Most Commonly Used File Formats for Web Design
If you’ve ever tried to save an image in Photoshop or another similar program, you must have noticed that you have an endless amount of picture file formats to choose from. But which image file formats do you use for web design? In this article, I will explain the correct types of file formats that you should use.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Two different types of picture file formats are the most commonly used for web design. These would be GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) and JPEGs (Joint Photographic Experts Group). They are not the only picture file formats used for online projects, just the most popular. In the future, this may change. But not for several years, I suspect.
Gif file formats are used for vector work. Vector work would be something like a logo or some text; vector work often deals with smaller file sizes. Thus, GIF images often have small file sizes. JPEGs are often used for raster graphics such as photos, illustrations;, etc. Note that JPEGs typically have larger file sizes than vector graphics.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file formats are also possibilities for web design usage. However, they’re rarely used. PNGs are not typically used because they often have larger file sizes than the JPEGs or GIFs.
Of course, this doesn’t matter as much anymore due to high-speed Internet connections. But JPEGs and GIFs are still the norms. In fact, I’ve rarely used PNGs for any web design project that I’ve worked on unless I need to. I have used them for CD or DVD projects but not for the internet. But you could still use them if you wanted to.
SWF (Small Web Format and Shockwave Flash)
Another picture file format that is used in web design is called an SWF (Small Web Format and Shockwave Flash) file. The SWF file format is created from Adobe’s Flash software. SWFs are often used for animation, video, games; etc. You can also build an entire website using just SWFs and HTML. The SWF file format can have a tiny file size if it is utilized correctly. In fact, the SWF may even rival the GIF in file size and quality if it is used for vector work.
These four types of picture file formats are the ones usually utilized for online use. There are a few others, but these are probably the only ones you will ever hear about or use. At least, for the next couple of years.