Since the Manual of Traffic Signs site was inaugurated as the first major website devoted to US road and highway signing back in 1996, I’ve used .gif format files for many of the sign images, as that format renders simple color images very well and offers high compression with zero loss.
However, as time has wandered onward, the .gif file format has become somewhat of a niche item, now used mostly for self-playing animations. All browsers still support rendering of .gifs, but some websites (I’m looking at you, Facebook) assume that all .gif files are movie files and can’t handle simple viewing and uploading without screwups.
But what finally moved me to belated action is my current work on D series guide signs (note: don’t bother looking – nothing new is posted yet for Ds – coming soon in due time). When I’ve been creating the large bitmap graphics for the D1s, I just can’t get smaller white on green text to look right in a 256-color palette, but it looks fine when exported as a 32-bit .png file.
But my OCD won’t allow me to have just the D series sign bitmaps in .png format and all the rest in .gif. Nope, just won’t do.
So, thanks to the twin miracles of batch conversion in Graphic Converter and fast find/replace in the HTML files, I’ve updated all the recently-revised sign pages to now use .png files for the big bitmaps. This shouldn’t affect the viewing experience, except that some browsers may render the 32-bit files with less jaggieness (yay).
But… I’m still keeping all the small sign thumbnail images (50 x 50, 100 x 100) in .gif format. Because quite a few of those are indeed animated, and I don’t want to ruin the fun.