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Lowering file size

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I created an avatar by cropping two pictures, putting them on separate layers, lowering the opacity of the top layer, and then flattening the image. The problem is, the file size was 91k, and I needed it below 20k.

I then took a screen shot (ctrl+alt+prnt scrn, then paste onto a new image), and cropped it to the original size, and lowered it to 32k.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I may further reduce the file size, or remove the middle step all together next time?

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Flatten as you have been doing and save the file as a .png instead. Do this for two reasons:

1) I'm biased towards .png format and...

2) with a .png you can employ a compression program such as PNGGauntlet (which uses the excellent method of PNGout) and this compresses the file size brilliantly without any loss of quality.

Give it a try and see how it fairs for you.

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