PNG 8 Vs. PNG 24: What Is the Difference and Which One to Use

When designing logos, you'll come across PNG files severally. But, what exactly is a PNG file?

What is a PNG File?

A portable network graphic (PNG) file is a type of image format used to store images that need to be transferred across networks. PNG files are mostly used in logo designs since you can easily place the image over a pattern, color block, or picture background.

They are relatively smaller than file formats used in printing and are perfect for electronic view.

PNG 8 vs. PNG 24

Mostly, the numbers attached to the PNG term refer to the bit level supported by computers. Therefore, PNG 8 supports 8-bit colors while PNG 24 supports 24-bit colors. Take note, having a higher bit support doesn't imply that the file format is of higher quality than the lower bit support. Some situations might require you to use lower-bit files.

When it comes to color detail, PNG 8 can support a maximum of 256 colors only. PNG 24, on the other hand, can utilize more than 16 million accessible colors. As a result, PNG 8 is best utilized in small graphics that do not require much color detail, such as computer icons and simple graphic images. PNG 24 works best for web photos and more detailed images.

When to use PNG 8 vs. PNG 24

In case you want to store your image data efficiently, you might consider compressing them. Here, you will have to settle for either PNG 24 or PNG 8, depending on your needs. Due to its broad color accessibility, PNG 24 has a Lossless compression capability. It compresses an image without significantly altering its overall appearance. On the other hand, PNG 8 supports lossy compression, which involves producing some image distortions or artifacts. You can use the former on any natural image, such as typical photos, and the latter is highly technical drawings, comics, and medical imaging, among others.

In terms of PNG 8 vs. PNG 24 transparency, you can use PNG 8 if your goal is to support a single-bit transparency channel. The result will be opaque and transparent area edges that are somewhat rigid and free from translucent effects. PNG 24 supports the transition from opaque to completely transparent; therefore, it is the real deal if you desire an alpha translucent transition effect.

f you aim at converting complex-colored images into a simpler color set, you can use PNG 8. However, there will be a significant loss of the image color. When dealing with fewer bit images - 2 or 4 bits, you can include them in the PNG 8 category. It works best on images with low color differences of up to 256 colors like insignia and icons. If you are working on files with a wide variety of colors and extra details such as picture watermark and logo, use PNG 24. It stores up to 16 million colors.


Due to its network transmission abilities, designers often use PNG 8 or PNG 24 for web designs. It supports lossless compression, alpha channel translucency and perfectly saves logos, charts, and patterns, among others, in small files and with clear effects.

You can open PNG files with several editing software programs. You won't have any compatibility challenges with CorelDRAW when opening and viewing the PNG files.

Ensure you use PNG files if you're a photographer or work with digital graphics for a maintained resolution and quality image.

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