When to use GIF, JPG and PNG
Digital graphics fill up our inboxes; take up computer storage and memory space, abd take time to load on the web pages. When working with digital image file, it is essential to know the differences between each one, so you know when to use them.
The main difference between files formats is how they are used when designing for the web and the outcome they produce. One produces highly optimized simple graphics, another is used for most images, and the third option is used for complex graphics, gradients and transparency.
Graphics File Comparison Table
|Compression is great (small file) but there is a noticeable loss of quality whenever users zoom in on a JPG image||Force all the colors of an image into a 256 colour palette in order to reduce image size; however, these color limitations often lead to immediately-noticeable coloring issues, usually appearing as white spots or blotches of color, where images should be more complex.||No compression in this file format, and therefore it will always look as sharp as the original image. Hence, it tends to be a bit larger in size.|
|Assign one of 256 colors to be transparent||Supports transparency in two ways. Assigns a single colour defined as transparent (similar to GIF), and the other is by setting an alpha channel. Setting alpha channel method of transparency is better as it allows for a better at blending colors, and allows you to select different levels of transparency in specific regions.||Does not support transparency.|
|Does not support animation.||Does not support animation.||Animation supported|
Summary of Graphics File Format
JPGs, PNGs, and GIFs have benefits and limitations, and it’s more important to know when to use each file type. As a general rule, you’ll want to use a GIF whenever the image is to be animated. Beyond that, JPG compression tends to create smaller file sizes at the cost of image quality. However, PNGs are better for capturing lossless images and in situations where minimizing file sizes isn’t of utmost importance. Ultimately, situational considerations should be weighed heavily when deciding which of these file types you should use.