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graphics for the web

What are the requirements for images used on the Web?

Small file size is critical in graphics for the web. It requires know-how to get them to look good and maintain a small file size--the latter is necessary for fast loading. Nothing turns someone off to your website faster than a page that is slow to load. Research has shown that a site has approximately seven seconds to catch someone's interest. If your pages are slow to load, the visitor probably won't stay and very likely won't be back.

My web developer who's writing custom scripts for me says he can take care of my graphics, too. Why should I use you?

Many web technicians are great at the technical aspects of designing a web site, but a good number of them don't have the graphics knowledge... and it shows. There are many sites out there that are technically "correct", but visually leave a lot to be desired and their poor design often leaves the casual visitor bewildered. This is not to say that good programmer can't be good at graphics also, but for the most part they don't have the skill and talent.

Why do you ask for high-quality photos and/or images?

At Toner Design we work to provide quality graphics that look good on the Web and attract a visitor's attention, but we are also aware that good design must be a part of the picture. High quality images that convey a more polished and professional look are dependent upon the quality of photos we receive from you, which is why we ask for the best quality photos you can provide when we go to work for you. We can provide professionally photographed images if you desire, but these are not always available for the subject matter. We want you to have the best results, and that means starting with good quality. This is also why we often create original images in vector format before converting them for use on the Web. Click here for more information on the difference between raster and vector image types.

In most cases the images used on the web are in one of just a few formats: *.GIF, *.JPG or *.JPEG, *.PNG or *.SWF (Flash). *.PNG files are not viewable on all browsers, despite their superiority to the other images types for web use, hence they are not used widely. Other images formats are just too large in file size to work. Typically, web images use 72 dpi (dots per inch) for Macs, and 96 dpi for Windows, although almost every image in use on the web today now uses 72 dpi. Images that start out with larger dimensions, such as 1600 x 1200, even if they must be reduced in size, will generally look better as a finished product once they are made ready for a website.  This is due to the increased amount of information such images contain.