The aspect ratio of an image or video is directly proportional to the width and height of that image or video. It can be recognized as two numbers usually separated by a colon. An example is an image of 6×4 inch has an aspect ratio of 3:2, whereas a 1920×1080 pixel video has an aspect ratio of 16:9.
An aspect ratio represents how large the width is as compared to the height of an image or video. This means an image that is measured in centimeters should come with the same aspect ratio, even if it is measured in inches.
The relationship between its width and height is used to determine the Ratio and shape. However, it does not change the image’s actual size.
Aspects ratios are an essential part of web content as various images are uploaded in different aspect ratios for different uses. As a result, these images become compatible with desktops, mobile phones, blogs, or social media.
By using the right aspect ratios, your images or videos are displayed correctly without stretching or loss of resolution. Having an incorrect aspect ratio for your project will affect the end-users experience with your images or videos, thereby affecting your brand.
Common Image Aspect Ratios
Different aspect ratios bring a different effect on the image you use. For instance, an image set in a 1:1 ratio vs. a 5:4 Ratio changes the composition of your image and how it is perceived. Below are some common image aspect ratios to take note of:
1. 1:1 Ratio
For this type of Ratio, the image’s width and height are equal, thereby creating a square. Some popular type of 1:1 Ratio is an 8″ x8″ photo, 1080×1080 pixel image, or any typical profile picture template found on social media sites.
The 1:1 Ratio is mostly used on mobile screens, print photographs, and social media platforms. However, it is not suitable for virtually all TV or digital formats.
2. 3:2 Ratio
The second on our list is the 3:2 Ratio which is widely used for print sizes as its root is traced in photography and 35mm film. Images framed within the Ratio of 1080×720 pixels or 6″ x4″ are set within this type of Ratio.
3. 5:4 Ratio
Our last on the list is the 5:4 Ratio. It is a common aspect ratio commonly used in photography, art prints, and large and average medium format film cameras. The 5:4 aspect ratio requires that you print your images in 8″ x10″ and 16″ x20″.
Common Video Aspect Ratios
Image aspect ratios are like video aspect ratios; however, video aspect ratios have a more profound effect when it comes to their composition. The standard composition of 16:9 is usually horizontal as against the 9:16 aspect ratio, which is more recent and is vertically oriented.
As a result, we implore that you keep the context and composition in mind when choosing an aspect ratio for an intended project.
This type of Ratio is mostly seen on computer monitors, presentation slides, or widescreen TVs. However, the international standard recently replaced the 4:3 Ratio for monitors as well as TV screens, thereby creating a more slim and elongated shape format.
The most common resolutions for the 16:9 Ratio are 1920×1080 pixels and 1280×720 pixels. It is said to be the inverse of 9:16.
The 9:16 aspect ratio is the inverse of the 16:9 Ratio. It is mostly used on social media platforms as it has video story capabilities on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. The most common dimension in the 9:16 aspect ratio is the 1080×1920 pixels which fit into a smartphone’s vertical screen size perfectly.
How to Measure Image Size
Image sizes are measured in pixels determining image width and height. It equals the dimension of an image. You can measure image dimension in any unit; however, pixels are mostly used for web and digital images, while inches are used for print images.
It is vital to note that two different images can have the same aspect ratio but may not have the same image dimension or size. An example is an image of 1920×1080 pixels, which has an aspect ratio of 16:9, while an image size of 1280×720 pixels has the same aspect ratio.
Common Image Sizes for Web
Image size specifications are essential if you desire to upload the right images on the web. The use of incorrect image sizes may stretch or affect fixed dimensions on screens.
When you are working on a website builder or content management system such as Squarespace or WordPress, the image size requirements will differ according to the template you implore of the theme used. Interestingly, most website builders will help to resize images for you to display correctly in several formats.
As a result, we advise that you upload an image that is big enough to reduce without losing resolution to meet several different standard image sizes. Also, it should be small enough to fit the width of a standard screen.
Popularly, Squarespace recommends that you upload images between 1500 and 2500 pixels wide. However, on CMS, you may need to check your template or theme to determine the most suitable image size to upload.
Also, social media websites will often resize images for you to ensure that your images are displayed correctly with the right sizes.
Common Image Sizes
- 1920 x 1080 pixels; this type of image size is mostly seen on high-definition TVs, social media covers, photos, and presentations. Also, it follows the 16:9 aspect ratio.
- 1280 x 720 pixels; this type of size follows the standard high-definition format featured in film and photography. It also fits the 16:9 aspect ratio.
- 1080 x 1080 pixels; this is the 1:1 aspect ratio widely used across social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook ads, and so on.
Common Photograph Sizes
While it is possible to print an image of any size, some standard photo sizes will help you narrow down your options.
Different sizes work in different environments. As a result, we recommend that you display larger prints or posters to bring attention to an event or service and use smaller prints for homes or counter spaces.
Most images and photos are measured in inches; however, you might find these images and photos measured in centimeters in some countries.