You don't have to rely on just what's available in your clip art collections. After you've determined that you need to use clip art to enhance a layout, discover easy ways to modify canned clip art to increase its usefulness. Flip, resize, rotate, distort, crop, colorize, convert, and combine multiple pieces of clip art into new pictures to use in desktop publishing.
Not really a way to modify clip art, selecting the right image format is essential to being able to flip, resize, rotate, stretch, crop, colorize, or combine images. If you don't know the difference between bitmap and vector images, then you may have difficulty putting these image modifications to proper use. For example, GIF may be a prevalent clip art format but it's not a good photo format and not great for printing either.
2. Flip it
An otherwise perfect piece of clip art that is simply facing the wrong direction may need nothing more than a flip - reversing its direction. This is easy to do in any graphics software program. Just be careful of flipping images that contain text or anything that gives away the flip (such as wedding rings on the wrong hand).
3. Resize it
4. Rotate it
When flipping isn't enough, rotate clip art to the right orientation for your layout. Vector images are the easiest to rotate without distortion.
6. Crop it
There's no rule that says you have to use the entire piece of clip art. Crop out parts you don't want or don't need. Cropping can help to focus on important parts of the image, simplify it, or change the meaning. Take the clip art apart and use bits and pieces of the image. It's easier with vector images but with careful use of selection and cropping tools you can make complex crops to bitmap images.
Sometimes color isn't an option but the best piece of clip art is in color. Converting an image to a grayscale bitmap renders the colors in shades of gray and increases the usefulness of any clip art collection.
Crisp black and white clip art is ideal for publications that are likely to be photocopied or need to be printed on less than 600 dpi printers. Any publication that isn't produced in color will need either grayscale or B&W images. There are several ways, depending on the software, for converting a piece of clip art from color to black and white.
10. Combine Clip Art
While you don't want to use too many pieces of clip art in any one project, you can never have too much clip art. Explore the original creations of Dixie Allan to find clip art to use as-is or to modify as described above.