The Internet is a powerful tool that millions of people employ every day. As a result, high quality, fast loading graphics are in high demand, especially for businesses trying to build an online presence. Your website or logo is often the first thing someone sees when they encounter you online. Like wearing a suit to a job interview, your website design should stand for quality and professionalism.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a website design technique that has made loading high quality graphics very fast. This is extremely important for responsive based designs that adjust based upon the screen size, which means images can scale very large or very small. SVG is an XML-based vector image format for 2D graphics. Vector graphics have been used for years for print designers, because of how vectors behave don't loose clarity when the size is changed. Raster images (Pixel or bitmap) like png, jpg, & gif files get distorted or pixelated when resized. SVG retains its quality where other pixel based images will not, making it ideal for company logos, 2D animation and more.
Vector graphics can be complicated to create and edit without the right tools. Programs like Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Corel Draw, Inkscape, OpenOffice, LibreOffice Draw and svg-edit (an online tool) are all user-friendly options for anyone looking to make their own vector art. These programs are used by amateurs and professionals alike. It is also possible to take pixel based images and convert them into a vector. The results might not be perfect but you can usually get them to the point that it isn't noticeable. One tool I use is vector magic and I think it is an awesome tool.
Other advantages of using SVG include smaller file sizes, better detailing and DOM accessibility. Smaller files ensure faster upload and transfer across the web. A well-rendered SVG is almost always less memory-consuming than a raster image. Additionally, SVG allows for a lot of detail work without bloating the file. That's why SVG is so great - they're simple to create, can handle a lot of detailing and can be high-resolution without a gigantic file.
There are a few downsides to SVG. SVG's coding is done through XML. XML can sometimes be very tedious to troubleshoot, thanks to its big and complicated structure. Additionally, SVG isn't fully supported by older browsers and can run slowly when paired with complex animations. Fortunately, there are ways around some of these problems, but it is a little outside the scope of this article. .
SVG's aesthetic charm has a lot of practical uses.
- Graphs - A good presentation or school project could be made even better with a well-designed visual aide.
- Maps - Road maps require precise lines and hard shapes as landmarks, which SVG does best.
- Ads - SVG allows for complex ads that only require a single file. Additionally, SVG can enhance the ad with simple animations.
- Logos - Vector graphics make the best logos, since they are simple and can be resized to fit any product.
- Games - Though inferior to CANVAS in rendering, SVG is good for basic games like Sudoku.P