The Best Image Formats for Printing and Web

Whether you’re a photographer or a graphical editor, you’ll be aware of the top image formats in the industry, say for example – JPEG, TIFF, PSD, GIF, PNG, etc. But, which among these will come under your personal preference while saving/editing an image?

Let’s skip raw images this time and go with the formats specified above – since hardly anyone uses raw images over the web or in print media.

Let’s check each format one by one:



JPEG(Joint Photographic Experts Group) format is the most commonly used image format on web and print media. The main advantage of choosing this format is – you can choose the image quality you desire. And as a lossy format, every time you open and make some changes to a JPEG file – the image will get compressed and you’ll lose a small amount of information from the image.



Tag Image File Format (TIFF) would be an excellent choice for highest quality prints as it’s a lossless format. And, you can even retain its layer information after editing the files. The quality of a TIFF file won't decline even you re-open and re-save the file. Anyhow, it won’t be a good choice for the web since its large file size.



For graphic editors, this would be the ideal format as this preserve all the image layers, masks, blending modes, transparency, etc. But, this format can’t be displayed over the web. And, only using Photoshop application, you can possible to open the contents of the file. Even a PSD file becomes corrupted, it’s not a hard task to a find a psd repair tool as well.



It’s the ideal format for web images with animation. But, it’s not recommended for photos because of its limited color support. And, the file size is too less as well and it’s a lossless format.


All these formats have their own pros and cons. Your choice for a particular image format will entirely depend on your workflow. So one image format you found unsuitable can be ideal for an another person. Hence, taking a decision here should involve a careful examination of files.

The Best Image Formats for Printing and Web was last modified: December 7th, 2016 by John Harris

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