Scratching the Surface: Scaling Images

As a web designer, it’s critical to know how to properly scale images for your site. Many times, designers will simply grab an image from a stock site or elsewhere on the web and use it without thinking about the consequences. This can lead to several problems, including slow page loading times, distorted images, and poor image quality.

When scaling an image, it’s important to keep the file size as small as possible while still maintaining the original aspect ratio. For example, if you have an image that’s 1000px by 1000px, and you want to scale it down to 500px by 500px, you can simply open the image in an image editor and resize it. However, this will result in a file size of 500kb, which is much too large for use on a web page.

Instead, you should export the image as a JPEG with a quality setting of around 70-80%. This will result in a file size of around 100kb, which is a much more reasonable size for use on a web page. The tradeoff is that the image will be slightly less sharp, but this is usually acceptable for most purposes.

If you need to further reduce the file size, you can try using a lossless compression tool like PNGGauntlet. This will allow you to reduce the file size without any loss in quality, but it’s important to remember that even a small image can easily become a large file when using lossless compression.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid having to scale images is to simply use the correct size image in the first place. However, there are times when you simply can’t avoid having to resize an image. In those cases, following the tips above will help you to ensure that your images are properly scaled for the web.