Etsy, I love you, but...
October 30, 2010 12:46 AM   Subscribe

Etsy Filter: Help me figure out why my graphics look funky when I upload them to my shop.

So ever since Etsy switched over to its new look and feel, I have had problems with my banner, avatar and shop graphics looking as though they've taken a huge hit in quality when I know I've got the right file format and the right dimensions/DPI. This is particularly maddening when I've designed graphics for another person's shop (which is my trade) and things or colors don't quite match. Other designers do not seem to have this problem. WHY?!

For example, this is my shop banner uploaded to tinypic... The colors are lovely and pretty and just right.

This is what the banner looks like when it's in my shop. Fugly.

What gives? Everything is 72 dpi, 760x100, hi quality jpeg, etc etc. Is it me? What am I missing? Am I even right? Can anyone else see it? DO I NEED ANOTHER TINFOIL HAT? *seethes* No, just kidding.

Plus, why do other designers, such as this one and this one, have banners that look like they probably did in Photoshop?
posted by patronuscharms to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

The image quality was significantly lowered during its upload to etsy for some reason. The file size comparison is 80k to 16k. Its probably an automated process. It doesn't look that bad to me on my monitor. There are obvious color changes and quality loss changes, but I don't think many people will give it a second look.
posted by tmthyrss at 12:57 AM on October 30, 2010

Response by poster: But then how come the last artist I showed has a banner that gets to be 40k? This baffles me!
posted by patronuscharms at 1:01 AM on October 30, 2010

It's possible that there's some threshold over which they recompress the image with aggressive compression, and your 80K original is over it while 40K isn't. They might have just taken the easy way out and apply exactly the same (heavy) compression to every image, rather than having some target size they aim for, so yours ends up being 16K once it's recompressed.

All of the other shops whose images you pointed us to have banner images that are 40K or smaller. Have you tried compressing your image more, down to somewhere between 25 and 40K before uploading it? I assume they don't let you host images elsewhere to get around this? If they do, you might consider throwing them up on Cloudfront or something.
posted by sharding at 1:35 AM on October 30, 2010

Here. To me, this isn't perfect (I spent extremely little time on it), but it's very close to your original and is only 32K:

This one is 40K, but I can't tell that it's any better than the 32K one (though it's almost 2AM here, so my eyes might not be at their sharpest):

Try one of those and see what happens.
posted by sharding at 1:41 AM on October 30, 2010

Etsy likely has a file size limit after which it auto-compresses files... but with some brief Googling, I can't find any specifications from Etsy on what that limit is. Nonetheless, your file is still about twice the size of the 40k file with which you're comparing. I would recommend fiddling with your graphics program to save the file as a more compressed JPG or perhaps as a PNG, seeing how closely you can get it to around 40k with satisfactory results. Or use sharding's efforts.

Honestly, though, the image compressed doesn't look awful or anything. I would have just assumed you meant it to look that way.
posted by asciident at 2:20 AM on October 30, 2010

Best answer: Look at the EXIF data. Your original image has a color profile embedded, the one resized by etsy does not, so they are stripping that when they resize.

As a side point, you should really be using "save for web" because your 84k original version is wasting a lot of bytes on useless metadata like a thumbnail and photoshop XML settings. If you are going to try to hit a 40k target you don't want 15k of that to be non-image metadata.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:01 AM on October 30, 2010

There are also a number of utilities for the PNG format (like png crusher) that squeeze every extra bit.
posted by sammyo at 5:46 AM on October 30, 2010

JPGs will suffer most with the compression Etsy uses on file uploads. You'll get the "lossy" effect you're experiencing. Switch to PNGs and if you don't like the compression output Etsy delivers for them, use the PNG crusher sammyo suggests to control your own small file output prior to uploading.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:27 AM on October 30, 2010

Response by poster: COLOR PROFILES, oh my god, I should have known. Thank you everyone!
posted by patronuscharms at 1:02 PM on October 30, 2010

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