In the previous article we learn about some advantages of GIF images. Now you might be thinking that perhaps GIF are the most beneficial type of image format to be used in web designing but this is not true. There are many disadvantages of GIF images as well. A few are as follows:

Low color palette:

One of the largest downfalls to the GIF format is its inability to have a color palette of more than 256 colors. This can create poor looking images when used on a photograph which may originally have thousands of different colors. Therefore these images can only we used well for cartoon like photos or buttons etc.  This makes it a poor format for photographic images. Because this can sometimes be tight, GIFs have the option to dither, and will mix pixels of two different available colours to create a suggestion of another colour.

Lower level of transparency:

As we discuss below, PNG has a much higher level of transparency support. GIF do not provide full transparency as is offered by PNG images.

Patent Restrictions:

GIF has patent restrictions with it’s use.

Let us now see how the GIF images use lossless compression and where they can be best used.

Lossless Compression

GIF uses lossless LZW compression, effective on indexed color. The format is loss-less, meaning it does not get blurry or messy. GIFs use a simple technique called LZW compression to reduce the file sizes of images by finding repeated patterns of pixels, but this compression never degrades the image quality.

Where GIF images should be used

  • GIF is best for graphics that use 256 colors or less and are cartoon-like.
  • It is ideal for small navigational icons and simple diagrams and illustrations where accuracy is required, or graphics with large blocks of a single colour.
  • GIF are ideal for low- and flat-color images like logos, buttons, and graphic text.
  • GIF is great for Web buttons, charts or diagrams, cartoon-like drawing, banners, and text headings.
  • GIF is also used for small, compact web animations
  • GIF should rarely be used for photos.

Zicara: Web Design & Web Design Company


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