image best practices

what is the current best practice for images on web pages?
lets say you have a situation where you could either use 3 separate images or you could combine them into 1 image.
I've been thinking lately that the one image - even though larger would be best because it would involve only one call to the server to get the image.
this question is to get an opinion on this

thanks
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dgrafxAsked:
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Gurvinder Pal SinghCommented:
Yes, but you need to remember that if you use image sprites (combining multiple images into one), then you won't be able to scale an individual image from that combined images' image.

So, the response for whether you should for go for that approach or not, will vary from case to case.
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peeaCommented:
Here you go:

Digital Imaging Best Practices
http://www.slideshare.net/mnHistoricalSociety/digital-imaging-best-practices

and more:

Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site
http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html
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ingriTCommented:
It depends on the size of the "one big" image ofcourse, but for all your website icons and images for layout used on every page for example, it is a good solution to create one file. The browser will only have to make one call to get the image and after that (on other pages) it is retrieved from browser cache, so it doesn't have to be downloaded again.
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dgrafxAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input
I liked the article "Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site"
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