Microsoft kill Clipart; and Our Childhood Dreams

Microsoft kill Clipart; and Our Childhood Dreams

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Clipart is dead. Microsoft have replaced this 90’s homework rite of passage with a creative commons Bing search as announced in a recent blog post. Now our children, and our childrens children will never get to deliberate whether to use a picture of a man with a light bulb on his head, or a sailing boat to help convey their thoughts on deforestation. Tis a tragedy. Before digital cameras, or what the youth just call ‘cameras’ were commonplace, people used to have to rely on completely irrelevant and cheaply procured cartoons to illustrate their written works. These illustrations also served to use up document ‘space’ as to trick oneself that you had completed a higher word count. Let me show you how. Bottom of the second paragraph and…

bomb

To conclude… See, jumped straight to the end there and it looks like I’ve typed a whole page. But I haven’t, it’s just an illusion. You even had to scroll down a bit, but It's just a man looking at a bomb. One of his arms isn't even attached to his torso. You see, using Clipart was an artform. You didn't have an almost infinite album of pictures of Nicholas Cage, you had to craft your writing around which clipart was available at that time. Using a game of football as an analogy for teamwork in a company presentation? No soccer balls. Balls. But there is basketball... Deal.

Clipart stems from an era when people could actually write with a pen faster than they could type. It's almost  unthinkable I know. We wrote with pens and carried our work around In bags (that we’re like laptop bags but without an extra pocket for the charger). Adding images to documents and presentations was a luxury. Hours could be spent looking for just the right Clipart to set the right tone for your work. Then on top of that you had Wordart to contend with. The younger bastard brother of Clipart - the Jon Snow. Like Snow, Wordart was young, foolish and exciting, with various different styles of kerning.

wordart

Ultimately though you would just end up picking the blue squiggly one. Every time. It wasn't just your eager execs and homework clubs using Wordart though. In 2003 at the E3 exhibition (one of the biggest events in the gaming calendar) even Nintendo, at the time, behemoths of the gaming universe got in on the act in spectacularly shocking fashion. Look at that. Check out the rest of the video for some equally as horrendous misuse. They should have just stuck with the blue squiggly one...

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We’ve all been spoiled rotten with embedded media with our fancy digital images and embedded YouTube clips and we've killed Clipart. Take a moment for Clipart.... Not you Paperclip. Back in your box.

paperclip

 

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