Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a bitmapped image format that employs lossless data compression and was developed as a substitute to the Graphic Interchange Format (GIF) file format. It was an enhancement to the GIF format, not demanding any patent license. PNG is based on lossless compression which means that while saving or viewing the file, no data will be lost. Like other file formats, PNG is also a universal format and is recognized by the World Wide Web.
In 1995, it was found that the GIF file format, which was ought to be patent free, was in fact based on the LZW technology; a technology patented in 1985. Therefore, PNG format was developed. PNG files can be edited in many applications.
PNG format is also widely in use to develop various types of icons for many websites and among them, icons for social networking sites are particularly common. Facebook PNG icons, Twitter icons and so on are found on every second webpage these days.
As a web designer, your job is not only to make an eye-catching website but it also extends to the next level; you have to make it popular amongst the people. Many people think that the content used is the main thing in promoting the webpage but the picture is something different. Even putting outstanding and useful content on the website might not make it popular. These days, linking them with social sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. is the trend. Today, with many options in hand, people get offers of free social media icons for downloading, as a number of designs are available which can be downloaded via three possible formats- PNG, ICO and ICNS. There are thousands of different Twitter and Facebook icons available.
The choices truly are limitless. The significant thing to recollect though is that the appearance and look of the icon you choose should be carefully associated with the total appearance of your website. If this rule of thumb is not taken into account, then there is real risk that your website will seem to be mismatched in its overall design and appearance.
On the other hand, if you want your icon to be clear and distinct with the other content of the website, you can choose a contrasting icon as well. But, when you are promoting with sites like Facebook or Twitter, you need to have the color combinations which are traced to the original site. For example, using a red and yellow icon for Facebook might leave the viewers in doubt.
However, in most cases, the icons you choose depend totally on your own preferences. Whether you are merging it with the entire website or using contrasting icons, it’s all about your own choice.