Your Cart

The Rich History and Origins of Clipart: Exploring Its Evolution and Name

In the vast landscape of digital design and communication, clipart stands as a versatile and essential resource for creators of all backgrounds. From graphic designers to educators, marketers to hobbyists, clipart provides a treasure trove of ready-made images that can be easily incorporated into various projects.

However, the origins of clipart are rooted in a fascinating history that spans centuries. In this post, we'll delve into the origins of clipart, explore its evolution over time, and uncover the intriguing story behind its name.

Defining Clipart

Before we delve into its history, let's define what clipart actually is. Clipart refers to pre-made images or illustrations that are readily available for use in digital projects. These images are typically stored in digital formats such as PNG, JPEG, or SVG and cover a wide range of subjects, styles, and themes. From simple icons and symbols to intricate illustrations and graphics, clipart provides a wealth of visual assets for creators to incorporate into their designs.

The Origins of Clipart

The concept of clipart can be traced back to the early days of printing and publishing when illustrations were physically clipped from printed materials such as newspapers, magazines, and books. These clipped images, known as "cuts" or "art cuts," were then used in the layout of new publications, saving time and effort compared to creating original artwork for each project.

The Emergence of Digital Clipart

With the advent of digital technology in the late 20th century, clipart underwent a transformation, moving from physical cutouts to digital files that could be easily accessed, edited, and shared on computers. The rise of desktop publishing software and the internet further popularized clipart, making it accessible to a broader audience and expanding its use across various industries and applications.

The Name "Clipart"

The name "clipart" itself is a portmanteau of two words: "clip" and "art." The term "clip" refers to the process of physically clipping or cutting out images from printed materials, while "art" denotes the artistic or illustrative nature of the images themselves. When combined, "clipart" became synonymous with pre-made images or illustrations that could be easily clipped and incorporated into various projects.

Evolution of Clipart in the Digital Age

In recent years, clipart has continued to evolve and adapt to changing technologies and trends in digital design. Online marketplaces and platforms offer vast collections of clipart images, including both free and premium options, catering to a diverse range of preferences and needs. Additionally, advancements in graphic design software and tools have made it easier than ever for creators to customize and manipulate clipart images to suit their projects' requirements.

The Role of Clipart in Modern Design

Clipart remains a valuable resource for creators, providing a wealth of ready-made images and illustrations that can enhance the visual appeal, functionality, and effectiveness of digital projects. Whether you're a graphic designer, educator, marketer, or hobbyist, clipart offers endless possibilities for creativity and expression. From designing websites and marketing materials to creating educational resources and personal projects, clipart continues to play a vital role in modern design.


Clipart has a rich history that spans centuries, from its origins in physical cutouts to its evolution into digital files readily available for use in various projects. The term "clipart" itself reflects the process of clipping images and the artistic nature of the illustrations. In the digital age, clipart remains a versatile and indispensable resource for creators, providing a vast repository of visual assets to enhance their designs and communications. So, the next time you're in need of visual inspiration, consider exploring the vast and vibrant world of clipart to find the perfect images to bring your ideas to life.

Featured Collection

Master Resell Rights - Coffee Watercolour Clipart BUNDLE

On Sale

That Girl - Master Resell Rights Watercolor Boho Clipart Pack

On Sale

Become a VIP

Get notified of my latest FREEBIES as well as new products and promotions directly to your inbox.