The PNG File Format

The png file format was created as an alternative to the gif format. It has become the second most common image file used online and is known for its support of transparency. 

Pngs are a raster based file format which means it is made up of thousands of tiny color dots. Pngs come in two formats PNG-8 and PNG-24. When created PNG-8s were meant to replace gifs and PNG-24s were meant to replace jpgs. The real difference in the two formats is complexity. PNG-24s are able to handle a larger number of colors and more complex transparencies.

It is extremely common to find logos saved as pngs. The ability to include transparent backgrounds makes it perfect for logo files. This transparency can be useful online and also when utilizing files in print design and video.

Like other raster formats, pngs can not be scaled larger without losing clarity of the image. Its common to find logos saved as pngs in various sizes (example: web, print, etc.) Because of their transparency advantage, pngs are also commonly used in icon sets.



When to Use:

  • Pngs are great for delivering logo files.
  • Pngs are the right choice for web graphics with transparency.
  • In some cases pngs can be used to save photographs when file size is not important.