End of ‘Clip Art’ could mean beginning for more original designs

Longtime users of Microsoft Word may be familiar with the pre-loaded graphics known as "Clip Art," familiar images designed to be easy to deploy. As recognizable as they can be, Microsoft has announced that it will officially be discontinuing its line of Clip Art images in future versions of its Office products. While this could disappoint some, it's a sign that businesses might want to be looking elsewhere for inspiration rather than at pre-existing templates.

In an announcement on the official Office Blog, Doug Thomas, the company's resident producer of instructive webinars, explained that Office Products will, in the future, be reliant on image searches instead to supply stock visual content. Office will be connected directly to the Bing search engine, which will be able to lead users to images available under the Creative Commons copyright laws.

Writing for Tech Crunch, Greg Kumparak recently pointed out the practical implications of this change and how it won't deviate too much from the practices that have been the norm for Office products for some time.

"Bing images won't be vector art (and thus not as resizable), and they probably won't be as gloriously '90s, but you'll at least have a whole lot more options," he said.

Certain businesses may have used Clip Art as a guide for their own designs in the past, but now the focus will be on getting new images out there and giving proper credit to images that belong to someone else.

Other existing graphics and photos can be an inspiration to your own POP signs, but it's preferable to find a new logo that can be permanently connected to your brand. Companies should think broadly and push themselves to develop something truly their own, which they can then proudly display in-store.