Different types of images are needed for different marketing purposes.
If you are unfamiliar with file sizes and formats of digital images of your art or handmade work, you are not alone. Unless you work with digital images frequently, it’s easy to make inadvertent mistakes when submitting your images, or using them on your website.
Print media, like magazines and books, require high-resolution images to produce a quality published product. Fine artists who have reproductions made of their art will be familiar with this requirement. A .tif file is typically used for print, and would be in a much larger file size than the .jpg files we typically use online. Printing a lower-resolution image will produce pixelation – and the smaller the file size, the worse the pixelation becomes.
Images in the .tif format do not lose quality each time they are saved. They remain as exact, full-quality copies of the original. When would an artist use this for marketing? In a press kit, where an image may be offered to publishers ready to put it in a physical form, such as a magazine. Artists would also provide a high-resolution image for print advertising.
Non-print use of images requires a different format, though. Have you ever watched a photograph on a website load slowly, in tiny increments? This happens when someone has uploaded an image file size which is far too large for use on the internet. Besides causing long page loading times, they can make the whole website drag. Site visitors often deal with this problem by simply clicking away. If you have this problem on your own website, you will need to reduce the image file size to creates low-resolution images that load quickly, and re-upload them to replace the offenders on the site.
The lower-resolution images needed online are typically .jpg files. You are probably familiar with .jpgs, because they are the file type produced by a digital camera. Just look at the ending of any image file name, and it will tell you the format.
Images in .jpg format can still be too big for use on a website, and they can be resized – both in file size and in dimensions. We recommend PicResize, a free photo resizer tool that allows you not only to reduce image size and reduce file size, but to crop photos and use special effects as well. Image files in sizes less than 250KB are recommended for online use.
Keep in mind that when resizing, you can make an image smaller, but shouldn’t attempt to make it larger, which will cause it to become pixelated. And, if you do resize a photo, keep the original and save the resized one separately. A .jpg, unlike the .tif image, will lose photo quality each time it is saved.
How to change an image from one file format to another? Zamzar is a free online tool for this purpose that is easy to use.
Becoming familiar with different image formats and where they are needed will allow you to have the right types ready and available for any of your marketing needs.