What Is the Purpose of Clip Art?

The purpose of clip art is to add a visual emphasis to a project or presentation, typically to either illustrate a point or further explain a concept. In some instances, the clip art image provides humor or levity to the project. It may also serve as a non-verbal indication of a concept or activity.

Clip art is a type of graphic image that features either people or items in a simple and clear activity and frequently appears in projects and presentations in business or professional environments. One of its main purposes is to create a visual break in documents with a large amount of text, often to aid in the digestion of the information. In such circumstances, the clip art image is typically directly relevant to the subject of the document and acts as a point of emphasis for the concepts. For example, a presentation about workplace safety rules may feature clip art images of hazard signs or office workers wearing safety gear to highlight the importance of the procedures.

Some clip art follows in this pattern but is meant to convey more humorous feelings and avoid overly serious impressions. One example may be an image of a dog wearing a suit and tie within a project for the corporate branch of a dog food company. It is also common for clip art to appear in flyers and promotional materials to demonstrate the purpose of the activity, such as children playing on a flyer for a fair.