GIF, JPEG, PNG? Examples

Continued from previous posts: GIF, JPEG, PNG? Short Answer and GIF, JPEG, PNG? Now to GIF

To finish our discussion of image formats, let’s go through some examples.

Small Icons

sample of small icon images  PNG would be the best format.

If you do not need semi-transparency, GIF format would be as good, but the size of the files may be slightly larger.

And JPEG format should not be used here: it will either distort images, or make files larger.

Large Icons and Logos

sample of large icon images and logos The same rules apply here, but differences between PNG and GIF formats are larger.

If you do not need semi-transparency, GIF format would be the best option. Just make sure the colours are not distorted.

PNG should be used otherwise, but the image may be almost twice as large.

And JPEG format would not be suitable for these kind of images.


Autumn leaves - a JPEG imageJPEG is by far the best choice for any photograph.

PNG won’t achieve the same level of compression, even compared to best quality JPEG file

Grey-scale photos

winter landscape - greyscale photoJPEG is still the best choice for a grey-scale photograph.

GIF files can store any monochrome image. So both GIF and PNG formats would store the image without loss of quality, but files would be larger.

Larger computer graphics

3D graphics from forumsJPEG is the usual choice for “too-perfect” computer-generated graphics.

Try PNG if you want to avoid even barely noticeable distortions of details.


screenshot in PNG formatThere are two distinct choices for any screenshot:

  • GIF files could be perfect – unless image contains gradient backgrounds, buttons, etc. If not sure, try it first
  • PNG file will be perfect, and may be as small as GIF files

But JPEG format is not suited for screenshots – it will distort them


sample diagram as GIF file, from siteChoosing image format for a diagram follows the same rules as for screenshots above.

It would be either GIF or PNG format, depending on the number of colours used in the image


sample map image - Newtown, SydneyBoth PNG and GIF formats are perfect for maps. Since maps contain few colours, both formats store maps without distortions, and achieve similar file sizes.

JPEG could produce smaller files, but the loss of readability would not worth it.

And with any kind of image, all you need is to try different options – and to pay attention to details. Good luck


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