PNG is a Portable Network Graphics image file that stands out for its lossless compression and large file sizes. Though it is not as popular as other image files such as JPEG, it certainly has its merit and deserves strong consideration for a lot of tasks. Here are some things about the PNG image file to consider when selecting an image type.
What type of image file is .png?
.png is a raster image. Raster images are similar to a color-in-the-blanks picture, where numbers are assigned to sections of a photo, and each number represents a particular color to use. With the raster, each tiny section is represented by a color shade. This essentially creates the picture as a whole, piece-by-piece.
.png is a lossless compression file type, which means it can withstand compression into smaller sizes without sacrificing image quality. The high resolution of the original is maintained throughout the compression process, and once the image is unpacked and reverted to its normal size, the quality is the same.
.png has a variety of ways to be opened, most noticeably the default photo viewer for Windows. Outside of that, there are plenty of options to choose from in terms of downloading software capable of opening the files. Web browsers can also open a .png inside the browser window without downloading the actual file.
When to consider using .png
Though it may seem peculiar, a .png is perfect for times when an overwhelming graphic is needed and doesn’t have time to be refined. For example, if a user takes a screenshot, a .png fits perfectly as it will retain the entirety of the image in full resolution regardless of the file size.
Logos are subject to constant size changes due to the nature of their placements. They exist in numerous places throughout a company, and different formats require different sized-logos. As .png allows for lossless compression, resizing logos in .png keeps the logo completely intact and recognizable to consumers. Using a .png for logos upholds brand integrity and allows customers to recognize the familiarity of your company through a flawless image of the logo.
When to avoid .png
.png serves both business users and individual users, but there are times when they should be avoided. Putting images onto social media is generally not going to be suitable for .png, as the files are large and the picture quality is acceptable when deteriorated slightly. Even for businesses building social media presence, the idea of a large file slowing down access for interested users is not ideal.
When constructing a company website, .png should be avoided as well unless it’s for the brand logo. Images on a website should be smaller in file size so that the page loads quickly and efficiently for users of all bandwidth capabilities. Use alternate image file types even if it means sacrificing a small amount of image quality.
Though finding uses for the .png will come less often than other image types, it does things that others can’t replicate. For this reason, .png remains one of the most important image extensions for users.