For art, as well as for text, you need to "think globally and act locally." Before using any image, consider whether that image might be offensive or confusing to another culture. Not all images are universally meaningful.
Clip art is often inappropriate for international customers. Even if the graphic has been reviewed in all the local markets before use, localization teams should always be allowed to either delete the picture or replace it with clip art that is appropriate for localized versions. Hence, either use clip art sparingly, or do your homework on locally-correct clip art. For example, do not use clip art to represent the concept of "currency," since currency has different graphical representations from country to country. Here are some examples of questionable clip art. (See Figure 9-1.)
Avoid using country-centric graphics and icons, such as mailboxes, road signs, or even forks and knives, in your content. These images represent concepts that are obvious signs of nationality; globalization entails making your content as culturally and politically neutral as possible, so it does not confuse or offend readers who are not familiar with the concepts of your culture or language. Here are some examples of questionable icons. (See Figure 9-2.)
Figure 9.1 - Questionable clip art for representing a generic concept.
Figure 9.2 - Questionable icons that use an American football icon to represent sports, and a fork and knife icon to represent a restaurant.
Understand the consequences of using multimedia. For example, for UA content that is not localized, U.S. English accents might not be comprehensible to a foreign audience. In UA content that does get localized, translators might not understand what is being said clearly enough to translate successfully.