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10 Nov 2019

Choosing the right file format for your image

By Sophie Wegat

There are a number of image format you can use on the web but for those including photos the two you should consider are JPG and PNG.

JPG

JPG, also known as JPEG, is one of the most widely used image formats online. It’s particularly popular for photos, email graphics and large format web images. JPGs have a sliding scale of compression that can reduce file size enormously, however, when compressed too much it can cause pixelation.

When to use a JPG 

  • When working with online images. Their compression options ensure a web image that can be downloaded quickly.
  • You want to print out a photo or artwork. When using high resolution and low compression JPG is ideal for editing and printing.

However, it’s important to note that JPG doesn't have a transparency option.

PNG

PNG is a fairly new web standard (created in the mid-199s) and is quickly becoming one of the most common image formats used online. The format has built-in transparency, and can also display higher color depths. 

When to use PNG

  • When you need high-quality transparent web graphics. 
  • When you have illustrations with limited colors. Though any image will work, PNG files are best with a small color palette.

Keep in mind that PNG is a lossless web format so file sizes tend to get very large. If you’re working with photos for the web, we recommend you use JPG.