to obvious differences
in these three software products, but where possible, this feature
comparison table will draw out the pros and cons in each to help you
decide which product best suits your needs.

Clipart.com

Product details 
Cost: $15 (1 week) – $160 (1 year)
Vector Art: 3,000,000
Bitmap Art:  10,000
Photographs: 130,000
Animated GIF: Not specified
Web graphics: Not Specified
Illustrations: 200,000 – 77,000
Fonts: ‘Thousands’ – 1800
Sounds: Not specified – –
Total: 6,000,000+ 

Example Searches: 

Airport: 912

Cat piano: 13
Meeting: 1419
Thanksgiving: 1892

Search Features:

Keywords: Yes
Match all or any keywords: Yes
Keywords NOT in description: Yes
Image
Types: Color/Monochrome/File

Categories: Animals, Architecture,
Art/Artists, Art/Entertainment, Business, Desktop Publishing,
Education, Entertainment, Flowers/Plants, Food, Geography,
Health/Medical, History, Holidays/Occasions, Household, People,
Religion, Science, Seasons, Sports, Technology, Tools/Weapons,
Transportation Abstracts/Backgrounds,  Agriculture/Industry,
Architecture, Business/Commerce/Trade, Education, Food/Beverages,
Health & Safety, Holidays/Occasions, House/Home, Lifestyle/Culture,
Nature, People, Religion/Myth/Fantasy,  Science /Technology,
Signs/Symbols, Social Issues/Government, Sports/Leisure,
Transportation, Travel/Tourism, Wildlife/Animals

Date of image: Yes
Publisher: Dover, Hemera, Broderbund – –
Popular/common searches: Yes – –
Remember previous items selected: Yes – –
Search by color: Yes – –

Other features 
Images can be added by publisher: Yes

 

Big Box of Art 410,00

Big Box of Art 410,00

Product details 
Cost: $15-$40
Vector Art: 104,000
Bitmap Art: 35,000
Photographs: 35,000
Animated GIF: 500
Web graphics: 260,000
Illustrations: 200,000 – 77,000
Fonts: ‘Thousands’ – 1800
Sounds: Not specified – –
Total: 410,000+

Example Searches: 
Airport 274
Cat piano 2
Meeting 180
Thanksgiving 115

Search Features:

Keywords: Yes
Match all or any keywords: Yes
Keywords NOT in description:  —

Image
Types: Type (GIF, JPG,EPS, WMF, PSD,
PNG) Photographs, Photo Clipart, Vector ClipArt

Categories: Categories used only for initial disc selection. Cannot actually search based on them.

Date of image: – –
Publisher: – –
Popular/common searches: – –
Remember previous items selected: – –
Search by color: – –

Other Features

Images can be added by user: Yes

Art Explosion 800,000

Art Explosion 800,000

Product details 
Cost: $50-$100
Vector Art: 200,000
Bitmap Art:
Photographs: 140,000
Animated GIF: Not specified
Web graphics: Not specified
Illustrations: 200,000 – 77,000
Fonts: ‘Thousands’ – 1800

Sounds: Not specified – –

Total: 800,000+

Example Searches: 
Airport 9 (using paper index & hard copy)
Cat piano  cannot search 2 words in paper index
Meeting 103 (using filename search across business/office category – required copying files to hard drive)
Thanksgiving 340 + a hint to look up turkey and pumpkin (using paper index & hard copy)
      
Search Features:

Keywords: Very limited & most images are not tagged
Match all or any keywords: –
Keywords NOT in description: Possible – if images were tagged with keywords
Image Types: Can search by file extension so WMF, TIF, BMP, JPG

Categories:  Advertising, agriculture, alphabets, Americana,
anatomy, animals, antique style, architecture/landmarks, arrows,
art/design, backgrounds, beauty,  borders, brush strokes,
business/office, buttons, calendar, cartoons, clothing/accessories,
computer, construction, crests/emblems, education/schools, electrical,
electronics, energy, engineering, entertainment, fantasy/medieval ,
fitness, flags, food/drink, furniture, gardening, government,
graphs/charts, hands, health/medical, holidays, household, interior,
international, kids stuff, landscapes, maps, measurement, military,
money, motivational, music, neighborhoods, occasions, occupations,
oceanography, outdoor recreation, people, plants/flowers, police/fire,
politics/elections, public issues, real estate, religion, road signs, 
science, science fiction, seasons/weather, shapes, signs, space,
sports, stamps, stars/starbursts, symbols, technology/communication,
time, titles, tools/hardware, transportation, travel/leisure,
trees/leaves, western/rodeo, zodiac/astrology

Date of image: – –
Publisher: – –
Popular/common searches: – –
Remember previous items selected: – –
Search by color: – –

Feature Comparisons


•         When it comes to speed of searching you can’t beat the desktop application. Searching is done as you type with instant results and thumbnails. This just isn’t possible on the web using traditional web pages*. This is not to say that clipart.com is slow – it’s not. It’s just never going to be as snappy as a locally installed application. If you search the knowledgebase it is possible to copy discs to your hard drive but this isn’t something a lot of users will think to do. Art explosion chooses to assume that searching across the image archive is not a required feature – it therefore isn’t even in competition with the other packages. Art Explosion has the widest range of categories but considering this is the primary search mechanism its needed.

•         Thumbnails are larger on clipart.com that in Big Box. Clipart’s are big enough to make decisions, Bigbox are too small. Art Explosion has an option to make the thumbnails bigger (up to 256×256) but it doesn’t actually resize the vector images and it doesn’t remember the option.

•         Previewing images in clipart.com is actually faster because BigBox requires you to switch discs. You can see realtime resizing of vector images in BigBox and ArtExplosion but not Clipart because there is no common vector art format usable in web browsers.

•         The terms of licensing between the three packages seems fairly similar lawyer-speak. Art Explosion appears to have the least restrictions. Clipart.com and Art Explosion make theirs much easier to find though if you are worried about breaking it you will need a lawyer to be 100% sure. Royalty Free just means you don’t pay if you use it, but it doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere.
 
*(maybe a flash, or sliverlight interface could improve on this but those clients require browser add-ins and/or are platform limited)
 

Conclusion

There’s a lot of company names involved but both
clipart.com and Hemera that make the big box of art 410,000 are owned
by JupiterImages so it’s no surprise to see the same content in both
packages. The same company owns many other art and photo databases
under many brands. The target audience for and the way they package the
art varies by audience. Even ArtExplosion which is from another company
has some art in common – its impossible to compare all the images but
the Dover Collection is present in all 3.

With its lack of
comprehensive image searching I cannot recommend Art Explosion unless
you have a mandatory requirement of a printed catalog.

The target
audience for the remaining 2 products is quite different. Both serve
their audience well. It should be no surprise that the more you pay,
the more choices y and features you get.

If you need the largest choice of images and use a lot of clip art then clipart.com will be good value for money for you.
If
you are on a budget, use clipart irregularly and are happy with a
smaller image archive then the Big Box of Art is equally good value.