Marc Burkhardt has an interesting post about designers opting for existing art over newly commissioned art. I don't think you can underestimate the effect that education has on this issue. Design students use the resources they have available to them, which is anything they can download. They create their own imagery using bits and pieces they find off the web and it looks polished. When I see the senior shows around town I am amazed how clean and professional all the design work looks next to the illustration students' work. Painting takes time to do well, lots of time -- usually a few more years than kids are in school for. The designers aren't more talented, hard working, or smarter than the illustration students, but at a glance you might think so. Designers aren't taught, or encouraged, to work with the illustrators in school so why would it occur to them to hire an illustrator once they are out of school? Sadly, they miss the excitement that collaboration brings, the possibility that two minds working on a problem might answer it better than one, and the impact that a truly unique and tailored package can have.