My Secret Collection Of Classic Boat Clip Art

This is the base art for one of the matchbooks featured.

Over the past years, when I find some little dumb art clip, I save them for my files. Maybe I will use them for a T shirt or Poster one day. So whats clip art? And what? There are no real books anymore on the subject since clip art are little drawings that would be “clipped” out of books chocked full of them. Ad agencies, newspapers etc would use these to build art files. This is all pre digital stuff.

The Cobra art extracted form the matchbook

So? What can you do with this clip art? Well, thats all part of the fun. You know those posters you have to do for your boat show every year? Boat show T shirts? Hell, this one writes its self.

You could create an entire show around this little sucker, from a vintage Evenrude ad.

Clip art can be color, this from a envelope

Even was stamped, this one was unsavable

Fun little details that can enhance a small card?

Simple line art that moves

This is a Classic Boat Show poster just ready to be used. Says it all, from one of the matchbooks


This one is a tad modern art from a matchbook. The detail was so small, it was almost impossible to capture it. But kinda cool

This is a work in progress from a letterpress stamp

This is what I am using to create that art above

That black area is for words!


There are some more jewels in my files, and always looking for more. It can come from almost anyplace, and as you can tell, I am extracting it from ink clots and not from the original art which would be far far better. You would need to convert these to some sort of more finished. But hopefully gives some of you show poster people at your local chapter some inspiration.

13 replies

    Not only are you educating your followers on old boats but you throw a little art in, which some of us never unerstood!

  2. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    I really have enjoyed the art work the last two days. Takes us back to a simpler time. BTY has anyone heard from Greg lately? I miss his early morning comments.

  3. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    The one with the cobra always bothers me. It looks like the perspective is off a bit. I think with a photo and photo shop we can easily create new ones.
    I love the artwork and advertising/marketing side of things that get discussed here. Keep up the good work!

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Early in my ad career I was working a super talented graphic designer name Charles Spencer Anderson (I was the writer). We were creating a poster for a magic show fundraiser for a client of ours. We were stumped so I suggested a little field trip over lunch to a magic trick supply store a few blocks away. The place was filled with NOS magic tricks that were decades old and they all had these simple illustrated covers. Charles’ eyes lit up: It was a treasure trove. We had our poster idea. But more important, Charles was savvy enough to turn it into a sizeable business called the CSA Archive. (I’m sure Matt’s used it at some point.) It’s vast collection of vintage images like these. Charles and his staff would take vintage clip art like this as inspiration and alter them so they could be trademarked and licensed. If Charles was a woody boater he’d have a Riva.

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