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Introduction1.1 Graphics for use on web sites

 

Imagine a website that had no pictures and was simply a page of plain text. It would look pretty dull and uninteresting wouldn't it? Well, that is what early web pages were like - just text with maybe the an image or two.

In fact, you can still see a copy of the very first webpage ever. Created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1991 for CERN, it is held in the archive at the World Wide Web Project site here.

first website

Early internet connections were very slow and so webpages had to minimise the number of images used to speed up the time it took to download each page. Nowadays, with broadband becoming commonplace, speed is not such an issue and the average webpage will contain many graphical components. But it is still important to optimise your images to make the browsing experience as fast as possible, especially since many people now use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to access the internet on the move.

Images help to give a webpage impact and can greatly enhance the look and feel of the site as a whole.They also contribute to a ‘brand identity’ for the site as a major feature of the webite’s ‘house style’.

Sometimes what looks like text is actually a graphic that uses text within it. This gives the designer greater control over the text style and means that visitors do not need to have a particular font installed on their computer in order to see it.

Commercial webpages will include most of the following graphical elements:

Take a look at a website for a newspaper or magazine such as New Scientist where many different graphics are used: www.newscientist.co.uk

New Scientist

Commercial sites often contain advertising in the form of banner adverts, which can be static or animated.

For more information on using graphics on the internet, see the unit on Creating Multimedia Web Pages.

The helpsheet Investigating graphics shows how images are used on a typical web page.

pushpin Investigating Graphics

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