GIFs are everywhere today, and millennials wrongly assume that’s the only image format. GIFs make conversations alive, whether you’re talking to your friends on WhatsApp or promoting your brand across social media platforms. That’s why everyone is crazy about learning how to make a GIF. If you feel the same way, here’s a guide to help you. 

However, GIFs are not the only image file format, and there are several others. As a matter of fact, every graphic you see on the Internet is an image file. Almost everything printed on plastic, paper, or T-shirt is an image file. These image formats come in several forms, and each of them is optimized for specific use. Let’s dive in to know more about them. 


JPEGs are a digital photographer’s best friend and probably the most common image file type. They’re supported by virtually all operating systems, devices, and apps. Since JPEGs are small files, they are easy to transfer and do not impact the load times on web pages. 

JPEG is the go-to format for photography meant to be displayed on the Internet because the format is great for high-end color preservation. 

However, the drawback of this format is the lossy compression where the file size correlates with the image quality. Data is discarded when image files are compressed, and therefore, you may have to sacrifice a bit of quality to keep the files small. Also, it isn’t ideal for continual editing because every time you edit an image file, it discards more data. 

Moreover, you’re not recommended to save logos as JPEGs because the format doesn’t preserve text or line art. 


TIFF or TIF stands for Tagged Image File Format, and it is a lossless raster format. Due to its incredibly high quality, the image format is mainly used in desktop publishing and photography. 

You’ll likely encounter TIF files when you take a picture with a digital camera or scan a document. It is important to note that these files can be used as a container for JPG pictures. Compared to conventional TIFF files, these files will be smaller. 

When you require high-end print graphics, you should use the format because TIFF files are the highest quality graphics format. These files are perfect when you’re printing pictures at enormous sizes. The format is also used when making a high-quality scan to ensure you have the best version of the original file. 


PNGs were specifically created for the Internet, and they save up to 256 colors. As a result, they are lossless and save color information efficiently. In addition, they compress images without any loss in quality and have the capacity to preserve transparency. Thanks to their transparent capabilities, PNGs are used on websites. But they are larger files than JPGs, and therefore, the load time might be compromised. Therefore, PNGs must be used sparingly on those elements that need higher quality than JPGs, such as high-resolution logos. 

PNGs are used when transparent web graphics are needed or when you have illustrations with limited colors. You can even use this format when you require a small file because PNGs can shrink to tiny sizes, especially pictures that are simple text, shapes, or colors. 


PSD stands for Photoshop Document, and it is a proprietary layered image format. Created in Photoshop, these are original design files that are editable with image adjustments and multiple layers. Primarily, PSDs are used to make and edit raster pictures, but the format also contains vector layers. Therefore, the format is flexible, and you can use it for several different projects. In addition, the format can be exported to different image formats. 

PSDs are used when you need to retouch photos, or you need to edit artwork for print or digital. The format is the right tool to ensure every shadow, line, and texture is in its place. Moreover, the format is used for creating digital images, such as email headers, banner ads, social media images, videos, etc. 

When creating an app mockup or website, PSD is the go-to format because the layers make it easy to move the UI elements. If you want to get fancy with video and animation, you can use Photoshop to cut simple video clips and add filters, graphics, animation, text, etc. 


These are a handful of the popular image file formats widely used. Even though GIFs are rising in popularity, you need to know the other formats to understand when to use which.

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