I had a conversation v a fellow sign-maker freshly that turned right into a fight of wits. It to be fun. No harm, no foul. We were both trying to convince the other of whether width or height comes first in the civilization of 2D measurements.

You are watching: Does length or width come first

Thus, the catalyst for this article.

Whether you’re into a building project and also ordering windows, or developing the perfect tradeshow exhibit, offering accurate dimensions is mandatory.

However, the one thing that plagues the world of dimensions is orientation.

Let’s take it an 8 foot by 4 foot banner. Which way is that oriented? landscape or Portrait? high or wide? Is that measured east to west, or north to south? there are many approaches come resolving referrals to orientation. However what indications are there the will collection your perspective in stone? What is the standard?

What come first?

The Graphics’ industry standard is width by elevation (width x height). Meaning that as soon as you compose your measurements, you write them native your suggest of view, beginning with the width.

That’s important. Once you provide us instructions to create an 8×4 foot banner, we’ll style a banner because that you the is wide, no tall.

So, who states width by height is “The Standard”? I deserve to break it the end by layout program such together Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, or Indesign. Lock all use the width by elevation in bespeak to identify orientation. But, let’s take it it down to a an ext natural level. Which method do you check out (assuming you check out English literature)? Left come right, first, then under the length of the page.

Not proof enough? leave a comment. Let’s hear your opinion.


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85 Comments

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RobJanuary 26, 2013

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HonkyRockMarch 16, 2013

Height is first.According come FACTS, the organization of Fine arts Care and also Treatment Standards worldwide Standards overview for Taking, Recording, and Communicating size (of art) the vertical measurement (height) is taped first, followed by the horizontal measure (width), and also in the situation of three dimensional works, the depth measure is recorded last.I occupational at a big commercial printers and also we constantly put height an initial concerning published matter. Width by elevation is scheduled for other industries however.But remember the old saying, if her Aunt had b*llocks, she’s be her uncle.


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LorettaAugust 19, 2013
4:26 pm


The sector standard because that ll markets should be squares. Squares everywheres.


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DonAugust 11, 2016
12:07 pm


When I check out a attracted rectangle on a item of paper and ns am inquiry to provide the measurements, this is just how I constantly see and also measure it.

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My eyes goto the vertical length an initial and then to the horizontal length next. (from optimal to bottom ~ above the vertical next — then from left to best on the horizontal side)

This is how I measure it and also how i writ it down. (Vertical measurement first x horizontal measurement last)I’m constantly told this is wrong.

When ns see dimensions written the end (8″ x10″), I always think 8″ tall and 10″ wide. I’m constantly told that is not right. (that that is 8″ wide x 10″ tall)


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Tommy MinahanJanuary 26, 2017
9:23 pm


I recognize this subject is old, yet I want to provide my view on why it should be WxH.In math your always taught X by Y. It’s always horizontal through vertical. Even with geographical works with it’s latitude by longitude.I likewise saw a comment around how picture are always height x width-But that’s just negative assuming.If I gave you a 4×6 photo, friend shouldn’t automatically assume it’s a landscape. 4×6 could plainly be width by height relying on how you hold the photo!

So, basically in every ar the bulk is broad by height.. And also someone needs to have a talk v the smithsonian!


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