Beautiful, efficient and quick-loading website graphics don’t come about by accident. Successful Internet imagery is the product of a craft that combines natural visual talents with graphic styling and a knowledge of website design functionality. Effective web design binds know-how to show-how.
In the 2012 Occupational Outlook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the median pay for graphic designers is listed at $21.22 per hour (1). A Bachelor’s degree defines the entry-level education range. In 2012, total available jobs in graphic design topped 259,000. Most graphic design employees work in specialized design agencies, including:
- Public relations
- AND Website graphic design.
Website Graphics Optimized For Superior Web Performance
When crafted perfectly, graphics website designs present such a beautiful and interactive display of color and imagery that the skill of the artist conceals the underlying education and SEO training that makes it all work as a single unit. But successful web imagery merely begins with vision and color blending. It always ends with optimized web graphics crafted to maximize the loading speed of your website.
Optimized graphics take up less space on the server. They load quicker than standard images. They stir the imagination of the viewer. And in the end they move the visitor toward you business goals. The process is neither easy nor simple. It takes an expert in graphics website development.
Graphic optimization incorporates three primary processes:
- Reduction in physical size
- Reduction in the number of displayed colors
- Reduction in the dots per inch that define the image resolution.
Trained website graphics designers understand and apply the principles and methodology of each process. Whether editing existing images or designing custom graphics, expert graphic designers know how to bring your website to life while retaining the expected and desirable loading speeds.
The Information Technology Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory defines the maximum desirable web image size as 150KB (2). They also counsel website graphics designers to limit images to gray-scale when possible. However, due to the speed of modern Internet connections, most sites now opt for extended use of color graphics.
Other tips that help designers reduce image load times include:
- Thumbnail Links – Using gray-scale thumbnails as links to full-size full color images saves your visitor the download cost of images that do not peak their interest
- Main Image Size – Limiting large images to 400-500 pixies helps increase loading speed while also reducing the need for screen scrolling
- Thumbnail Descriptions – Including the main image’s file size in thumbnail captions gives the visitor an idea of loading time
- Captions – Use captions to define what the viewer is seeing, what the image means to the site and to the viewer, and what the viewer should be looking to see in the image.
How to Find Great Website Graphics
Graphics website design can be crafted in several methods. Some designers locate and modify free images. Other web graphics designers custom-craft each and every image. The most efficient web design team takes advantage of both methods.
Warning: Not all “free” web images are actually free. Be careful in your search. Many artists and photographers willingly share their images with the public. Some provide free usage and demand nothing from you. Others merely request a link to the original share site. Make certain that you fully understand the copyright notice of shared “so-called” website graphics. Respect the rights of the artists.
Custom Website Images
Although many web designers are capable of reworking existing images, custom graphics work best when designed by skilled Internet artists. Very few people have the natural talent that is necessary in the creation of beautiful, efficient and effect website graphics. Your website needs:
- Custom buttons
- Your own logo
- Unique icons
- Precise and powerful sales graphics
- Strong thought-provoking headers and sidebars
- And absolute certainty of ownership and non-copyright infringement.
Great Web pages are attractive to the eye, easy to read and active in the sense of moving your visitor to respond to your business goals. Designed placement of bars, buttons and other images defines the direction of your reader’s eye. And don’t forget hardware limitation. According to Mobile Gov Blog, by 2016 Smartphones will include:
- Ocular Scanning technology for eye and voice security authentication
- Indoor Positioning (IPS) location technology
- AND Touch-free input for control via user gestures and eye movements (3).
Today’s graphics website designers must plan for tomorrow’s technology. Images must be plotted and configured for a variety of computers, monitors and mobile devices.
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