The latest offering by Web graphics guru Lynda Weinman, Preparing Web Graphics, is a more affordable and only slightly less detailed version of Designing Web Graphics 2, her bestselling book about the technical and artistic issues of creating Web graphics. The former includes descriptions of CGI, plug-ins, and scripting, and includes a CD-ROM, but both guides cover essentially the same topics, target Macintosh and Windows users, and are beautifully designed and in full color.
Novices will appreciate the introduction in Preparing Web Graphics, which explains HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and the software, hardware, and cross-platform issues of Web design and Web browsing. Weinman explains the various Web file formats and teaches you how to have good-looking, yet small, Web graphics. Although Weinman nods at the common wisdom--that the .JPG format is better for photographic images and .GIF is better for illustrations--she gets much more specific about what's appropriate. For example, she shows what happens when you save a blurry photo, a crisp photo, and an illustration as compressed .JPG and .GIF images. You can refer to color charts that display browser-safe colors arranged by hue and value, learn about cross-platform color issues, and read about software packages such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator that can help you make good-looking images.