JPG Images with Transparency
You have an image take for instance a logo, and you want to use it EVERYWHERE. However, when it comes to printing it on your team’s t-shirts or uploading it on your website, the colored image background isn’t what you wanted. Sucks, right?
And this is where transparent images (or images with alpha channels) come in to save the day.
Whenever you want your image on a colored background, using a format that supports transparency rids you of worrying that your image background will clash with the surrounding. Transparency is darn valuable when building brand identity and consistency both online and offline.
What is a transparent image?
In simple terms, it’s an image without a background.
If you Google transparent images, you’ll see images with pictures with a checked pattern of white and grey around them. That’s an indication that the background has been stripped. And NO, the checked pattern won’t show when you use the image. Your t-shirts, letterheads, email signatures, videos, etc. won’t have white-and-grey patterns.
The file formats commonly known to support transparency are PNG, GIFs, TIFF, and SVG.
These are the most common transparent image files used. They are relatively small in size and they support many colors. You’ll find transparent PNGs mainly on websites, PowerPoint presentations, and on social media.
They support transparency but they have less image quality. Also, most images don’t come in the GIF format.
This vector file format supports transparency and they are popularly used on logos. However, most online platforms including websites and social media don’t accept SVG files. But designers and printers can use SVG files to create crisp images.
It supports high-quality transparent images. Many publishers use this format. The only drawback is that it occupies a very large space.
With all the drawbacks we’ve listed, the Joint Photographic Experts Group committee saw the need for lower image file size with top-notch image quality and high compression rate. They already had such an image, JPG, only that it didn’t support transparency.
Transparent JPG Files
JPG images are the most popular images online today. They are supported by all browsers, image editors, photo manipulation app, and image viewers. Also, almost all DSLR and digital cameras save their images in the JPG format. And it supports millions of colors.
As a result, JPG provides a good foundation for creating a transparent image.
So in walks the new and improved JPG 2000. It uses the .jp2 file extension. Well, it didn’t become as popular as the original JPG but now that people know it supports transparency, it’s increasingly been used. Also, you’ll now find some .jpg files support transparency too.
So if you’re a designer, the .jp2 format is the way to go.