Another area of confusion for clients is what we web design companies mean when we refer to “web ready images” and “prepping images for the web”. There is also confusion on “file types” and what these file types mean when a client is using them for print or web.
Let’s first start with image file types and what they mean. A file type is the extension that follows the file name. For example, you might have a word document saved as filename.doc, the .doc part is the file type. If you are used to Excel files then the .xls is the file type. Images have the same file type structure.
The most common file types for images are -
TIFF stands for “Tagged Image File Format”, which is a format for storing digital versions of paper documents because it is a standard format for most scanners and software applications. Scanned paper documents are stored in an image format. TIFF is not widely supported by web browsers, and should be avoided for use on the web.
PNG stands for “Portable Network Graphics”. The PNG format was created in response to limitations with the GIF format, primarily to increase color support and to provide an image format without a patent license. 5
GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format”. If an image has fewer than 256 colors, GIF can render the image exactly. GIF is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations rather than color photos.
JPG stands for “Joint Photographic (Experts) Group”. JPG or JPEG is format for publishing Web graphics since the JPEG compression algorithm significantly reduces the file size of images. Files are converted to jpg to control image download time.
BMP stands for “Bit Map Picture” and is an uncompressed proprietary format invented by Microsoft.
PSD stands for “Photoshop Data file” and is the preferred working format for editing images.
In order to prepare your images for web use, we first begin by some assumptions about who your web visitors will be. We think about your average visitor’s bandwidth (line speed). Will your website be targeted to visitors who use high-speed Internet connections?
We then make decisions about what size (in pixels) your images should be in balance with your web content and page design. Once this is decided we bring your images into Photoshop and begin to prep them for use on your website.
This is typically what we do with your images to prep them for your website -
1. Crop. We often crop what isn’t working in your images.
2. Adjust levels working with contrast, hue, brightness and sharpness.
3. Sizing. Adjusting the images to the size we want it to be online.
4. Saving for Web. This is where the images are saved for use on the web at the greatest quality at the lowest load rate. this is where we look at image resolution or DPI. Many monitors can only display up to 72 DPI.
We also try to encourage our clients not to use stock photographs, but use photographs specifically from your business and actual pictures of you. If you are not getting the results from your online web pages and images, we can help. Call us at 707-578-1390 today and we can help you with your imagee styling and photographs and help you determine how effective your images are to your overall business message.
Our continued success to you,
About Forward Motion Studios -
Forward Motion Studios™ is a Santa Rosa Web Design company that builds, hosts and supports custom websites for businesses. This includes simple, brochure-like web pages to highly complex, software and database-driven eCommerce websites with B2B shopping carts. You can catch their Tweets at twitter/forwardmotion and connect with them on Facebook at facebook.com/forwardmotionstudios.