If a potential investor or client received a letter from a prospective business with sloppy typos or incorrect formatting or, indeed, no attention to detail, that business is going to plummet in their estimation. Most businessmen and women are mindful of this and do what they can to impress. It's easy to score points on appearance, so why some business overlook it as a crucial confidence-inspiring area is difficult to comprehend. While colleges have the budget to have a professional graphics department oversee the licensed used of their mascot to ensure it's consistency and integrity, high schools do not, and typically rely on generation after generation of student volunteer artists to create art for t-shirts, banners, the yearbook and other school projects. The problem is the lack of consistency. If you had 100 artists draw a panther, they'd all look completely different - each with their own style; and inconsistency is the single biggest factor in deteriorating a brand. The Pillsbury Doughboy doesn't look a lot different now than he did 50 years ago, and for good reason. Other businesses go easy on frills, preferring a no-nonsense approach to work. This might work for undertakers and similarly macabre enterprises, but it's not going to work for an entertainment company. The reality falls somewhere between these town extreme examples. Some business can afford to skim on the frills - in fact, it's often tasteful that they do - but many others can't. If your business falls into the second category, what to do?
Modern clipart sprawls itself across the web, whether as decoration for a website or as actual web content. Image and graphics libraries seem to spring up as readily as weeds in the summer, ranging from lower-end groupings of images to high-quality, high-volume clipart libraries. Stock photography has also started to come into vogue as an alternative to clipart, which is usually illustrated by hand or computer. Of the several ways that clipart can be accessed, clipart in the public domain-where the creator has divested her or himself of all copyright and donated the art away-tends to be the most popular. An interesting problem arises, however, whenever clipart in the public domain is downloaded and edited. Technically, a person who edits clipart creates his or her own copyright for it. More and more, though, courts and laws are working to help facilitate the easy spread of clipart while preserving the rights of those who want to hold on to it. Generally, image copyright gets its lease royalty-free so that clipart users can tackle their project with one payment and no worries. Of course, free clipart still bounces around online and is often a viable alternative. All the way from pencils and paste ups to photos and desktop publishing, clipart makes its mark in the arts. Clip art used to be clipped from one medium and stuck to another as part of layout design. This clipart caught on quick and spread faster than a Greek army inside the walls of Troy. Free clipart became the new epidemic, infecting designers high and low with its accessibility, utility, and quirkiness. Like any marketing tactic though, poor execution can have detrimental affects. A poorly executed cartoon brand mascot can undermine quality and value and tarnish your brand. Here are some do's and don't if you are considering using a cartoon brand mascot to promote your company, product or service: Get balloons and even a pull string princess party pinata that you can fill with goodies and use as a fun party game. Speaking of party games, Pass the Slipper, Cindy Says and pin the slipper on the Princess, are all fun games to play. You can also throw in some musical party games like Musical thrones or Royal Ball Freeze Dance for some dancing and magical ball fun. Use the Cinderella party songs like bibbidi bobbidi boo! Play karaoke using the Disney song lyrics. You can find them on CDs by the Disney Princesses themselves.
Volleyball has a long and storied history. People love to play it in gyms, on the beaches, in the wide open fields, or any other place in which there is enough room to set up a net and allow many players to move about. Volleyball has gained so much popularity among sports lovers over the years that many enthusiasts are going crazy over the game. If you're a volleyball fanatic, you can even spruce up your letters, notes, announcements, etc. with clip art. Basically, volleyball clipart is a ready-to-use graphic file of a certain volleyball feats like a man tossing a ball, or a woman in a skimpy bikini racing to the net. There are also volleyball caricatures and cartoons, etc. Of course, clip art is intellectual property. As the areas of distribution spread-especially with the advent of the CD-ROM in the early 1990s-clip art needed a solution to maintain its accessibility without losing usefulness. Clipart's focus started to aim more for quantity over quality in 1995 as T/Maker introduced a 500,000-image copyright-free library. Because the industry relaxed its high quality standards of clipart, copyright became less of a concern as clipart creators became more willing to part with their art. In 1996, for example, Microsoft Word 6.0 offered clipart files as part of its program suite. The best option is to search for sites that provide the original vector image, or a high resolution bitmap, and then use software like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to resize or manipulate the image into your digital scrapbook, or before you print it. If you are on a budget, you can also use free image editors such as Inkscape or the Gimp, although there is also a lot of mid priced software available as shareware. You probably know you have standard stock clipart with your Microsoft package. You click on INSERT --> PICTURE and then type in what subject type of picture category you want....and you get a few samples that pop up. But there's really not very many to choose from. Kind of boring.