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Hi folks, quick question from an amateur…

When I create images for marketing emails I’m regularly asked to overlay some heading text - something like SALE NOW ON - or the likes. The problem I’m facing is that the text never seems to be that sharp unless I make the document larger, which means a higher file size and a slower email for their database to open. I like to keep the image size around a max of 200kb, therefore what settings do people recommend and what Adobe program should I use when saving? Many thanks for reading.

Any adobe program. The export algorithms are the same.

Format - jpeg for emails. As so many email clients. For instance, I inserted a PNG into an MS Outlook signature, and it converted to a jpeg on import to other email clients. The conversion was terrible and the picture looked disgraceful on the receiving end.


Test across several email platforms.

There’s a few email previeweres out there - can’t vouch for any.

Our email server strips off images from email. We can manually load them if we like you enough. Not waiting for images makes it faster to delete the spam crap that gets through the filter too. Don’t rely on images to get your message across.

With jpegs in emails (or on websites), there always needs to be a balance between quality and download size. (I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you mention their database opening files.)

In Photoshop, the export function makes it possible to see what any given image will look like with varying degrees of compression, which enables the designer to choose the most appropriate compromise.

There are other ways to deal with the problem, though, like making the photo a background image in a div, then positioning the type over it as a separate PNG file with a transparent background. The trouble with this approach is that not every email client will correctly display it.

There’s also the issue of what email service you might be using and what it might or might not be doing to your images behind the scenes.

With HTML email design the best approach is to recognize that HTML email and the email clients impose very severe limitations on what’s doable, then design the emails to make the best of what works and what won’t work as well. In other words, the best solution just might be to not place type over your images, even if it involves explaining to those who asked you to do it what the results will be.

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