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Web ready graphic design

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday November 18, 2008 )

If you’re a graphic designer, how web savvy are you?

Quite often I come across eye popping designs, really impressive stuff, but there’s no way known it can be used on the web without unacceptable load times and/or compatibility issues.

Given it’s nearly 2009, I’m really puzzled that there are any graphic designers around that do not take load times into consideration. As for compatibility stuff – interesting design work is a dime a dozen. Good design, that will appear as intended across multiple browsers or email readers, is much harder to come by.

If you’re supplying design work to clients who aren’t particular familiar with image issues and the web, you’re really doing them a disservice by not considering these issues. Even if they are image au fait, they shouldn’t have to jump through the hoops to make your work really web ready.

I was recently given a document template that is used regularly in email communications. It was 400kb due to the graphic component – not particularly email friendly. A 400kb file annoys many broadband users, but it makes most dialup users go ballistic – and yes, there are still plenty of folks using dialup access.

I got the image down to 100kb; still chunky, but a vast improvement. However, that’s not my job in my opinion, it’s the graphic designer’s task.

I think that these days being web-sensitive is not really an option for a graphic designer as so much graphics work revolves around the web.

It’s not that hard – use compression and cut out the clutter. If you have even low end graphic tools, these have image optimization options. If you’re running higher end tools, there’s really no excuse not to make those few extra clicks that will vastly improve load times for your client.

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