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Design Talk.

Blurbs and rants about graphic design

The Truth About JPEG

I was crawling around forums and I noticed a few questions related to graphic formats and their capabilities. Therefore I decided to collect a number of links related to the various graphic formats which will give a basic understanding of how they work and will also take up several misconceptions. I will start with one of the most popular formats around, especially amongst users of digital cameras and web designers: JPEG.

What Is JPEG?

Jacci Howard Bear, About Desktop Publishing Guide, offers us a very good definition of the JPEG format here.

Judy Litt, About Graphic Design Guide, explains why JPEG is the preferred graphic format over GIF for photos on the web in this editorial. In the same article you’ll find very useful resources from the Ohio State of University of Computer Science and Engineering:

What is JPEG?

How the JPEG Format Works

Here is a JPEG Tutorial by Ray Wolfgang on VIPER (Video Image Process Laboratory) explaining the JPEG format and its method of compression.

Sue Chastain, About Graphics Software Guide, has an excellent series of articles concerning the JPEG format. Her articles about this are amongst my favourites:

Does Rotating Images Degrade Image Quality?
JPEG Myths and Facts
The Pitfalls of JPEG Compression
Screenshot of JPEG Save Options for Various Software


If you don’t know when to use JPEG or when to use GIF, here are a few tutorials that can help you decide.

Webmonkey: GIF vs. JPEG
MH Web Creations: GIF Versus JPEG Tutorial

JPEG, JPEG 2000 and Desktop Publishing

Jacci Howard Bear, About Desktop Publishing Guide, reminds us that JPEG isn’t the best choice for Desktop Publishing, while it is great for web and other on-screen uses. Read her article Best Graphic Formats for Desktop Publishing.

Pariah S. Burke on Quark VS InDesign explains to us the JPEG 2000 format: JPEG2000 and JPF Files: What, When, and How

And last but not least have a look at the official JPEG site.

Desktop Publishing & Prepress

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