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The very name Scalable Vector Graphics cries out images that take a more mathematical quality like graphs and even infographics. SVG files are easily manipulated to work with statistical graphs as well as more kinetic graphical presentations. Think of uses like AJAX request and data that is randomly generated. Any kind of imagery requiring vectors is ideal for SVG files.

SVG for Web Designers in 60 Seconds

Not all game design can benefit from SVG images. Pixel-based art and non-vector animation aside, however, SVG can become a creative part of the game design industry. What kinds of games would benefit from SVG? Those that are less dependent on the quality of character animation and movement and more dependent on presenting non-kinetic information. Check out this selection of tutorials appropriate for both basic and advanced users. Tutorials covering every aspect of SVG files are our aim. An introduction to SVG animation. The advantages of using SVG is clear, but the future is actually brighter than you might suspect.

Advancements in retina devices and the explosion in mobile apps is actually creating more possibilities for the need to display high quality images. What separates SVG from the pack is essentially this: When working with SVG images, however…not so much. Then go out and dive into the flexible and adaptable world of Scalable Vector Graphics. Create your masterpiece on your laptop and then edit on your tablet and tweak things on your smartphone.

Since then, there have been updates geared toward mobile devices, and more with clarifications. The only version of Internet explorer you have to worry about right now is IE8. Everyone else has more or less full SVG support. Not only will working around them keep your problem solving skills sharp, but the more we use this technology, the more browser developers will support it.

Internet technology has gone way, way beyond the static websites we used to know.

What is SVG and why should you use it?

When you have to make an icon, use SVG. When you have to use an illustration, go for SVG if you can.


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If you want an abstract, but still simple website background, use SVG. Not only do SVG images scale well without becoming blurry, but they also offer a number of other benefits to developers, search engine optimisers and the end user. Should You be Too? The simple fact is that Retina screens have gone and made serving up images that much more complicated. SVG, being infinitely scalable, can help to minimize the problem. Users who are visually impaired generally browse the web with everything zoomed in a little. When regular images get zoomed in, they lose quality. Technology is always changing.

As long as the W3C sets the global industry standards, it seems that SVG will continue to be the de-facto standard for vector graphics in the browser. Use it now, and your websites will be set for a good, long time. So it saves space, decreases load time and saves me time. Luckily for everyone, this is the Internet.

You just know that people have spent precious hours upon hours creating free training material for anyone who wants it. People who do that sort of thing are the people who make the Internet awesome. Then, of course, we went and spent hours looking through the various tutorials to find the best ones out there. You can thank us later.

A Practical Guide

Keep in mind that SVG files are all XML code, so many of these tutorials are developer-focused or just have a lot of code in them. There are no licensing restrictions or fees to pay, just an open standard for people to use. As you might expect, many developers have done exactly that. Tools for creating and using the SVG format abound. They range from large software packages which include the option to export SVG as an afterthought, to vector drawing apps which use SVG as their primary format, and more.

The big names in graphics creation all support SVG. Illustrator has been known to put some odd things into SVG files, though, so you have to be careful with the export settings.

SVG for Web Designers in 60 Seconds

Created in as a fork of another open source project called Sodipodi which was based on yet a another OSS project , Inkscape has become the standard for free, cross-platform vector graphics software. Serif is a company that makes pretty good graphics creation and desktop publishing software. It might not have everything the pro version does, but it can get the job done in most cases. Also, registration is required for the download. Part of the Calligra office suite, which is primarily for Linux, Karbon is a fully-featured vector graphics editor.

Installation on Mac and Windows is difficult at present, though not impossible. If none of the other web-based SVG editors make you happy, though, you might actually consider it. To export, check that the design is sitting in an area of whole pixels i. Next hit save as and choose SVG and use the default settings.

SVG Tutorials & How-tos

There are a number of good articles on SVG optimisation on the web which offer a wealth of knowledge on this subject, but I would like to share a few tips and tricks that I have found to be most effective and useful for me. To keep your SVG s as small as possible you effectively want to remove anything unnecessary. A very handy thing with SVGO is it can be added to your build process so it is automatic or you can use a GUI to do it yourself if you prefer.

You want to combine and simplify anything that you can. Then you want to remove as many points from your paths as possible. VectorScribe is an Illustrator plugin that has as part of it a Smart Remove Brush Tool — this allows you to remove points whilst still keeping the overall shape the same. Next you are going to want to zoom in. For the smallest file sizes you want these to sit on the pixel grid i. This takes a little bit of time to snap them all in place but is worth the extra bit of effort as this also ensures the sharpest rendering notice how before you can end up with some half-pixel areas.

If you have two or more shapes that align you will want to remove any unneeded overlap. A thing to look out for is they can appear to have a thin white line between them even if the paths align, so sometimes you need to overlap them a little to prevent this. Last but not least, one thing that is often forgotten about, remember to enable gzip compression for SVG s on your websites in the.

As an example of how effective these techniques can be, I took the original Breaking Borders logo and optimised it thusly: When it comes to using SVG s on the web there are a number of different ways you can go. Some of them have benefits which can be useful depending on what you would like to achieve and some of them are best to be avoided.

If you want to just keep things basic to get the resolution independence and file size benefits you can reference the SVG in an img or as a background-image in CSS just as you would any other image format. Just as you would with any other image. Note that this method limits manipulation functionality. It is the easiest way to manipulate, however maintaining inline SVG code can be a pain. Alternatively you can use them inline to save the HTTP request, but note that it will not be cached.


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More info on this in the next section. Say we have an orange icon and we want it to be blue on some pages, we can do that without having to make a new blue icon. There are two ways we can change styles — inline in the SVG and externally i. Inline styles will mostly work in all implementations.