Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) are an increasingly popular web design element, and with good reason. They’re extremely flexible, easy to update, and don’t lose quality when resized. On the other hand, many people don’t know what SVGs are or how to use them, making it difficult to work with designers in their projects. This article outlines the pros and cons of using SVG graphics on your website so you can decide whether they’re right for you.
What are SVG Files?
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files are vector images, meaning they can be infinitely scaled without losing quality. This makes them especially useful for web designers who need to resize without losing sharpness or clarity. While designers can always use raster graphics like JPEGs, these types of images lose quality if scaled up. SVG files aren’t limited to working online either; you can also import them into any program that works with vector graphics, including Photoshop.
Advantages of Using SVG Images
A scalable vector graphics (SVG) image is a scalable image format. It maintains the same crisp quality no matter the size of the display. This makes images look sharp and clean on any screen, regardless of pixel density.
The implementation of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in web design is fast. Raster images like JPEGs and PNGs typically have very large file sizes, slowing down websites as a visitor’s browser tries to download all that information. SVGs, on the other hand, have much smaller file sizes and load much quicker.
The browser compatibility of Scalable Vector Graphics is extremely good. With support for all modern browsers, it means your website can display clean scalable graphics to the vast majority of your potential audience, regardless of the device they’re using. SVGs also make it easy to add animation effects to websites without needing to use third-party plugins, as they’re able to be selected and manipulated using simple CSS.
4. Resolution Independence
Resolution independence is the quality of an image that can be scaled and zoomed to any size without losing sharpness or clarity. With their vector-based content, SVG images provide this advantage to businesses, allowing them to scale logos and original graphics to any size without loss of quality. Present your business’ assets as they were meant to be!
5. W3C Standards Support
When you use SVG images, you can ensure that your website complies with the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These standards ensure that a site is compatible across multiple browsers and devices and is accessible to the widest audience possible.
6. DPI Independence
SVG images offer DPI independence. This makes it easy to create crisp graphics that can not only be displayed at any size on a screen, but also printed at any size. From business cards to highway billboards, a single graphic in SVG format can be used for any print implementation.
Disadvantages of Using SVG Images
Because SVG is vector-based, it does not work well for images with lots of fine details and textures like photographs. SVG is best suited for logos, icons, and other “flat” graphics that use simpler colors and shapes. Also, while most modern browsers support SVG, older browsers may not work with them properly. This can cause a website to look broken or unexpected to people who are still using them.
Although SVGs are easier to create than ever before, they can lead to visual complications if you’re not careful. Therefore, when deciding whether or not SVGs are appropriate for your project, it is helpful to compare them with other types of graphics—namely PNGs and JPGs. You can refer to our infographic “Image File Types Decoded” to see how SVGs stack up against other file types and how to decide which one to use for your project.