Everything to know about image formats and resolution

closeup of Chilean sparkling petnat white wine
DTC E-commerce image mastery
Optimizing photos for brand impact
10 min read

Optimizing photos for brand impact

In today's digital age, images are the most potent form of communication. They're faster to process, more engaging, and often more persuasive than words alone. This is especially true in the beverage industry, where the appeal of a product can be significantly enhanced by high-quality, properly sized images.

Whether you're a winery, a brewery, or a distillery, image resolution, resizing and file types are an aspect of digital marketing that you cannot afford to overlook.

[fs-toc-h3]Image resolution

Image resolution is measured in DPI (dots per inch). The higher the DPI, the more detail an image has. Here's a breakdown:

[fs-toc-omit]72 DPI images

This is the standard resolution for web images. It provides a balance between image quality and file size, ensuring your website loads quickly without sacrificing too much detail. With 72 DPI, your images will appear clear and sharp on various devices, from smartphones to desktop computers.

lifestyle image by Outshinery featuring an Australian white wine and a food platter
Standard web example at 72 DPI (on high-density screens the photo looks slightly pixelated)

[fs-toc-omit]HiDPI images

Also referred to as 'Retina' resolution, HiDPI is tailored for high-definition screens. By doubling the size of your image files (usually indicated in the filename by "@2x"), you ensure that your images exhibit an elevated level of detail and clarity. This enhancement offers users with modern devices, including smartphones, tablets, and high-resolution monitors, a visually captivating experience.

lifestyle image by Outshinery featuring an Australian white wine and a food platter
HiDPI example (on a high-density screen this photo looks sharp)

[fs-toc-omit]300 DPI images

Considered the gold standard for print images, 300 DPI ensures that your labels, posters, and other printed materials look professional and high quality. With this resolution, every intricate detail of your design will be accurately reproduced, resulting in sharp and crisp prints that leave a lasting impression on your audience. Whether it's for marketing materials or artistic creations, 300 DPI guarantees exceptional print output that meets professional standards.

poster with food and a wine bottle in a minimalistic background
Photos for posters, booklets, tasting notes, and printed sales materials should be set at 300 DPI

[fs-toc-omit]240 DPI images

When it comes to billboards, 240 DPI is often the preferred resolution. The viewing distance is greater, so the human eye can't see as much detail as on smaller print materials. A 240 DPI resolution delivers high-quality images without large file sizes, keeping billboard advertisements visually appealing and effective.

bus stop featuring a poster with wine and food
Photos for large posters, billboards, truck wraps, and similar are typically set at 240 DPI

[fs-toc-h3]Colors in images

Color mode (RGB and CMYK) and color profile are two fundamental concepts in the world of digital design and printing. While they both relate to color, they serve different purposes and play distinct roles.

comparing RGB vs. CMYK color profiles
Left inside: photo set in CMYK. Right: photo set in RGB

[fs-toc-omit]RGB color mode

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the color mode used for digital displays, such as computer screens and mobile devices. It combines these three primary colors to create a wide range of colors. RGB is suitable for online content, such as websites and social media graphics.

[fs-toc-omit]CMYK color mode

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) is the color mode used for printed materials. It uses a combination of these four ink colors to produce a wide gamut of colors for printing purposes. CMYK is ideal for designs that will be physically printed, such as brochures, flyers, and business cards.

[fs-toc-omit]Color profiles

A color profile defines the specific characteristics and behavior of a device or medium in terms of color reproduction. It ensures accurate color representation across different devices and platforms. Color profiles, such as sRGB or Adobe RGB, provide a standardized framework for consistent color rendering.

[fs-toc-omit]Color mode vs. color profile

While color mode determines how colors are represented in an image or design file, color profile ensures consistent color reproduction across different devices and platforms. Both aspects are essential for achieving optimal color accuracy in various digital design and printing workflows.

[fs-toc-h3]Image formats for the web

Different image formats serve different purposes. Let's take a look at the most commonly used formats for the web:

bottle shots by Outshinery, comparing PNG format with JPG format
Left: PNG with transparency. Right: JPG with opaque background


This is the most widely used image format due to its compatibility and versatility. It is suitable for detailed and colorful images like photographs. However, it does not support transparency, making it unsuitable for images with transparent backgrounds or overlays.

JPG images have long been the standard compressed format in digital photography. They are commonly used for online image sharing due to their balanced file size and image quality.

JPG images rely on discrete cosine transform (DCT), an algorithm that merges similar pixels together. However, each copy results in further merging, making it unsuitable for images with sharp lines or text.

  • They result in small file sizes, helping you save valuable storage space.

  • JPG files are widely supported by nearly every program, minimizing compatibility issues.

  • Compression results in irreversible pixel loss.

  • This image option lacks transparency support.


PNG format supports transparency, making it ideal for logos and images with clear backgrounds. While PNG files preserve more detail than JPG, they tend to have larger file sizes. It's a popular choice for high-quality, lossless compressed graphics.

PNG images are detailed and retain original image quality, making them a great option for high-contrast images and screenshots. PNG uses LZW compression process, similar to TIFF and GIF, ensuring quality preservation without data loss.

  • They employ a lossless compression process, ensuring that no significant data loss occurs during compression.

  • This format is particularly suitable for images with text and screenshots captured on mobile devices.

  • Transparency support is available, allowing for the preservation of image details throughout the process.

  • The file size of this image type is considerably larger compared to other image formats.

  • It is not suitable for CMYK printing.


Developed by Google, WebP is a modern image format that offers superior compression capabilities in both lossless and lossy modes. By utilizing advanced compression algorithms, WebP significantly reduces file sizes compared to traditional formats like JPEG and PNG, without sacrificing image quality. This makes it an excellent choice for web-based applications and websites, as it helps improve page load speed and overall user experience.

One of the main benefits of WebP is its ability to create smaller file sizes, which leads to faster loading times and reduced bandwidth usage. This is particularly advantageous for mobile users or those with slower internet connections. Additionally, WebP supports transparency and animation, making it a versatile format for various types of content.

  • They deliver solid compression performance, often resulting in smaller file sizes compared to other image types.

  • They support both lossless and lossy compression modes, providing flexibility in managing image quality and file size.

  • They offer transparency and animation support, which is ideal for complex images and dynamic content.

  • This format is specifically designed for the web, contributing to faster page load times and a better user experience.

  • Some older web browsers lack support for WebP format, which can pose compatibility issues.

  • In some cases, the quality of WebP images may be lower than that of other formats, especially when using aggressive compression settings.

  • Compression results in irreversible pixel loss.


The Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, is a bitmap image format that's been in use since the late 1980s. Widely used for creating short, looping animations like memes and simple graphics, GIFs have a limited color palette that results in smaller file sizes. However, due to their limitations, they are not suitable for high-resolution or complex images.

  • GIFs support animation, making them a popular choice for simple, looping animations on the web.

  • They have a relatively small file size due to their limited color palette, which makes them suitable for use on websites.

  • GIFs are supported by virtually all web browsers, ensuring wide compatibility.

  • They are limited to a 256-color palette, which makes them unsuitable for complex, high-resolution images.

  • While the small file size can be a benefit, it also means that GIFs often lack the quality necessary for detailed static images.

  • The format does not support partial (alpha) transparency, meaning pixel transparency levels are either "on" or "off", resulting in rough edges on images.

spinning Gin bottle
GIF of a spinning bottle composed of 10 frames per second

[fs-toc-omit]HiDPI retina images (@2x)

HiDPI, or High Dots Per Inch, refers to displays with a high pixel density, commonly found in devices like Retina displays. "Retina ready" images are designed to display clearly on such high-resolution screens without appearing pixelated or blurry. These images have higher pixel densities compared to standard images, ensuring they maintain sharpness and clarity when viewed on HiDPI displays.

Usually, HiDPI images adhere to the convention of having "@2x" appended to the filename, denoting the format and resolution designed for high-density displays.

cognac bottles saved at different resolutions
Left: Standard web 72 DPI (pixelated); Right: HiDPI (crisp). Keep in mind that difference is only visible when using a retina HD display.
  • Size: A standard web image of 1000 x 1000 pixels should be 2000 x 2000 pixels for Retina displays. This is what the '@2x' signifies. It doesn't make the image appear larger on the screen; instead, it packs more pixels into the same space, resulting in a sharper, clearer image.

  • File type: Any image file type (JPG, PNG, WebP, etc.) can be used for @2x images. The key is to ensure the image's resolution is high enough.

  • File size: Keep in mind, @2x images are larger in file size than standard web images. It's crucial to strike a balance between image quality and website performance. Use compression tools to reduce the file size without losing too much quality.

  • Usage: While @2x images can improve the appearance of your site on Retina display devices, they may not be necessary for every image on your website. Use them for key visuals and where fine details matter, such as product photos.

cognac bottles saved at different resolutions (regular and @2x)
Comparison: image @2x vs. standard (Note the larger file size)

[fs-toc-h3]Image formats for print

When it comes to print, different formats are used:


details are preserved, which is crucial for maintaining high-quality prints. However, one downside of TIFF files is that they tend to have large file sizes, which can be a challenge when it comes to storage and sharing.

Despite this, the benefits of using TIFF for print, such as its lossless compression and support for layers and transparency, make it a popular choice among professionals in the printing industry.


While JPG is primarily used for web applications due to its smaller file size, it can also be utilized for print purposes. However, it is important to note that JPG may not preserve as much fine detail as the TIFF format, which is often preferred for high-quality printing due to its lossless compression.

[fs-toc-h3]The importance of image optimization

Image resizing plays a crucial role in digital content creation. It serves as the final puzzle piece, guaranteeing proper display of your images across different platforms and devices. However, many brand marketers tend to overlook the significance of image resizing in their digital content strategy. Don't make the same mistake!

[fs-toc-omit]Resize and compress your images to enhance user experience

The size of your images affects how quickly your website loads. Large, high-resolution images can slow down your site, leading to a poor user experience. On the other hand, small, low-resolution images might load quickly but can look blurry or pixelated, which can harm the perception of your brand.

Excessive image sizes can significantly hamper website performance and diminish conversion rates, particularly on ecommerce platforms. Research* reveals compelling statistics: Walmart observed a 2% increase in conversions for every 1-second enhancement in page load time.

Furthermore, a staggering 47% of customers anticipate webpage loading within 2 seconds, and a reported 40% are inclined to abandon sites that exceed the 3-second threshold, as highlighted by Essential.

Resizing your images ensures that they are not too large to slow down your site and not too small to compromise quality.

lifestyle image by Outshinery featuring an Australian white wine and a food platter
Left: highly compressed image with artifacts. Right: medium-low compressed image that maintains sharpness

[fs-toc-omit]Resize and compress your images to boost SEO rankings

Search engines like Google prioritize websites that provide a good user experience. One of the factors they consider is page load speed, which, as mentioned earlier, can be affected by image size.

By optimizing your images through resizing, you increase your chances of ranking higher in search results, leading to increased visibility and potentially more traffic to your site.

[fs-toc-omit]Resize and compress your images to facilitate social media sharing

Different social media platforms have different image size requirements. An image that looks great on your website might not look as good when shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Mintel reports that almost half (47%) of US consumers have completed purchases via social media, with a significant majority (58%) expressing interest in doing the same.

Resizing your images to fit these different platforms can ensure your products look their best wherever they are viewed. (You can read more on this in our upcoming guide: Pixel perfect: a guide to using correct visual specs for DTC ecommerce and social platforms.)

[fs-toc-omit]Resize and compress your images to reflect brand quality

The quality of your images reflects the quality of your brand. If your images are blurry, pixelated, or take too long to load, it can give the impression that your products are of similar quality.

By resizing your images, you ensure they are crisp, clear, and load quickly, which can enhance the perception of your brand.

[fs-toc-h3]Visual formatting, in summary

In conclusion, understanding image intricacies, resizing, compressing, and ensuring retina readiness are crucial. Whether for wineries, breweries, or distilleries, visuals shape consumer perception and brand prestige. By choosing formats carefully, optimizing for various displays, and maintaining high-definition standards, your product imagery reflects the excellence of your beverages.

This journey combines art and technical skill, enhancing your brand's essence and appealing to both connoisseurs and casual consumers. Every pixel tells the story of your craft and commitment to quality.

Coming soon: Outshinery's guide to: Mastering image sizes for DTC ecommerce and social platforms.This comprehensive handbook will be your ultimate resource for understanding image sizes and requirements across platforms like Commerce7, WineDirect, Corsky, as well as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and beyond.

Subscribe for updates on this essential resource.

angled closeup of a craft whiskey bottle created by Outshinery
Laurie MillotteYana

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