Getting Graphics

o, you’ve decided to add some graphical pizzazz to your site: A dozen images, an animated GIF or two, a set of graphic dividers and bullets, and a cool background image to visually unify all your site pages. One obvious question looms large:

How do you get hold of the graphics you need to do the job? Remember, you can’t go about adding images into your Web site until you have those images!

Humans tend to be visual creatures?and the Web reflects who we are.

Back when it started, the Internet was a text-only medium. Hard to imagine now, isn’t it? A bit like imaging TV with captions but no pictures or sounds!

Things were simpler back then, bandwidth requirements far less demanding ? by necessity, since bandwidth itself was so severely limited. It was an imageless, text-centric world.

Passionately visual creatures that we are, this situation soon changed … and changed with a vengeance! Along came the Web and and the web browser and suddenly the online world was teeming with graphics.

Uses of Graphics

Graphics are about more than adding a “pretty picture” to a Web page.

You’ll find graphics incorporated in more ways than you might at first realize:

  • Many are right out in the foreground, in the form of splash images, photographs, and logos.
  • Others are part of a navigation system, used as image maps and icons.
  • Others are a bit more difficult to spot and appear as background images, watermarks, graphic bullets and lines, graphic text, and invisible “spacer” graphics that are used to fine-tune page layout spacing.

Graphics Sources

There are many ways to get your graphics. Most people end up using a variety of approaches.

There’s a wide spectrum of options for getting your graphic images?you can make your own, you can hire someone to make them, or you can use pre-existing graphics. (Whatever you do, though, don’t steal someone else’s! That isn’t nice, it isn’t right, and it can land you in a lot of trouble.)

Click on the options below to learn more about each.

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