Tuesday, April 26, 2022

How Much Clip Art is Too Much?

Clip art is fun, easy to use and abundant these days! But how do you know when to stop? How do you determine which articles warrant a graphic and which articles would be best left to stand on their own? 
Although there are no steadfast rules in regards to clip art and page layout, there are a few tips that can be followed to ensure your layout is not too graphic heavy. 

First, prioritize. Where is it that you want your reader's attention drawn first? Readers are naturally drawn to large, strategically placed graphics. Use fewer, larger graphics to draw attention. 

Next, keep it consistent. If using multiple graphics on one page, line them up on the same margin, or keep them in the same style, ie. cartoon, artistic or contemporary. 

Another way to minimize the clutter is to skip the graphic altogether. Keep in mind that borders, shading, drop caps and bullet points are all competing for attention alongside your graphics. Review your document layout and scale back those elements that compete for your reader's attention. Too much visual stimulation just means that your message gets lost in the clutter. Use fonts and font attributes to draw attention when the graphics count is climbing. 

The first sample has many, smaller graphics all competing for the attention of your reader. The second sample, with one oversized image, draws focus. As a bulletin editor, understanding the power of graphic placement is another important tool in your design toolbox!