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HOW AND WHEN TO USE DIFFERENT TYPES OF IMAGE FILES?

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Images are considered to be a very powerful tool to capture the viewers’ attention across the black and white of the news feed. Be it a product photo, a brand logo or a background image, photos are being used to convey a lot of information. Thus, it becomes necessary o understand the different kind of images available to use, the difference between various file formats and when to use what.

We see extensions like .jpg, .png, .gif after an image’s file name, but most of us disregard it considering it to be irrelevant. But that is not so. All these extensions are different have their own pros and cons. So what is the difference actually? When should you use JPEG, PNG, GIF or TIF?

Distinction between vector and raster images-

JPEG, GIF, PNG are examples of raster images. They are constructed by joining a series of pixels or individual blocks. Such images are inflexible in terms of their size. In order to resize the images you will have to compromise on their resolution.

Vector images are constructed where resizing is done frequently as they are comparatively more flexible. EPS, Al and PDF are perfect for creating brand logos and graphics.

Let us now understand the most common type of image formats and when to use them.

  • JPEG

JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) file formats is one of the most common types of formats used on the web. JPEG files use a “lossy” compression method where a lot of information is lost from the original image in order to keep the image size small. It does not even support transparency. Yet, it is the most widely accepted image format and is used especially where importance is given to colour variances.

  • GIF

GIF, short for Graphic interchange format is one of the oldest formats in the web. It has a limitation on the number of colours that are used in an image. Thus, it is suitable for logos or graphics that use few colours. GIF is also capable of creating animation effects by linking a series of separate GIF images.

  • PNG

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a recently developed format and a substitute for the GIF. It is lossless i.e. image quality and details are not lost after compression. It also supports variable transparency. But unlike GIF format, PNG cannot create animations and is not even compatible with all browsers.

  • TIFF

TIFF is a superior raster image format and is used for graphic storage, processing and printing. But due to the large file size, the image takes a lot of time to load or transfer.

Keeping these few tips in mind about the popular image formats helps in improving the image quality and faster site loading.

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