PNG8 and PNG24: What’s the difference?

For a web or graphics designer, the time comes when giving your work the very best becomes a need. At this point, it becomes essential to know the kind of graphics format to use. Is it PNG 8 or PNG 24? let’s find out by reviewing their differences.

PNG 8 and PNG 24 are two kinds of portable network graphics (PNG)formats. PNG is a raster graphics format with lossless compression that helps a lot in achieving either extremely transparent or less transparent graphics. Despite the compression, the number of pixels is usually maintained in each type.

Although PNG 8 and PNG 24 give desirable output, there exist few differences between them. These differences enable you to know which to use as at when due.

Meanwhile, PNG files are built specifically for online use and not suitable for print purposes as the file size in hard copy doesn’t align properly.


PNG 8 could be the short form of writing ” 8 bits portable network graphics”. It builds and enhances both images and other graphics.

This PNG type can only support texts and not animations. In situations where animations are needed, GIFs are preferable (though outdated). This format makes use of binary transparency. But its transparency is of low quality as compared to the PNG 24.

Besides this, the PNG 8 graphics format is:

  • Smaller in file size.
  • Mostly used when dealing with less complicated graphics such as icons, buttons, and logos. The reason is that PNG 8 has just 256 colors in stock.
  • Made up of raster images and can be compressed.

PNG 24

Just like PNG 8, PNG 24 consists of 24 bits in each pixel. Most of its features include:

  • Highly transparent and high-quality graphics. PNG 24 images lap totally in the desktop background, but png 8 images may still have a little white bits underneath the image. PNG 24 is devoid of it.
  • Mostly used when handling complex graphics like pictures. Its color bank houses over a million colors.
  • It supports graphics, images, and texts.
  • Makes the web work more interesting.

PNG 8 vs PNG 24: Which should I use?

The need determines which will do the work better. For a logo, button, or icon, PNG 8 will do. For pictures, PNG 24 will be perfect.

Checking out the differences above will help guide on which one to use at a time.

Bottom line

Today, just GIFs do not satisfy the quest of an online designer. As such, rightly using the PNG can bring the most splendid outcome.

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