Whether you are just starting out as a designer or you are not a designer at all, it is important to know the different image formats that are out there and to understand how they differ and what purpose they serve.
Here are 6 of the most common different image formats:
1. Jpeg – Joint Photographic Experts Group
Jpegs are most commonly used and are suited for online use. Jpeg files are able to reduce their file size, but this can often lead to a lack of quality, however, compared to a Gif, a Jpeg’s quality is better. Keep in mind that Jpegs are not transparent; therefore, logos and line drawings should be done using another format, such as a Png.
2. Gif – Graphics Interchange Format
Gifs are also popular for online use as it can merge and compress your image components into one – A Gif is effective for simple colour and shade selections, such as logos, diagrams, charts and cartoons.
3. Bmp – Windows Bitmap
Bmp files are compatible with Microsoft Windows and differ from Jpegs and Gifs because they are uncompressed – the image is clearer and more detailed, but because of the large file size, they can lose this clarity when enlarged – for example, you would use a Gif when creating desktop wallpapers.
4. Tiff – Tagged Image File Format
Tiff images are easy to resize and compress without losing quality. Tiffs might not work on every operating system, but they do work well with photo, image, design, and layout software. Tiffs are able to identify CMYK colours, which is great for print designs.
5. Png – Portable Network Graphics
These files are specifically for online use and should be avoided when creating print files. It has an 8-bit transparency, which means that the image will not have a background, making it easier to place on a website or another image.
6. Pdf – Portable Document Format
Pdf files are created using Adobe Acrobat, and are perfect for print and online viewing – this image format allows you to zoom in and out without losing quality, and can even include interactive elements for the viewer.
Knowing when to use a certain image format and what to use it for is crucial for any business or individual that works with images on a daily basis, whether it is online or for print.