Change seems to come in small steps. So it is with the use of photography and clip art in my conference material. It wasn't that long ago that I was sending my material to Molly (the freelance graphic designer I usually work with) by cab. The courier wasn't cheap. But even more costly was the time it took to deliver my raw material to her and then wait for her material to come back to me to proof.

Only two years ago I was sending her my copy by e-mail. Proofs would come back to me by courier. She would take photography to the print shop for color separation, with instructions as to where the images were to appear in the copy. This process was not only time-consuming; it also made last-minute changes difficult.

Last year, Molly started sending me proofs electronically in PDF (Portable Document Format). This was a significant technological step forward for us. I could forward the PDFs to the others in my department, or print them out on my color printer and route them around for quality control.

Finding Images

Most graphic designers have access to a number of CDs of clip art, and there is much available on the Web (both free and for a modest fee). However, it is difficult to find exactly what you want, and you often don't have the time or budget to manipulate the clip art to what you really need.

Meanwhile, photography has become more accessible and cheaper. Royalty-free photo disks can hold more than 200 images and cost about $400. Each disk has a theme, like European destinations or sports. We have about 100 disks in our “library,” most from Photodisc. Rather than buying a CD, you can download single images from the Web site ( Price depends on the resolution, which is usually expressed in image size or dpi. For example:

  • Low resolution: 600K @ 72 dpi; 5×7; $29.95
  • Medium: 10MB @ 300 dpi; 5×7; $99.95
  • High: 28.5MB @ 300 dpi; 8.5×11; $179.95

Other sources with similar pricing include:,,, and has not only photography, but illustrations and type fonts as well.

Ken Pickle, CPCU, CMP, is manager, incentives and conferences, for Safeco Insurance Companies, Seattle.

CVBs Go Digital

When we launch an incentive campaign, we often provide field offices with digitized conference logos, PowerPoint presentations, sleeves of slides, etc. — usually sent out piecemeal. With the technological improvements in creating your own CDs, it's worth consolidating these into a single CD — which the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau has done with its materials. The CCTB's new Digital Resource Kit contains a diskette and CD with city photographs, maps, icons, clip art, and articles to help planners promote a Chicago event. The kit is attractively packaged and contains good directions on how to use the material.
For more, visit


Portable Document Format is a unique type of cross-platform file format developed by Adobe. “Cross platform” means it can represent documents regardless of the software, hardware, or operating system on which it was created. One can read a PDF file in Windows 98 that was created on a Mac that you downloaded from a Web site running UNIX. It's also navigational, which allows users to expand the usefulness of a publication. On screen, PDF files have a precise color match regardless of the monitor used, and can be magnified up to 800% without a loss in clarity. Learn more at