With everyone starting Etsy, eBay, and home entrepreneurial stores, it seems ever more important to one's skill set that they understand the basics of marketing a brand. This is where image hygiene comes into play. The importance of using images correctly when marketing online and printing physical materials is certainly within that wheelhouse.
There are a variety of ways to go about these, but here is what I have learned are the best routes for optimum image hygiene.
Two Major Distinctions
The first thing to know is that certain file types are either lossless or lossy, meaning that they respectively preserve quality of data or lose date over time (saving and re-saving) and degrade.
JPEG, though lossy, is a great medium for photography due to it's complex color qualities. JPEG images, although full of information, are the quickest to break down after repeated saving, and compression. JPEG Images are also going to be larger and more detailed but may take longer to load, although the small size of lossy images is good for quick loading and storage online. These are good files to send to print due to the millions of colors that they are communicating. Ultimately, the use of bitmap files is far superior on the web, as they do not degrade, and display better as bitmap files are made of only grids of square pixels.
The two major kinds of bitmaps are GIFs and PNG files. GIFs can contain multiple frames for use with animation. PNG files are also lossless and can be stored in 8-bit or 24-bit. These kinds of files are useful when you need to use transparency in an image as a part of a design.
Image Creation Tools
When in doubt, always check that the resolution is set up correctly. If you're on a Mac, first head over to the Preview app, and check the size options to determine what resolution the image will be.
If you're managing a banner ad for the header of your site, then chances are you'll be using an image with a lower resolution, say 70. However, the main images will need to be set to 300. This is the optimum resolution for the majority of images on the web. When uploading jpegs a higher resolution will keep detail intact.
Everyone from bands, promoters, comedians, law firms, and anyone with a social media account will benefit from a little image hygiene.
This is just the begging of website hygiene, check back with us for more ways to keep your website healthy.