SVG and PNG What’s the difference

SVG is an image file format specially created for designing 2D vectors and vector raster graphics for websites. SVG supports animation, transparency and gradients and can be easily extended without compromising quality.

PNG is a raster image format used for high-quality full-colour images (mainly photographs). It has a relatively high compression ratio and supports transparency. It is created to replace GIFs, doesn’t support animations and only has a 5-20% higher compression ratio than primers.

SVG and PNG for Web

Because PNG uses lossless compression, it is often used as an intermediate version format for images and logos with a transparent background. SVG does not store the pixels that make up the image. Stores command to recreate vector images each time requested (for example, in a browser). You can insert bitmap graphics and text as separate layers into your SVG file.

Designers and developers widely use both file formats. Which would you like to choose? It depends on the purpose of the image file.

Consider all the strengths and weaknesses to decide when to use SVG and when to use PNG.

Is SVG better than PNG?

Like PNG, the SVG format supports transparency, is suitable for images containing text, and guarantees lossless compression. The following features make Sea Turtle SVG a more preferred option for designers, developers, and SEO specialists.

Advantages of SVG:

Very compressible and lightweight. The image quality remains high regardless of the compression ratio.

It’s easy to scale and looks great on the screen regardless of image size.

It is supported by all modern browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari and even Internet Explorer).

Designers can create simple SVG renderings in code or a text editor or export complex graphics from Adobe Illustrator or Sketch.

The text inserted as a separate layer makes it easy to find SVG images.

The SVG format allows designers to save still or animated images.

These images can be easily edited by changing the parameters in the CSS code.

You can save an object multiple times while working with it without affecting its original quality.

However, SVG is not the best choice for every occasion because of the following drawbacks:

Disadvantages of SVG:

Users may experience compatibility issues between browsers, especially when email clients and older versions of software.

Vector graphics were initially intended for processing figures, lines, etc., so they are not suitable for photography.

There is a problem with using SVG in mapping applications where you need to read the entire file to see small pieces of the image.

Is SVG lighter than PNG?

In general, SVG is lighter than PNG. However, there are many variations of PNG files. PNG-24 is a large file and inconvenient for exchange and responsive design, but PNG-8 images are lightweight.

SVG files are more flexible. These mages apply XML to outline some of the parameters, so the opportunities for compression are almost endless. However, if you add a lot of small details, the file size will increase.

When do you use SVG?

This is great for designing website icons with responsive designs and objects that are fully visible on the Retina screen. Scaling does not affect the quality, and the format supports an unlimited amount of colours. Use SVG if you want to get a transparent image that can be easily zoomed or compressed, if you need lightweight animations, or if you plan to change the image quickly or frequently.

When to use PNG?

PNG is the only raster format that supports transparency, and this feature is in great demand among designers. Use small still images, logos, navigation elements, prints, and other illustrations with transparent backgrounds and robust edges.


Neither SVG nor PNG is a universal solution for all design needs. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and is suitable for a particular purpose.

If you’re using photos, PNG is the only suitable format.

If you need an animation, only SVG is suitable.

In all other cases, determine whether file size and scalability (SVG) or more advanced image design (PNG) is essential.