bad example of photo resizingThank goodness we saw this ad in a local weekly. Otherwise, we might have fallen victim to BBBBS, the dreaded Balance Ball Big Butt Syndrome that is claiming the sleek figures of fitness fanatics. You may think that working at your desk while sitting on a ball would strengthen your body’s core, but the photo in this ad tells a different story: This practice leads to elongated feet, freakishly long thighs and an ample posterior! This is a classic example of photo resizing gone wrong.

  • DON’T intentionally stretch a photo horizontally or vertically to fill a space. Even little pulls and pushes look odd, whether or not the viewer can figure out why.
  • DO double-check your coding of the photo size to avoid unintentionally stretching or squishing a photo on a website or electronic publication. We
    love the Philly news website Metropolis but winced when their weekly newsletter mashed a pretty redhead into a funhouse mirror.
  • DO be sure to constrain the proportions before clicking any “fit to space” option in software you may be using.

If you’re confused about how to discuss a photo size with your designer, make sure you know the basics. Let’s say you want your ad to be 6 inches wide and 4 inches tall. Should you ask for 6-by-4 or 4-by-6?

The convention is to say width first, then height. In writing, it would be expressed as 6 x 4. To remember this convention, think of your everyday office paper. People refer to it as 8 ½ x 11 because they usually use it vertically, 8 ½ inches wide by 11 inches tall. That said, it’s never a bad idea to be extra clear and actually say or write that you would like your ad to be 6 inches wide by 4 inches tall.

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