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Image File Types: The Usual Suspects

Posted: April 11th 2016

We have been made aware that numerous crimes have been committed by certain image file types causing confusion for clients. Numerous calls have been made: What is a PNG and why would I need to use it? Where would I put GIFs on my website? Should I use JPEG’s for everything? Not to worry. We are going to take a look at what these image file types are and when best to use them. We have gathered the evidence and have lined up the main culprits.

Before we get into that, we first must establish that there are two types of images, Vector Images and Raster Images (the crime lords of the image world). A vector image is made up of different shapes. The size of your image is dependent on the amount of shapes you have on the image. Because they are made up of shapes, there will not be much data loss when they are resized (these guys have been in the business for a long time, they are skilled in their crimes). Whereas a raster image is made up of pixels. The size of a raster image is dependent on how many pixels per inch (PPI) are in the image. Because they are not designed to be scaled upwards, they tend to pixelate the larger you resize the image and so they lose quality. (A lot of image file types are Raster images).

Suspect: JPEG Full Name: Joint Photographic Expert Group Type: Raster image Suspected crime: Often full colour images, they can be compressed which can make them smaller file sizes. Spotted: Caught on camera (literally), they can be used for your image sliders, product images, gallery images etc. They are excellent quality with regards to photographs. Mugshot:


Suspect: PNG Full Name: Portable Network Graphic Type: Raster image Suspected crime: Often used for images with not as many colours and for smaller images, no data is lost from the original image. Spotted: These culprits often hang around in website headers. They are especially used for logos and for smaller graphics. Mugshot: Surge-Marketing-Soultions-Logo

Suspect: GIF (they just don’t GIF a damn) Full Name: Graphics Interchange Format Type: Raster image Suspected crime: Again, can be used for smaller graphics such as logos, they are lossless which means no data will be lost from the original image. Also confusion towards how to pronounce GIF, it is supposedly pronounced JIFF. Spotted: These culprits often hang around in website headers. They are especially used for logos and for smaller graphics. Also found to be well acquainted with the troublemakers, PNG’s. GIF’s are also moving images too. Mugshot: (Please click on image) parks_and_recreations

Suspect: SVG Full Name: Scalable Vector Graphic Type: Vector image Suspected crime: Very high quality graphics. They can be defined to be displayed on web pages as they can be edited using CSS due to the fact that they are XML (a markup language). Although these guys are the new kids on the block, they are very skilled. Spotted: Can be used for logos, graphics and for print. You can also spot them on our homepage, representing our main services. Mugshot:


There are several other image file types but these fearsome four are some of the most common to cause confusion. If you are ever in doubt, your web designer will advise you which types of images would be best to use on certain parts of your website. We understand that it can be confusing and overwhelming which is why we are always here to offer support. There is no such thing as a silly question.

Case closed.

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