Clipart, bin it, you know it makes sense

Clipart is often used to allegedly “enhance” learning resources and presentations. You’ve all seen it used somewhere. Clipart is often downloaded from the web or used via Microsoft Office.

I would describe clipart as cliched, stereotypical, ghastly, offensive and just plain bad…. and that’s been nice about it!

So should you be using clipart? Personally speaking and in my opinion, I say no!

I have a preference for photographs and photographic images. I would use a digital camera and take some photographs rather than use some awful clipart. I would prefer to use a photographic image from an image collection rather than use some jokey style clipart.

You can see I don’t really like clipart!

Check the last magazine you purchased, how many articles or adverts used photographs and how many used clipart?

Clipart, bin it, you know it makes sense.

3 thoughts on “Clipart, bin it, you know it makes sense”

  1. I’m sorry James but sadly and for once, I have to contest your opinion.

    Personally, I hate clipart but sometimes it just does the job that a photograph cannot.

    I’m thinking specifically about the learners who might have difficulty recognising real-life imagery. Some autistics could find the photograph confusing (see some examples of how some autistics might view reality in a completely different way to us on A bright yellow cartoon duck might be an oddity to us, but to some it is a duck – no more, no less.

    Like everything else we do with ‘e’ – no usage should be dismissed for everyone: We must learn to wield each tool as and when needed in an (I know you hate the word Jame, I’m sorry – but I do use it in a positive way) ‘appropriate’ manner.



  2. Okay I will concede that there are times and learners where clipart may be appropriate. You’re right I shouldn’t dismiss the role of clipart entirely.

    However I still see clipart used inappropriately with different audiences and sometimes can distract from the learning rather than enhance it.


  3. James I agree with David, you can’t really bin clip art just like that. However, a better way to approach images for use in teaching is to ask ‘how does this image serve the point I’m making?’ My advice is to always use images on purpose rather than to simply illustrate something or for decoration. Clip art for decoration – YES, bin it!

    On the other hand, others use images as part of their personal teaching style. I agree that clip art gets annoying and that photos have more potential for a good backdrop for teaching. Again, images should be used on purpose, just like words should be used on purpose.


Leave a Reply