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  • Member Since: March 25th, 2018
  • Website: https://clipartuse.com
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The term “clipart” originated through the practice of physically cutting images from pre-existing printed works for use in other publishing projects. Before the advent of computers in desktop publishing, clip art was used through a process called paste up. Many clip art images of this era qualified as line art. In this process, the clip art images are cut out by hand, then attached via adhesives to a board representing a scale size of the finished, printed work. After the addition of text and art created through phototypesetting, the finished, camera-ready pages are called mechanicals. Since the 1990s, nearly all publishers have replaced the paste up process with desktop publishing.

After the introduction of mass-produced personal computers such as the IBM PC in 1981 and the Apple Macintosh in 1984, the widespread use of clip art by consumers became possible through the invention of desktop publishing. For the IBM PC, the first library of professionally drawn clip art was provided with VCN ExecuVision, introduced in 1983. These images were used in business presentations, as well as for other types of presentations. It was the Apple Computer, with its GUI which provided desktop publishing with the tools required to make it a reality for consumers. The LaserWriter laser printer (introduced in late 1985), as well as software maker Aldus’ PageMaker in 1985, which helped to make professional quality desktop publishing a reality, with consumer desktop computers.

After 1986, desktop publishing generated a widespread need for pre-made, electronic images as consumers began to produce newsletters and brochures using their own computers. Electronic clip art emerged to fill the need. Early online clip art was simple line art or bitmap images due to the lack of sophisticated electronic illustration tools. With the introduction of the Apple Macintosh program MacPaint, consumers were provided the ability to edit and use bit-mapped free clip art for the first time.

One of the first successful electronic clip art pioneers was T/Maker Company, a Mountain View, California, company, which had its early roots with an alternative word processor, WriteNow, commissioned for the Macintosh by Steve Jobs. Beginning in 1984, T/Maker took advantage of the capability of the Macintosh to provide bit-mapped graphics in black and white; by publishing small, retail collections of these images under the brand name “ClickArt”. The first version of “ClickArt” was a mixed collection of images designed for personal use. The illustrators who created the first “serious” clip art for business/organizational (professional) use were Mike Mathis, Joan Shogren, and Dennis Fregger; published by T/Maker in 1984 as “ClickArt Publications”.