Transparency is a feature of the PNG file format that allows you to add an alpha channel. The alpha channel in an image defines how transparent or opaque each pixel in the image should be, and this can be helpful when creating logos and other images with semi-transparent parts.
A properly created PNG transparency will allow you to see through items on your screen without them looking like they are floating over your background. There are some things to consider before using a transparent PNG for any project though, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of using these files.
The Pro’s of a Transparent PNG file
- Resizing Transparent GIF files
One of the biggest benefits to transparent PNG files is that they are still considered a PNG files. This means that you can get transparent results without having to convert anything; simply save your transparent GIF file as a PNG instead and you’ll get transparency with no additional work needed on your end. If you want to design something like an avatar or cartoon, then using a transparent PNG allows more flexibility in getting the size you need for any project.
- File Size of A Transparent PNG
Transparency doesn’t increase the size of your image all that much, so this makes it easier to keep smaller sizes without sacrificing quality too greatly. You might need different formats of images depending on what the final usage will be, but you’ll find that transparent PNG files are usually around the same size as GIF versions of your images. This means less time spent on finding new image sizes and smaller overall file sizes if you need to keep the quality the same.
- Desktop Transparency
If you work with transparent PNG files, then you can take advantage of a certain level of transparency right from your desktop. The background will usually be visible in any application or window that supports PNG transparency, which allows for larger portions of an image to blend in without filling every pixel by hand. This is easier than trying to make a semi-transparent animation using only GIFs because those formats don’t allow for partial transparency in current versions, but it’s still something worth considering when creating your project.
The Con’s of a Transparent PNG file
- Animation Transparency Issues
If you’re working with transparent animation, then it might be worth sticking to GIF as the format because those files don’t really allow for partial transparency. While it is possible to use transparency in animation though, you’ll most likely run into problems trying to move multiple images around on top of each other without them getting mixed up or cutting off parts of things that should still show through. This can create weird effects when your animation isn’t playing properly, so watch out for this during testing and make sure everything looks right before you upload anything to the site.
- Multiple Transparency Files Can Be Confusing
Having multiple versions of every image can mean more to manage, especially if you need to make major changes after publishing your website or avatar. You might be surprised at how much work it can take just to change one image on a site without breaking other things in the process, so unless you’re positive that your images won’t need any changes for quite some time then expect to have lots of updated copies lying around before everything is ready to go live.
- Extra File Sizes
Saving files as transparent PNGs instead of GIFs will increase the overall file size slightly because there are basically two different formats at play depending on what part of the image needs transparency and what does not. If you’ve ever wondered why every piece of artwork seems too good as a GIF but terrible as a PNG, then this is the reason why.
Transparency is a huge part of the design; there’s more to consider than just whether or not you want your images to be transparent. A PNG file will work better for some types of graphics while JPG files are best for others. We can help you find what transparency solution works best for your project without breaking the bank with high-quality free transparent images.