Be it an image, frame, or screen, all of them have a definite and recognizable shape and aspect ratio is the term that describes these fixed proportions of the shapes. Let us have a comprehensive discussion to have a better understanding.
What Is Aspect Ratio?
The aspect ratio is described as the ratio between the width and height of an image, screen, or frame. In other words, the aspect ratio tells how large an image’s width is compared to the height of it without attaching any pixels or units. While an image’s aspect ratio can help you understand the shape of an image, it still doesn’t help you comprehend the image’s actual size. For example, if we take an example, like the X: Y aspect ratio, we can tell that the ‘X’ is the image’s width and ‘Y’ is the image’s height. The first number always denotes the width and another number refers to the height.
How Aspect Ratio Affects Web Design
Now let us discuss how the aspect ratio affects web design. This can rightly be explained with an example that the ratio of any computer or mobile device screen is entirely different than the ratio of most images. However, to provide users with a better experience on your website, you can choose an image that can adjust according to their screen size.
Computer Screen vs Mobile
Computer screens are relatively wider than mobile device screens. This is the reason when you design by taking one device in mind, you end up with distorted and skewed images. If taken specifically, a website that is designed for desktop may not be as flexible as the one designed for delivering a mobile experience. There’s a takeaway for you and that is to make your website mobile-friendly by using any top CMS so that you won’t need to maintain different interfaces.
Common Aspect Ratio Formats
Then comes the turn for the most common aspect ratio formats which are 1:1, 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, and 5:9. A square 1:1 ratio denotes that the width and the height are the same and this is the reason it is considered the most convenient format for mobile screens. It is largely known as the classic Instagram aspect ratio. Another format is the 16:9 which is generally denoted as widescreen that forms wider images that are usually displayed on a desktop and also as a cover photo on social media platforms.
Why and How to Change the Aspect Ratio
Now is the turn to talk about how and why to change the aspect ratio. Well, you may require to make changes in the aspect ratio of an image to make it compatible with the concerned device whether it is a desktop or a mobile device that you want to use. However, there are many ways to change an aspect ratio but the easiest is to change the aspect ratio of the image to crop it to whatever size you want.
How to Choose the Correct Aspect Ratio
There are many ways that determine your choice for the right aspect ratio as they require you to ask some of the key questions to yourself. These questions include firstly where the concerned image will appear, the next question is that do you even need to create multiple versions of this design, and lastly whether you want to design them in a way that it gets easily adapted. To ace the choice of aspect ratio, you just need to answer these questions as a web designer.
Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) and Resolution
Lastly, let us talk about PAR which means Pixel Aspect Ratio that describes the width and the height of individual pixels. And it has a direct relationship with resolution as pixels determine the resolution of the screen and to your surprise, smaller pixels result in greater and relatively detailed screen resolution. You may not get the connection between PAR and aspect ratio, well, they have a direct relationship. This is because we use square PAR due to the wide variety of screen sizes while rectangular PAR can cause distortion. This can be ensured by hiring a good web design and development company.
Summing up, we believe you might have gained enough information about aspect ratios and how they can affect web design. So, we hope that you may take these pointers into your consideration and benefit from them by designing wonderfully.