Graphics of all sorts have a major role to play in your website’s appeal to visitors. They are widely used, processed and manipulated to display your wares and brand your image on your customers eyeballs and encourage buying decisions. Designer web graphics are also the main part of on-line advertisements.

There is a group, locked away in a dark cupboard somewhere, I suspect, who actually discuss, evaluate and decide on the standards that allow web graphics to be used on websites from Iceland to Antarctica and in languages from Mandarin to Hindi. These are the geeks who collectively are called W3C and their gatherings are responsible defining standards and formulating important specifications in the area of web graphics. This work is part of the great umbrella that allows all of the different flavours of graphics, web browsers, web authoring tools and word processors to generate the electronic network that we take so for granted these days.

Graphics used on the web have many formats. To the newcomer it can seem a daunting experience, grasping the subtle differences between them all. For our purposes cocomelon png the main graphic formats we need to understand for the web are Portable Network Graphics (PNG), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) and bitmaps (BMP).

JPGs are probably the most commonly encountered image format; so what exactly are they? JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a popular format used for representation or display of images. It uses what is called lossy compression, which means that some of the repeated patterns in the image information from the original are discarded while it is being compressed and stored in this format. An advantage of the technique, is that a lot of storage space can be saved while reproducing the image with almost the same quality. The information that is discarded is generally of such a nature that it is not possible for human beings to detect it.

This method is standardized by ISO (International Standards organization). A classic jpg scenario is when you download a full size image from NASA of one of their astounding views of Saturn or its moons. Even as jpgs, these can still be monster images and even with fast broadband you are probably used to seeing the gradual strip by strip reconstruction of these images on your screen as the information downloads. There is another offshoot of JPEG format known a progressive in which the image is reordered in such a way, that when the user downloads the image partially, a vague view of the entire picture is displayed instead of a clear view of a small portion.

A newer format that is beginning to catch up on the dominance of JPGs and GIFs is the PNG. PNG is an “extensible” file format for well-compressed storage of raster images. PNG provides a replacement for GIF and can also replace many previously common uses of TIFF images which are truly enormous beasts and can bog your hard drive down and clog your broadband in the blink of an eye. PNG format supports indexed-color, grayscale, and true-color images. It also has an optional “alpha channel” for transparency. The depths of the color used in the samples range from 1 to 16 bits per component (up to 48bit images for RGB, or 64bit for RGBA).

The advantages of PNG include being lossless and portable. In plain English, this means they can keep a huge amount of the detail that a JPG might lose and you can use them in a more versatile manner without the file size getting too big.

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) was introduced by the company CompuServe in 1987. It is a bitmap image format. This format has gained popularity on the web because of its advantages of its wide support and portability. The format has up to 8 bits per pixel. This allows the use of 256 distinct colors in an image. GIF supports animation and has 256 colors for each frame.

A disadvantage of GIF format is that the limited color range it has, makes it unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color. However, it can reproduce simpler images. GIF uses Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) lossless data compression technique to reduce the image data file size.

The bitmap file format or BMP format as it is popularly known as, is an image file format used to store bitmap digital images. In uncompressed bitmap files, images are stored using pixels having color depth of 1, 4, 8, 16, or 32 bits. The greatest advantage of bitmap file format is that it is very simple. In addition, this format is very well documented and does not have patent related issues. The disadvantage is that it can generate file sizes nearly as big as TIFFs.

The other major format that you will need to be aware of, is the PSD. This is often used in generating complex images. It is the underlying format of Adobe Photoshop, the most used professional photo and graphics editing software. The great advantage of Photoshop and similar photo and graphics software, is that it allows you to build images up in layers with an enormous range of control over the effects you can achieve. The range of features is so extensive that further description is beyond the scope of this overview article.