Clipart.com offers a more robust version of the clipart functionality available through Microsoft Office applications. If you are familiar with Office clipart, you will feel right at home on this site. One of the beautiful things about the site is that there is no software to download. With an Internet connection and a subscription, you can download anything from stock photography and illustrations to fonts and audio files.
Clipart.com’s website says its downloaded files will work with a number of image-related software programs, including Photoshop, ImageReady, Illustrator, Quark Xpress, Word, Publisher, and PowerPoint. If you are familiar with any of these applications, you shouldn’t have any problems editing the files to fit your needs. Note: if you need support using the files in one of these applications, you will have to seek help in the application. Clipart.com’s support is limited to its files.
As you would expect, there are other limitations. If you are seeking photos with resolutions higher than 72 pixels per inch (the standard on Clipart.com), you will have to shop elsewhere. Clipart.com provides a link to Photos.com, where you can find higher-resolution photos (for a fee, of course).
Clipart.com clearly outlines the limitations of using its files. Essentially, the images, fonts, and sounds can be used for commercial and noncommercial use as long as you abide by the following criteria: you view only the content; other viewers cannot download and use your content; the files do not comprise a large portion of the overall content of the application; and the use does not compete with Jupiterimages. Any clipart software or membership site out there will have the same or similar limitations.
Help & Support (4 out of 5)
- The Help menu is pretty encompassing.
- Help topics are categorized for easy navigation.
- The Help menu is laid out as both FAQs and in glossary format. [See Image 3]
- There is minimal direction provided regarding how to use or manipulate files or images once they are downloaded.
- Glossary definitions are very basic and, in many cases, do not provide enough meat to explain the topic.
Performance (3 out of 5)
Depending on your Internet connection speed, the site responds quickly. Downloads take minimal time, even if they are animated graphics.
A slower Internet connection speed will result in a slower site navigation and download times. If you fill your cart with multiple items and then download on a slow connection, you may risk disruption and possibly have to refill your cart.
Price to Value (5 out of 5)
For what you get, Clipart.com is a great deal. Subscription rates range from $14.95 for a weekly membership to $299.95 for a two-year membership. A competitor, Nova Art Explosion, offers a product for about $80 that includes only 800,000 images–not nearly the 6,000,000 available at Clipart.com, and without the images that are added on a regular basis.
If you need photos that are beyond the standard resolution available on Clipart.com, you will have to look elsewhere, like Photos.com. While it is a great option, you will also have to pay for a subscription to that site as well.
Installation & Setup (4 out of 5)
There is no installation or setup required. All you need to do is select the duration of your membership and pay the fee. Access is instantaneous.
If the site happens to go down, you are out of luck until it is back up again. It is doubtful that this occurs very often, but it is a possibility.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
The user interface is very basic, making it pretty straightforward for a novice to navigate. The Home Page menu is also very basic, with links to Account Information, Search, Cart, Help, Home, and Renew Membership.
[See Image 1]
Clipart.com’s download functionality resembles that of the clipart available in the MS Office suite.
Those users not familiar with MS Office may require some time to become familiar with the site. Those familiar with the instant download functionality available in MS Office products may find the cart functionality confusing and cumbersome.
Product Features (4 out of 5)
Clipart.com offers many of the features you’d expect from a subscription-based service, including:
- File types include GIF, JPG, WMF, EPS, PSD, PNG, and WAV.
- Search features are robust. You can search based on media type, keyword, category, color, date added, publisher, or popular content. The results are also shown in a simple format. [See Image 4]
- The Past Downloads link is a great feature that enables the user to find files they have downloaded in the past. It helps prevent the user from completing duplicate searches.
- The shopping cart has a fail-safe feature that prevents the loss of files in the event of an unsuccessful download. Items remain in the cart after download and must be manually removed by the user. [See Image 2]
- Clipart.com also provides a school edition subscription that offers education-based clipart.
I’d like to see:
- Higher-resolution photos available through Clipart.com rather than from a third party.
- An auto-save functionality for items in the shopping cart to prevent having to refill the cart if the Internet connection is lost.
- Improved help topics that address specific file usage and manipulation.
Overall, Clipart.com provides a lot of bang for your buck. With over 6,000,000 images, illustrations, photos, and more, there should be ample options to fulfill your needs. Should you need photos with a higher resolution than is available at Clipart.com, the site provides a link to Photos.com (but it will cost you to become a member and download their photos).
Usability is a definite plus for this site. It is very straightforward, with simple search functionality, easily navigated results lists, and basic download techniques. From novice to expert, Clipart.com seems to have what you need. And for such a low price, it seems like a steal.
Photos.com, Nova Art, Click Art 1.2 Million, Broderbund, Print Perfect Clip Art Deluxe