PNG stands for portable network graphics. It is a web file type and is sometimes referred to as a “ping.” Like a JPEG, it is a common file type. Anything on the web that needs crystal clear texts and transparency options such as logos or icons will be saved as a PNG. The best uses for PNGs are web images that need transparency or fading, images in the editing process, and complex images if the file size isn’t an issue.
PNGs can be saved out of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. However, we use Illustrator more often because you need transparency, and the text necessitates that application.
One thing to note is that if you save your file as a PNG, it is a raster file type, so you will not be able to put it back into Illustrator to do any editing. You will have to do the editing in Photoshop.
Advantages to PNG files, aside from the major benefit supporting multi-level transparency, include the image quality not being affected by the compression ratio meaning it is scalable. Contrary to PNG file formats, JPEG files have issues with lossy images, which look like blurred images due to the pixels colors being mass combined when increasing or decreasing the size of an image.
PNG files carry a wide color depth supporting palettes of 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA colors, grayscale images, and full-color non-palette based RGB/RGBA images. PNG files are great for images with sharp edges and solid colors because they don’t create visual artifacts like a JPEG file does.
The downsides to this file format include having no animation support or storing multiple images in one file. It also doesn’t support non-RGB color spaces like CMYK, causing it to be unideal for printing. It doesn’t permit you to embed file meta-data either.