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The Practicality of Black and White Clip Art

Black and white clip art is practical and functional because it is monochromatic. Users are able to avoid the cost of color copying, whilst still maintaining an attractive professional image. The attractive designs are easy to make because it is easy to convert scanned or digital photographs to clip art in Photoshop.

The process described below explains how communities can progressively work with basic clip art images, adapting them to the changing requirements of community needs. The process is time efficient and inexpensive. If at some stage in the process color is needed to further enhance the designs, the image can be copied on to specialty colored paper.

How to Enhance Silhouette Clip Art

Because black and white clipart motifs are simple and striking in their contrast, they are useful when illustrating concepts and for signage. Simple Photoshop techniques can be used to enhance these images if there is a call for something more sophisticated.

A Scenario to Explain Transformation of Clip Art

Imagine that there is a community break-dance marathon scheduled. Organizers want participants to receive maximum support from community members. They strategise to regularly place symbols of the long term event on stickers scattered throughout the community environment. For the message to be effective, high impact will be achieved by using a simple symbol to remind supporters of their commitment to attend the event. The aim is to kindle support and sponsorship for the dancers.

Here is an example of a silhouette clip image that might be used to remind students of their pledged commitment to support the dancers

This is a simple image of a dancer, which serves to remind students that a dance competition is on the agenda. It will certainly keep reminding viewers to be thinking about dance. The reminders may keep them enthused; however other than excitement, the stickers do not convey a whole lot of information to the would be supporters.

Progressively and Subtly Adding Meaning to Clip Art Images

The next triad of clip art images have been designed to attract and the retain attention. Because they are more complex than simple black and white clip art they cause the viewer to take a closer look thereby holding attention a little longer.

  • This image of a dance stance was created in Photoshop from a photo taken of one of the dancers. It was desaturated so that the artist could experiment with the levels tool. In this way the designer could play with light and shade in areas such as the shoulders and has been able to capture the effect of directional light. This gentle interplay of graded light enables more interest to be created around a simple break dance pose.
  • The clip of the same dancer was designed to reinforce the idea that a marathon was looming. It was placed around community notice boards and displayed as a bumper sticker on cars. The intention was to suggest that break dancers needed support to be able to maintain their stamina for their marathon. It was hoped that this would encourage people to stay for the event to help the dancers keep going. The words “don’t stop” were strategically placed so that there was interplay of light and dark to further add to the attractiveness of the clip art sticker.
  • Once the competition commenced, organizers felt that they needed more posters urging the crowd to stay and support the dancers. This clever clip art design puts a spotlight on the dancer (and thus the event). The design creator worked with the render specialty lights in the filters function of Photoshop. Dance supporters said that the design suggested the idea of focus to them. This reminded them that they also needed to stay focused and remain with their friends to see them through the project.

Converting Simple Clip Art to Stylish Graphics

Because the image has travelled with the performers throughout the lead up to the event it was thought that they would appreciate the image on their participation certificates. The last image was printed onto silver paper and transformed into a handsome participation certificate. The image transferred so well to a silver background that it was the used on silver trophies and pedants.

Creating clip art can be an absorbing pastime. When archiving old community photos, look a little more closely for those images that have clear, classic poses that can be converted to versatile clip art.

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