PNG vs JPEG: Which File Format Works Best For You ?

In this article we will do a comparison for PNG vs JPEG files and go through the benefits of each file format.

When it comes to image files, there are very few file formats as prevalent as PNG and JPEG files. Both are incredibly common, with their own strengths and weaknesses that keep them relevant and useful.

Today, we’ll be breaking down these differences in order to find out which format works best for your personal working purposes. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into the comparisons.

Webcomic Image Credit Louis Brandy 

PNG vs JPEG : What are these files formats and Which one is better

What is a PNG?

The PNG (Portable Network Graphic) file format, introduced in the mid 90’s, was created as a replacement for the then mainstream GIF file format.

It came after the JPEG, and as such it carries many advantages over its more modern contemporary. It sees widespread use today, and is still the champion of file formats for a large majority of graphic designers.

What is a JPEG?

The JPEG, short for ‘Joint Photographic Experts Group,’ was developed by a group with the exact same name. They found early on that they needed a file format that could make large photographic files smaller.

This would allow for easier photograph sharing, and as a result, the JPEG was born. Today, it’s the most popular file extension for images in the whole world.

For those curious, JPEG and JPG files are the exact same, JPG files exist due to early versions of DOS only allowing three letter long file extensions.

Benefits of PNG Files

PNG files have two big strengths, the first being support for transparency in images. It is impossible to have a transparent background or translucent objects with JPEG files, so if you need either of these things, then using the PNG file format basically becomes a necessity.

The second is the fact that the PNG file format features lossless compression, allowing it maintain even the smallest of details without any drops in quality.

JPEG files on the other hand have lossy compression, meaning certain details deemed unnecessary will be deleted to generate a smaller file. These two factors are a big part of what makes PNG files the default for graphic designers.

Benefits of JPEG Files

JPEG files have always been about generating smaller files while retaining a respectable amount of detail, and that hasn’t changed in the many years that the format has been actively used. Because of this, they’re great for use on websites, helping viewers save bandwidth and load pages faster.

While the quality isn’t going to be immaculate, JPEG files are incredibly important when it comes to quicker file sharing and saving space. In most situations where immaculate image quality isn’t needed, JPEG files are usually recommended for use over other, larger file types.

PNG vs JPEG (Conclusion)

Both PNG and JPEG files have their time and place that reflect their specific strengths. For blog writers and photographers, the JPEG file format is a godsend, keeping websites light and photographs easy to share.

For graphic designers, PNGs preserve your design and allow for more options, making them the defacto choice. Consider the benefits of both and make a decision that’s right for you.We hope this article on PNG vs JPEG was helpful.

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