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Tips for Using Christmas Clip Art to Create Festive Designs

written by: KateG•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 9/29/2009

If you want to use some festive Christmas clip art in your next desktop publishing project then these tips can help you to keep it professional.

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    When the time comes to make a Christmas themed desktop publishing project there is a fine art to making something that is festive without being tacky. After all, the brightly colored elements can create either a festive atmosphere, or a visually cluttered look that will distract your viewer. Today we are going to look at some of the ways to keep your project on the right side of the line, without sacrificing your signature style.

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    1. Choose one color scheme. Blue, white, and silver or red, green, and gold are traditional, but you can pick any holiday-appropriate mix of two to three hues for your clip art. Just avoid a green tree with red and gold bulbs next to a silver snow flake. While there are a lot of projects where desktop publishing can let your inner artist shine, clip art is probably not one of them.

    2. Go for quality and not quantity of the art. Clip art is never a subtle medium, and you should be able to find 1 (or at most 2) elements that express your concept. Going too heavy on the clip art will not only create a highly distracting visual clutter, but it will make your work look less professional. No one really wants their work to be described as cluttered and unprofessional so get in touch with your inner minimalist when using clip art.

    3. Consider size and quality. Not all clip art is created equal. Just like with any other photo or graphic element, the better the quality the larger you can make it. A poor resolution image needs to stay smaller so bear this in mind while planning and placing clip art.

    4. Beware of clip art with a holiday border. Sure that silver snowman border is festive, but putting it with clip art can be overwhelming, especially on a smaller project like a flyer or a brochure. As it is with so many things in this world, you may have to make a tough choice.

    5. Watch out for legal issues. Depending on where you get your clip art from this can be a big issue. Sites that often offer the best of the clip art world often want credit or a link. If you fail to provide that you run the risk of legal problems. That risk becomes more substantial if you sell the work containing the clip art. This means always be sure of the terms before you use a clip art from the web.

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    Now you can use your holiday clip art safe in the knowledge that it will look great! Happy holidays.