Graphic file formats: ¿Which one suits me better?

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2018-06-06
Graphic format

Digital images are everywhere around us. They sneak in our mail inboxes, consume memory and space form our devices and waste our time while they load on the websites.

And with the wide range of file types out there, how do you know which format works best for you? There are hundreds available, each one with a specific use case, and making the right choice can be a bewildering experience if you’re not sure what you’re doing. But hey, don’t panic! We are here to lend you a hand.

First of all, here are some basic guidelines to help you make the right choice:

  • If the images are destined for the Web or mobile, use JPEG, PNG, or GIF.
  • If the images are to create a graphical asset on your web, use SVG.
  • If the images are to be printed, choose TIFF.
  • If you want flexibility in post processing your images, shoot in RAW.

And here is a comparison of most common image formats, the ones supported by our tools. If you want to know its best uses, check the cards.

JPG
Joint Photographic Experts Group
Colours
Up to 16M
Transparency
No
Compression
Lossy - some file information is compressed or lost
Animation
No

Realistic images like photos

Complex coloring

Printed and web photos

PNG
Portable Network Graphics
Colours
Up to 16M
Transparency
Yes
Compression
Lossless and lossy compression
Animation
Yes

Web images and logos

Images including transparency

Created with Sketch.

Images containing text

GIF
Graphic Interchange Format
Colours
256
Transparency
No
Compression
Lossless - compression without loss of quality
Animation
Yes

Web graphics with limited colors

Icons and animations

Simple images like line drawings

TIF
Tagged Image File
Colours
Up to 16M
Transparency
Yes
Compression
Lossy - some file information is compressed or lost
Animation
No

Heavy images with complex information

Images destined for print

Created with Sketch.

Images containing layers

RAW
Graphic Interchange Format
Colours
Up to 16M
Transparency
No
Compression
Doesn’t admit compression
Animation
No

Professional photography

Non-Destructive Editing

Images to store 
without losing details

SVG
Scalable Vector Graphics
Colours
Up to 16M
Transparency
Yes
Compression
Lossless - compression without loss of quality
Animation
Yes

Web graphics

Scalable graphics

Social media visuals

Now that you are an image-format connoisseur, you are ready to make the most of our editing tools.

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