Photoshop - Graphic formats for the web

When working with Photoshop it is important to know a little about which graphic formats are the most appropriate for your task.

As a general rule, we recommend using a JPEG file type as JPEGs offer the best image quality for smaller file sizes and incorporate a large array of colours. As such, they are most appropriate for photographs.

However another format known as a GIF is appropriate for images with very simple colour schemes, such as diagrams or illustrations. GIF images only allow 256 colours to be stored in the image (as opposed to 16 million colours in a JPEG). As such, GIF images result in very small file sizes, but should not be used for photographs as they result in very poor image quality. GIFS are ideal for simple drawings however as they result in sharp, clear lines.

Another format that is becoming popular is known as a PNG. PNGs are ideal for graphics which have transparent elements such as a transparent background. However care should be taken using PNG graphics as they are not supported by all browsers, especially older versions of Internet Explorer.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please email