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Openclipart logo and wordmark.svg
The logo of Openclipart, a green pair of scissors
Type of site
Media repository
Created byJon Phillips, Bryce Harrington
RegistrationRequired (to post/upload)
Current statusActive
Content license
CC Zero 1.0
Unless noted, content is waived of all copyright and related or neighboring rights under this license.

Openclipart is a community and collection of vector clip art that is free content. The project's slogan was, "Openclipart is the largest community of artists making the best free original clipart for you to use for absolutely any reason." All of Openclipart's content was public domain, either due to expired copyright, failing to reach the threshold of originality, or deeded into the public domain to the greatest legal extent possible by its owners.[1]

The website has been unavailable since April 2019.[2] Access to the library via other means was still possible in late 2019. The partial copies of the library have been posted on several mirrors. As of writing you can upload, download and browse images, but there is no search function.


The Openclipart library, sometimes abbreviated as OCAL (Open Clip Art Library), was started in early 2004 by Jon Phillips and Bryce Harrington, developers for vector graphics software Sodipodi, and later its fork, Inkscape.[3] Openclipart initially grew out of a project started by Christian Schaller (Uraeus), who on October 26, 2003 issued a challenge on the Gnome Desktop website for users of Sodipodi to create a collection of flags in SVG format.[4] The flag project progressed very well, resulting in a collection of over 90 flags made publicly available in SVG format,[5] which led to a broadening of the project goals to include generic clipart. The project became known as Openclipart by April 2004, with the stated aim of all contributed images being dedicated to the public domain.[6][7][8][9][10]

In the early stages of the Openclipart project, a website was created that lacked thumbnails and was hard to browse. To help propagate the images in the library, downloadable Openclipart packages were released. These packages were available directly from the Openclipart website, or as an add-on for various Linux distributions including Fedora, or an NSIS installer for Windows.[11] Each package included most of the clipart to date and were manually sorted into categories, a laborious process.[12][11] The Openclipart package version 0.20 was released in 2010.[13] The Openclipart packages received only a few more incremental updates during 2010, mostly for seasonal clipart.[14][15]

An overhauled Openclipart 2.0 website went live as a beta in February 2010 with a full release in March 2010.[16] The site introduced a change from the old ccHost software to the new AGPL-based Aiki Framework,[17] a content management system made for Openclipart 2.0. The new site allowed anyone to browse and add to the Openclipart collection easily, and image thumbnails and improved search functions made the Openclipart library more accessible. These features contributed to increased use of the site, which was soon receiving over 5,000 unique visitors and 50,000 page views daily, and soon made the old packages redundant. This release culminated the work of Jon Phillips, Andy Fitzsimon, Bassel Safadi, Michi, Ronaldo Barbachano, and Brad Phillips who assisted in the launch of the new system.[18][19]

The 3.0 website release incorporated a "favoriting" feature, allowing members to make note of their favorite clip art, and an image-editing option that makes the remixing of images significantly easier.

On April 15, 2013, Openclipart launched a new logo and updated website design using a "scissors" logo.[20]

On March 12, 2014, Openclipart announced that Inkpad, an open source drawing app for Apple iPad, released library integration so that the entire collection is available to artists.[21]

Lockdown and attempts at mirroring the library[edit]

On April 19, 2019 the site was taken offline by what was initially reported as a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS).[22][23][2] Jon Philips, one of the site's founders, appeared to be a victim of identity theft,[24][25] making it unclear whether the earlier reports of a DDoS attack were true. Since the shutdown, all pages on have redirected to a page asking users to donate money "to support protection." The message was updated December 25 with a statement that the site was being "gifted to the community" and that new files could once again be uploaded to the library; users of the site still cannot search or access existing files through the site.

When it became apparent that the site was not going to come back up some users discovered that the art files themselves were still available and used software to download (scrape) them. Using this technique 156,000 images, constituting the vast majority of the library, were recovered and put up on[26] A second mirror was established at, taking advantage of the clips' lack of licensing restrictions.[27]

Examples of clip art from Openclipart

Packages and apps[edit]

  • Inkpad for iPad, with Openclipart Integration.[28]
  • The vector graphics editor Inkscape can import vector graphics online from Openclipart to one's current workspace. (For Inkscape on Windows one needs the latest build, ≥ 0.49.)[29]
  • Microsoft Office app[30]
  • Google Docs Add-on[31]
  • LibreOffice extension[32]
  • iOS Clipart,[33] iOS PosterMaker[34]
  • Clipart Search, Openclipart for Android[35]
  • Clipart plugin[36] for WordPress
  • Clipart plugin[37] for Moodle
  • Linux distributions

Some Linux distributions, including Mandriva and Ubuntu, include many of the Openclipart collection releases, packaged as SVG, PNG or OpenDocument format files.[38] These distributions are based on the 2005 pre-ccHost release, since regular releases stopped after the switch to ccHost software. Openclipart 0.19, the first version released after switch, was released in March 2009. With the recent release of version 2.0 and updated packages, distributions have bugs filed in their respective bug trackers to begin packaging Openclipart once more.

Openclipart was included on the cover discs in Linux Format issues 123[39] and 132[40] as a package of browseable SVG files from the Openclipart collection.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Openclipart". 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  2. ^ a b "Finding an OpenClipart fallback". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  3. ^ "JonPhillips - Inkscape Wiki". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ "Join the SVG Flag revolution!". Christian Schaller. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  5. ^ "Show us your flag!". Archived from the original on May 13, 2004. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  6. ^ Harrington, Bryce (2017-05-01). "[Clipart] Thoughts on what Clipart needs for Project Management". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  7. ^ Phillips, Jon (2004-11-04). "Open Clip Art Project". Archived from the original on 2004-11-04. Retrieved 2017-01-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ Phillips, Jon (2017-05-23). "[Clipart] Introduction to the Open Clip Art Library - OOoCon2004 Paper Abstract". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  9. ^ "Open Clip Art Project - FAQ". 2004-10-20. Archived from the original on 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2017-01-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Open Clip Art Project - Roadmap April 2004". 2004-10-20. Archived from the original on 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2017-01-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  11. ^ a b "Introduction to the Open Clip Art Library". 2007-01-06. Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2017-01-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Case Studies/Open clip art library". Creative Commons. Creative Commons. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Roadmap - Open Clip Art Library Wiki". 2010-02-11. Archived from the original on 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2017-01-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  14. ^ "Openclipart Downloads". Openclipart. Openclipart. Archived from the original on 2011-04-02. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Past milestones - Open Clip Art Library Wiki". 2010-12-18. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2017-01-29.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  16. ^ Safadi, Bassel (2017-02-24). "[Clipart] OCAL 2.0". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  17. ^ Phillips, Jon (2016-10-03). "[Clipart] ocal 2.0". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  18. ^ "Open Clip Art Library 2.0 is Here!". Fabricatorz. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Open Clip Art Library 2.0 is Here!". 2010-03-08. Archived from the original on March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  20. ^ "We are a design & technology company". Fabricatorz. 2013-04-14. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  21. ^ "Draw with Openclipart on your Ipad". Openclipart. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  22. ^ "Openclipart op Twitter: "UPDATE: Our plan is to get the site back online early next week. Under DDOS attack from some unknown forces, the simplest thing to protect our beloved Openclipart is to keep offline at present. Your CLIPART is SAFE. Donation & Love Accepted. [...]"". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  23. ^ "Openclipart / 404 Page Not Found1". Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  24. ^ Phillips, Jon (2019-06-11). "Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? That is the world we live in now. It will increase! Recent events have forced me to cleanup my accounts everywhere ..." @rejon. Retrieved 2019-06-20.[dead link]
  25. ^ Openclipart (2019-06-11). "Hello, this is @rejon. The founder of Openclipart. I have taken back control of this account. I unblocked accounts that were blocked". @openclipart. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  26. ^ Kenlon, Seth. "How I used the wget Linux command to recover lost images". Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  27. ^ Welcome to FreeSVGClipart! (October 28, 2019). Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  28. ^ "Inkpad iOS App". 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  29. ^ Inkscape latest build with Import OCAL support
  30. ^ Microsoft Office app
  31. ^ Google Docs Add-on
  32. ^ LibreOffice integration
  33. ^ Clipart
  34. ^ PosterMaker
  35. ^ Free Clip Art - Android Apps on Google Play
  36. ^ Clipart plugin
  37. ^ Moodle plugin that allows the user to search and import clipart
  38. ^ Ubuntu openclipart Packages
  39. ^ Linux Format Issue 123
  40. ^ Linux Format Issue 132

External links[edit]