The Difference Between PNG and JPG

A person editing artwork on their computer at their desk.

The Difference Between PNG and JPG

The question of what file format is best for printing is the subject of hot debate in the world of fine art prints. Several file formats, including JPG, PNG, TIFF, and PDF, can work for printing. Each file type has its pros and cons depending on the project’s goals.

In this post, we’ll try to break down the difference between PNG versus JPG as print formats.


Both JPG and PNG are raster file formats, which means that they create an image made of pixels. A pixelated image is resolution-dependent—improper file editing may stretch the pixels, creating a blurry, low-quality image.

So, how are JPG and PNG different?


JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format creates a compressed image in a small file size. JPG is the most widely used format on electronic devices like smartphones and digital cameras. It is also the most popular format on web and social media platforms.

Many photographers prefer working with JPG images thanks to their reliability in capturing color and tone. A quality JPEG image doesn’t require a lot of processing before printing.

The main drawback of the JPG format is its lossy compression. When you edit and compress a JPG file, you inevitably lose some data, which leads to poorer resolution and lower image quality. There’s no way of restoring the original file after edits have been made.

JPG image resolution loss is acceptable for small, web-optimized files with a reasonable balance between size and image quality. However, in fine art prints, quality and resolution are far more important. Judicious use of the JPG format can prevent image degradation.

JPG key benefits:

  • Compact files
  • Widely supported format
  • Quick and easy file sharing
  • No need for extensive image editing


The PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format doesn’t lose data with compression. This means that you can compress a PNG image for convenient downloading and sharing, then decompress it later without losing any of the original image’s sharpness or contrast. Lossless data compression is a huge benefit in images that contain a lot of text, sharp lines, or graphics.

Additionally, unlike JPG, the PNG format supports transparent backgrounds. You can combine a PNG imagine with any backdrop, which makes this format especially useful for creating logos and banners. 

PNG images come in bulkier files, occupy more online storage space, and take longer to download. Most importantly, the PNG format has a major disadvantage in art printing: it doesn’t support the CMYK color profile (more on this in a bit).

PNG key benefits:

  • Lossless compression
  • Sharp, crisp images
  • Transparent background and overlay support
An image on a tablet with the print on the table next to it.

The Main Issue with Using PNG Files for Print

While PNG is extremely convenient for creating logos, graphics, and banners with diverse effects and overlays, this format may cause problems when used in printing, especially fine art printing.

PNG is a champion in sharpness and contrast but often performs less well in subtle color gradation and doesn’t stay true to the original image color and tone.

This happens because the PNG format only supports the RGB (red, green, blue) profile. The CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, key/black) color profile usually delivers better color accuracy and superior image results.

Does This Mean You Can’t Use PNG for Art Prints?

You can still use the PNG format in art printing, but you must keep in mind that color tones and transitions may be a little different. Often, it’s hard to predict how a print rendered from PNG will compare with the original image.

The difference may be subtle and hardly noticeable or vivid and impossible to miss. Either way, expect some color variations.

You may decide you still want to use PNG for art prints if you need to create an extra-sharp image. To know for sure that PNG will answer your project’s needs, you might want to order a small print batch and see whether the results meet your expectations.

Using JPG for Artwork Printing

High-resolution, low-compression JPG files can provide excellent results for artwork printing. This flexible, easy-to-edit format results in top-quality art reproductions when used correctly. Predictably, it’s a highly popular image format in fine art and portrait and nature photography.

However, it is important to keep in mind that JPG images lose some of their quality every time you open, edit, and save them. Often, a digital artist will tweak and re-save their image in Photoshop several times without even being aware of quality loss.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid the JPG format. It is simply not the best option for intermediate editing and archiving. You can preserve image quality by saving the file in a non-lossy format like TIFF or PNG, then converting the final version to JPG before printing.

Is JPG a Good Fit for All Print Projects?

Despite the convenience and versatility of JPG, some art projects might not appear to the best advantage when printed in this format.

One example is sharp-edged illustrations or text-heavy images. The JPG format uses anti-aliasing, a subtle blurring and softening of rough image edges. While this is great for an image containing human or natural subjects, some projects require extra-sharp definition for letters, numbers, and lines. In these cases, PNG might be the preferred choice.

An artist viewing a print in his hands while comparing it to the images on the computer in the background.

Bottom Line: PNG vs JPG

Depending on your needs, you may choose JPG, PNG, or another image format for your art prints. Once you discover what format suits your needs best, stick to it. Consistent quality will help you achieve greater customer satisfaction, positive reviews, and repeat orders.

Reed Art & Imaging: Artists Working for Artists

As an artist, you need a company you can trust with producing top-quality art prints. Reed Art & Imaging specializes in fine art printing on paper, canvas, metal, and more. We also provide accurate and vibrant art scans for optimal reproduction quality.

Get your art shipped directly to your door, your gallery, or your client. We accommodate factory-direct and stock orders.

Ready to bring your creative vision to life? Contact us to learn more.

We Ship Anywhere in the United States!

Will You Guarantee Something Your Supplier Won’t?

Will You Guarantee Something Your Supplier Won’t?

Several of our clients have shared with us how they’ve been left hanging when their previous face-mount producers refused to stand behind their product when it failed after the warranty period. These artists were left paying out-of-pocket to re-make, re-crate, and re-ship fine art presentations to their very unhappy buyers. Despite the artist doing the right thing, the experience left their customers lacking the trust they once had to make future purchases. It was an unfortunate situation that both parties should never have experienced.

These stories are never fun to hear, but they are not uncommon. Most face-mount producers won’t guarantee their product beyond a few years — some as short as only 12 months! There is a solid reason for these unfortunate warranty periods — those producers simply cannot trust their own product not to fail! The sad irony is, they expect you to?

Trust is hard-earned. Reed has always stood behind the quality of every single product we’ve ever made. Period. We introduced Diasec face-mount technology to North America because an artist should never have to worry about anything they let out of their studio. They should have faith that their brand and their buyer’s investments are protected. Neither the artist nor the buyer should ever be surprised by an expensive fine art presentation failure.

Our Diasec face-mount simply, Does. Not. Fail. A permanent bond is formed between the print and the acrylic creating a unified piece that will not let go. It is the highest quality face-mount available, yet we price it very competitively. If other companies are pitching you a bargain, trust us, you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.

Whether it’s a Diasec face-mount, pigment print, chromogenic, canvas, or any of our other products, the Reed Team continues to stand behind what we do because we know that the fine-art pieces we produce on your behalf are crafted with the finest materials and finished with the most exacting detail. We’ve never refused to replace a product due to defect. Our in-house artisans are confident enough to stand behind all of our products for years to come.

As a working artist, you should never have to bear the risk of guaranteeing a product that your supplier refuses to guarantee themselves.

Reed Welcomes Haley Knowles to the Sales Team

Many people take comfort in the bathroom towels matching the color of the rugs beneath their feet. It provides a semblance of order in a universe where we have little control. We are but ephemera in the grand scheme of things, yet we often cling to physical comforts and the “matching towels” of society to drown out this reality.

I have always been fascinated by humanity’s relationship with its impermanence. As a developing artist and painter, I love to explore such topics through my work. I strive to create pieces that invite viewers to question, with me, the attitudes, fears, and unwritten rules that inform our behavior towards those around us and the environment itself.

I was born and raised in Colorado, and initially angled towards a career in design. After spending my early adult years studying architecture, I realized that my heart belonged to fine art, and chose to explore that road instead. Although I’m experienced with mediums like ink and watercolor, my first love is acrylic.

Over the past two years my love of painting has gone from hobby to obsession as I seek to develop my craft at every turn. My artwork has been accepted into several galleries around Denver and Boulder, with more soon to come (you can see my work below).

I am thrilled to be a part of the Reed Family where love of the creative process is an overriding passion. Discovering printing and finishing solutions that will best enhance the artist’s work is my goal at Reed. When the artist realizes their vision, that is when I know I have realized mine.

I feel the significance of each artist’s design as they go about creating an imprint that will live on well after we are gone. The longevity of Reed’s work is the antithesis to our impermanence, and I am grateful to play a role in that perpetuation.

Looking Up
Goddess of The Sea
Her Craft
Into Darkness
In Our Hands

Inaugural Landscape Photography Conservation Award

Sharing the world’s beauty is what nature photographers do, but it comes with inherent risks. As images of a beautiful area become popular, the area itself can see an increase in visitors, and not all visitors are respectful. Over-crowding damages flora and habitats in ways that can take decades or even centuries for nature to recover.

Nature Photographer and podcaster Matt Payne, founder of the F-Stop Collaborate and Listen “Landscape Photography Conservation Award” has this to say:

Artists Working For Artists

Say hello to Reed's new Master Printer: Sean P. Tracey

Photo by John Harris
"Waylon" by Sean Tracy
"Harvest" by Sean Tracy
"Willie" by Sean Tracy

Carrying on the tradition of excellence that former Reed print manager, Bob Coller Jewett did for 26 years, Sean Tracey personifies the Reed motto: “Artists Working For Artists” — and he does it with a distinctly local flair.

A fifth generation Coloradoan, Sean has navigated his way through the business of art while almost effortlessly blending three distinct vocations, artist (as seen on the lower left) and photographer, with the highly technical trade of commercial and fine art reproduction.

Entering the art business at that crazy point in time when the Digital Revolution was just starting to shake the Old School to its foundations, Sean immersed himself in traditional color correction, while mastering the technique of dry and wet etching of (real) film. Yet, when Photoshop made its first appearance in the early Nineties, he was not so entrenched in the old ways that he could not readily embrace the possibilities of this revolutionary new medium.

A longtime veteran of some of Denver’s most respected art reproduction storefronts, Sean can now add Reed Art & Imaging to his already impressive list of credentials.

Away from Reed, Sean stays busy in the creation of his own vision and credits Denver’s vibrant local art scene for the opportunity to feature and sell his work.

“I’ve been very blessed to have associated with and collaborated with many talented artists in the Denver Metro area. I have consistently averaged at least one solo and a few group art shows each year for over a decade now.”

Sean has always been excited about the possibilities of high-end inkjet printing  and now even more so, given Reed’s longtime dedication to this state-of-the-art method of color reproduction.

“I take great pride and honor in upholding the reputation of quality and excellence that Bob Reed has established for more than forty years. Each day I look forward to working intimately with many types of amazing artists and photographers throughout the country.”

The Reed Team is also excited about the possibilities that Sean Tracey brings to the company and looks forward to many years of working with this “Artist Working for Artists.”

The Big Picture 2019

Barb Pullin and Thomas Carr "hang paper" at 40 West
Getting permission to paste is HIGHLY recommended.

The Gallery of The Streets

The biennial event, Month of Photography 2019 is in full swing, and a big part of MoP is The Big Picture. As usual, Reed Art & Imaging figures heavily into the mix. To date, we’ve printed over 220 large scale wheatpastes for some 25 artists and photographers. This year’s event marks the first time MoP wheatpaste art has been printed in full color.

For the uninitiated, the most commonly known example of this once ubiquitous advertising medium is French painter and printmaker Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who raised the practice of bill posting to the level of street art in the 1890’s with his elaborate scenes of wild Parisian nightlife.

Though the popularity of the art form has ebbed and flowed, it has never gone away, and, in some respects, has even gained in popularity. Known as “flyposting” in the United Kingdom, street artists like Shepard Fairey leverage this old school marketing tactic to make provocative social and political statements, oftentimes in contradiction to the accepted or conventional wisdom of the day.

The basic wheatpaste equation? Image on paper + paste + wall + guerilla attitude = Street Art.

(Street Fine Art?)

As with all things MoP, The Big Picture has been advancing the cause of photography through the art of wheatpaste for some time now. In addition to Denver, Big Picture 2019 exhibitors can be seen in galleries and streets across France, Italy, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, New York, Jamaica and Mexico.

Closer to home, the father of MoP and The Big Picture, Mark Sink spearheads the wheatpaste cause with activities across the Denver Metro area.

Below, Mark & Friends (including some of the Reed gang) on a recent wheatpasting of the south wall of the 40West headquarters in Lakewood.

For more information on MoP 2019 events around town:

All photos by Gary Reed

Diasec Face-Mounts Have Arrived!

Your Success as a Creative is Important to Us

Reed Art & Imaging has a long-standing commitment to helping you maximize your artistic output by providing the absolute best reproductions and presentations that we can.  

An extension of that commitment is our recent acquisition of North America’s very first Diasec Producer’s License.

If you’ve never heard of Diasec, you are in the majority. Until now, this premier mounting process has never been done in North America.

Some of you might be aware that leading art museums around the globe prefer Diasec over all other acrylic print mounting systems and is the preferred  process of successful fine artists in Europe. You might also know that North American Museums and Galleries who offer authentic Diasec prints have been importing them for years at great expense.

It’s More than a Face-Mount

Diasec Acrylic Face Mounts Denver Colorado USA

Diasec is a presentation AND a preservation process.

A very specific silicon gel, in combination with Diasec’s proprietary catalyst, results in a permanent bond that is superior to the pressure-sensitive adhesive technology that you might be familiar with. This bond is so effective, that it preserves your artwork by sealing out damaging elements — even in extreme environments.

It Has Real History

Face-mounting was patented approximately 50 years ago in Switzerland by Heinz Sovilla-Brulhart, who held the patents on several forms of print-to-acrylic bonding methods. He started out using varnishes and film-based adhesives before improving the system by developing a catalyst-activated silicon gel. When his patents expired, the simpler and less expensive processes that Sovilla-Brulhart had already discarded were adopted by the rest of the industry worldwide, leaving only a few producers of the silicone/catalyst process. To this day, it remains a closely guarded secret available only to licensed companies.

A few copycat processes have come along, but without the special catalyst, they lack the half-century track record of consistency and excellence that define the genuine Diasec product.  While a silicon gel alone will temporarily bond, it will also readily peel away. Only with the catalyst is the bond to acrylic permanent.

Go Deeper for the Difference

On the surface, Diasec is a high-end face-mount. Go deeper and the differences add substantial value:

The Diasec gel provides UV filtering greater than 99%, when used with even the most basic of acrylics. Acrylics suitable for fine art can provide additional protection nearing a total of 99.99%! When cured, the resulting permanent bond will not de-laminate, bubble, peel, or otherwise separate — even at temperatures high enough to damage the acrylic.

A typical shipping container or truck can reach summertime temperatures in excess of 130°f.  At those temps, pressure sensitive optical adhesives (PSAs) begin to soften, and when combined with shaking and vibrations during transportation, can fail. The last thing you want is for your buyer to excitedly open their expensive print only to find that the adhesive has separated.

As the first Diasec producer in North America, Reed is committed to ending this problem.

The Diasec process protects you and your art and, in turn, protects your reputation with collectors and galleries.

Pigment Papers You Ask?

Pigment papers, with the occasional exception, are quite compatible with the Diasec process and look amazing!

The wider gamut and significantly longer expected display lifespans of a proper Pigment Giclée print are a huge selling point for your collectors. Chromogenic papers often advertise a moderately good rating of around 70 years (estimated) under proper conditions. With the right combination of inks and papers, a pigment print may reach over 200 years (estimated) under proper conditions.  We think it’s pretty clear which option your buyer will prefer.

And the textures!

We were stunned by the beauty of fine art-textured papers within a Diasec mount. This dimension can be the visual turning point when it comes to convincing your clients to make the jump to this process. The print actually looks as if it’s “floating in acrylic” — an effect that must be seen to believe!

A Lifetime of Protection

Your image and the acrylic effectively become “one”.

Your work is sealed from 99%+ of harmful UV light and the humidity that can accelerate aging. Air borne pollutants that yellow and stain, and cleaning vapors that can prematurely fade the print are a thing of the past. The sealed print is also protected from the threat of mold, mildew, bugs, and other nasties that never rest.

And finally, a proper backer behind the print protects it from careless impacts to the verso once it’s in the hands of your collector or gallery.

  • The preferred face-mount system of major art museums.
  • Protection from over 99% of harmful UV.
  • Sealed from humidity, pollution and other contaminants.
  • Texture pigment papers are now possible for longevity and a unique look.
  • Not prone to the typical failures of pressure sensitive optical films.
  • Looks amazing, lasts a lifetime, and keeps your collectors happy.

High end galleries and world class museums demand the very best in facemount-to-acrylic protection and presentation. Reed is proud to be the first licensed dealer in North America to offer Diasec’s state of the art technology in this very specialized field.

Giclee Pigment Fine Art Printing – Getting a Great Print Part 2 – Photography of Artwork

copyroom lighting

Traditional 4-light copy setup

In this series we are covering the steps to get the optimal reproduction of your artwork, from capturing the digital image to refining, testing and then final printing. In this, Part 2, we will delve into the importance and how-to of proper copy lighting. and exposure.

A Ten Dollar Word

Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) is for our purposes a way to represent how much of each spectrum (color) of visible light is produced by a given light source.  This is critical to fine-art reproduction because a lack of a given wavelength means it is not available to be reflected back towards the camera and thus be captured for printing. Too much of a given wavelength leads to an excess of that color that could lead to falsely over-saturated colors in that zone. A lack or insufficiency could result in the color appearing closer to grey, or even black in severe cases.

Spectral Power Distributions of two man-made light sources

In the examples above we see SPD histograms of a common household incandescent lamp and an industry standard 5000k (50D) fluorescent lamp. The former being extremely weighted to the warmer colors and quite deficient in the cooler colors could lead to a reproduction where your cooler hues present nearly grey and your warmer hues present quite saturated when compared to your mid-range colors.

The 5000K fluorescent, while spikey in areas is significantly more balanced, but by no means linear (meaning all spectra would be equal).  In this scenario, your blueish and redish values would appear somewhat less saturated when compared to to the mid-ranges.

Another way to look at this is through Color Rendering Index (CRI). This is a 1 to 100 scale that represents how accurately a light source will present colors when compared to a standard. The higher the CRI, the better suited the light source is for both photography of your art and for color corrected viewing of your art. Most household and office lamps such as cool white and incandescents have a low CRI of around 62.  The fluorescent bulbs we use to view art and color correct reproductions has a CRI of 92 or higher.  Some high end tungsten halogen bulbs can reach into the high 80s.




Fine Print Imaging Closed their Doors November 01, 2017

On November 01, 2107 Reed Art & Imaging was officially activated as the preferred print partner for the Fort Collins, Colorado based Fine Print Imaging. Mark Lukes, owner of Fine Print Imaging closed their doors and retired after many decades serving that area’s art community.  “I can think of no better print-maker to continue supporting the Fine Print customers than Reed” Mark offered.

Notifications to Fine Print’s clients went out several weeks in advance of the closing, with information on the options available to collect their files prior to the closing date. Files that were not collected but were stored on CDr were mostly corrupted due to age and destroyed by Mark and his team.  All remaining image files  on hard-drive and all uncollected camera films were transferred to Reed Art & Imaging in Lakewood Colorado for the convenience of Fine Print’s customers.  

Reed’s prices are highly competitive and often lower than Fine Print, while offering a boutique printing experience that artists around the world have come to enjoy.  All of Reed’s products are produced in-house; ensuring complete customer satisfaction for their clients.  Nothing in their catalog of services is outsourced and it’s all under one roof.   Reed Art & Imaging’s primary clientele are seasoned professional creatives who have grown to understand that high-volume print-houses do not offer the same level of fine art print that one can get with a finely honed team such as Reed’s

Fine Print clients were offered a copy of their files free of charge until January 30, 2018.  After that date, a nominal fee is charged to cover the costs of locating the files and transferring them to disk, plus shipping charges where applicable.



James Milmoe Doesn’t Miss a Beat

Jamming at the Cactus Club/Photo by Bob Reed

Reed Art & Imaging would like to extend belated happy birthday wishes to Denver photographer, teacher and lecturer, James O. Milmoe, who celebrated his 90th birthday at the Cactus Club in LoDo on April 21st.

“Jim was playing the drums when we walked in — I had no idea that he was a drummer!” said longtime friend, Barb Pullin “…and he was pretty good!”

Although the party wasn’t a surprise, the drum kit that Milmoe’s daughter, Robin, had waiting for him, was. It didn’t take any coaxing on her part for James to sit down and start jamming with the piano player. “I haven’t played in years!”, he told Betty Reed “It’s just like riding a bike!”

James Milmoe is good at a lot of things. Known for his trademark bolo ties (handmade by the man himself!) the photographer is equally well known for his outgoing personality and easy sense of humor and, of course, his many roles in the Denver creative community. His body of work is well-represented in practically every facet of modern media, including books, catalogs, magazines, newspapers, calendars, note cards, postcards, motion pictures and television.

In addition to being recently named as one of Westword’s 100 Colorado Creatives in Denver, Milmoe is a Fellow of the Photographic Society

At the Hal Gould Vision in Photography Awards/Photo by Sara Milmoe

of America, a recipient of the Colorado Governor’s Award, and a member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers. He also helped found the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC), so it should come as no surprise to anyone that he was honored this year with the 5th Annual Hal Gould Vision in Photography Award.

James is still working and exhibiting, with two recent shows, Up Close and Far Away: The Photographic Art of Jim Milmoe at The Pattern Shop Studio on Blake Street, Denver, and Stop/Look/See Photography by James Milmoe, at The Arvada Center.

Don’t forget to catch Jame’s appearance on the Arts District show on RMPBS, where he talks about what ‘Stop, Look and See’ can mean to the experience of looking at, not just the art of photography, but art and life in general.

Congratulations all around, James!