Is a picture worth a 1000 words? Depends on the format.

Posted: February 2, 2011 in software, technology, website design
Tags: , , , , ,

This has to be the coolest collection of sign clip art/symbols i’ve come across in a long time, so much so it inspired me to test the old adage, and I do believe it is true, a picture is worth a thousand words, as long as it is clear that is.

First, check out these symbols.  They are well done, simplistic and FREE.  http://thenounproject.com/

Now let me explain what I am referring to about them being clear.  Clarity in design is one thing that is always very important.  Making sure the message is not distorted or hidden, but also on top of that is the clarity of the image from a visual standpoint.  That is where these images really shine.  The format is “.svg” which stands for Scalable Vector Graphic.  What that means is regardless of the size of the image the edges remain clear and crisp, and all without making the file ridiculously large and this clarity and sharpness can be seen on the screen or when printed.

SVG has been around for a while, late 1990’s actually is when development started, and is an open standard viewable by most web browsers, but really hasn’t seen much use until more recently mostly because of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer’s limitations.  It doesn’t support SVG files without a plug-in, and only depending upon the version of IE you are using.  This is also strange since Microsoft’s own “Visio” has had the ability to “saveas SVG” since 2003.

Now that Google is indexing SVG files and is displaying SVG content in its image search that may be the push needed to make it a more comm0n file format much like the widely used JPG or BMP are currently.

jpg zoomed in.

svg zoomed in

So why use a new file format?  SVG files are smaller and more compressible, scalable and can be printed or viewed with high quality at almost any resolution.  Zooming in on them provides crisp clean lines and edges, unlike the current standard formats JPEG/JPG and GIF.  Also, text inside SVG files is searchable.  Basically all the stuff you can do with Flash but without being proprietary.

When you view the two side by side, it is pretty much a no brainer as to which is better.  Now we just need to wait for M$ to catch up with the rest of the browser world and quit dragging their heels.  Better & smaller is good for everyone when it comes to file sizes nowadays, especially with the way things are going in Canada right now with respect to Usage-Based-Billing, but that is a rant for another day.  Besides, who knows, maybe our government will grow a pair and stand up to Bell and let the CRTC actually do what they were set up to do:  Serve the interests of the people and not the monopoly.

Regardless, smaller file sizes always means they load faster, which is never a bad thing even if you don’t have limitations on your data usage.

tcg

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Comments
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy Duchesne, thatcomputerguy. thatcomputerguy said: New blog post… Is a picture worth a 1000 words? Depends on the format. http://bit.ly/ijxRqg […]

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