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Clip Art vs Licensed Illustrations vs Custom-made Artwork.

1. Clip Art

  • Availability: Clip art is readily available in clip art libraries, software packages, or online sources.
  • Cost: Clip art is often free or available at a minimal cost.
  • Quality: Clip art varies in quality, but it is generally created for generic and common uses, so it may lack originality or uniqueness.
  • Customization: Clip art usually cannot be customized extensively, as it is designed for general use.
  • Legal Considerations: Clip art may have usage restrictions or licensing requirements, so it’s important to check the terms of use.
  • Common Uses: Clip art is commonly used in presentations, educational materials, or for quick and simple graphic needs.

2. Licensed Illustrations

  • Availability: Licensed illustrations can be purchased or licensed from artists or stock image websites.
  • Cost: Licensed illustrations come at a cost, which varies depending on factors such as image quality, resolution, and licensing terms.
  • Quality: Licensed illustrations are typically of higher quality compared to clip art. They are created by professional artists and designers and often showcase more artistic skill and attention to detail.
  • Customization: Depending on the licensing terms, licensed illustrations may allow some level of customization, such as resizing or minor modifications.
  • Legal Considerations: Licensed illustrations are protected by copyright, and it is necessary to adhere to the licensing terms specified by the artist or stock image website.
  • Common Uses: Licensed illustrations are used in a wide range of applications, including marketing materials, advertisements, books, websites, and other creative projects.

3. Custom-Made Artwork

  • Availability: Custom-made artwork is created specifically for a particular project or purpose and is not readily available.
  • Cost: Custom-made artwork is the most expensive option, as it involves hiring a professional artist or designer to create an original piece.
  • Quality: Custom-made artwork offers the highest level of quality and uniqueness. It is tailored to the client’s specific requirements and preferences, resulting in a highly personalized and exclusive piece.
  • Customization: Custom-made artwork allows for extensive customization, as it is created from scratch based on the client’s specifications.
  • Legal Considerations: Custom-made artwork is subject to copyright, and the rights and ownership are typically specified in a contract or agreement between the artist and the client.
  • Common Uses: Custom-made artwork is used when a project requires a highly specific and original visual representation, such as branding, album covers, concept art, or commissioned portraits.


Clip art is convenient for quick and simple graphic needs, licensed illustrations offer higher quality and more specific options, while custom-made artwork provides the highest level of originality and exclusivity, but at a higher cost. The choice depends on factors such as budget, time constraints, desired level of uniqueness, and the specific purpose or context of the artwork.

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