Understanding standard photo sizes and different aspect ratios – and what each size and ratio is commonly used for – will help you pick the best stock photos for your marketing materials.
In this guide, we’ll discuss common aspect ratios, the standard photo sizes for both web and print materials, and where to get stock images in the right size – like from the Stock Photo Secrets Shop – so you have the proper resolution before publishing or printing.
If you wish to learn more about images and how to use them in your business goals, check out our list of 102 master tips to create visual content with stock images!
Common aspect ratios
Aspect ratios are the proportional relationship of width to height in an image. For example, a 6 × 4 image has an aspect ratio of 3:2, because, for every 3 units of width, there are 2 units of height.
Image aspect ratios do not refer to a specific measurement, like inches or centimeters. They just refer to how high the image is compared to how wide it is like these common sizes reflect:
- 1:1 ratio – perfect square format; used for social media, most commonly for Instagram posts and Facebook profile photos, and other mobile apps
- 3:2 ratio – rectangle; used for print photography (usually in photo paper) and common picture frame sizes
- 4:3 ratio – rectangle; used for television, camera, and desktop computer screens
- 16:9 ratio – wide rectangle; widescreen formats are used for video, slides, widescreen televisions, and most social media cover images. This is equivalent to a 1920 x 1080 aspect ratio, super popular as ultra HD resolution for video content.
Selecting images in the correct aspect ratio for the medium you intend them to be viewed in, ensures you will get a full-screen display at high definition, which is absolutely desirable. You can achieve this by getting images whose original aspect ratio matches your needs, or otherwise resizing them according to the preset dimension before uploading them to the final medium.
Standard photo sizes for web
Here’s a guide to standard sizes for social media images:
Facebook profile picture: 360 × 360 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
Facebook cover photo: 820 pixels wide x 312 pixels high; a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio
Facebook post: 1200 × 1200 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
Instagram profile picture: 110 × 110 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
Instagram post: 1080 × 1080 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
Twitter profile picture: 400 x 400 pixel; a 1:1 square aspect ratio
Twitter cover picture: 1500 x 500 pixel
Twitter post image: minimum 600 x 335 pixel, ideal 1200 x 675 pixel; a 16:9 HD aspect ratio
Twitter card: 1200 x 628 pixel; a 1.91:1 aspect ratio
Pinterest profile picture: 600 × 600 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
Pinterest post: 1000 × 1500 pixels, or any 2:3 aspect ratio
LinkedIn company profile picture: 400 × 400 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
LinkedIn company cover photo: 1584 × 396 pixels; a 4:1 aspect ratio
LinkedIn post: 1200 × 628 pixels
How to optimize images for web
If digital images aren’t optimized for the web, they’ll slow down the loading speed of your site. The longer your site takes to load, the more likely potential clients or customers are to click away before it’s done. Unoptimized images can mean lost business.
There’s a lot that goes into image optimization, but here are three very simple, photo editing beginner tips:
- Don’t use the largest picture size. High-resolution, extra-large images take up space, which is unnecessary for the web. Resize your file without losing image quality with this tool from TinyPNG.
- Name your image descriptively. You may be tempted to leave an image named a string of letters and numbers, but that won’t help your webpage. Instead, change the name to reflect what’s in the photo.
Take the below image, for example:
Naming it, “Tan_tote_bag_mockup.jpg” will be far more useful to your website’s optimization than leaving it “DSC20194.jpg.”
- Use functional images. Try to only use images that are functional to your content, rather than just decorative ones.
Standard print sizes
Print marketing materials are useful for local marketing. If you have a brick-and-mortar store or are promoting an event, these are the standard print picture sizes you’ll need to create printable marketing materials:
- 4 × 6 or 5 × 7 – Standard Postcard Sizes
- 8.5 × 11 (or A4) – Standard Flyer Size
- 11 × 14 or 18 × 25 – Standard Poster Sizes
Stock Photos for Marketing
Whatever your next marketing project may be, there are plenty of stock image sources to find these standard picture sizes for marketing materials:
The StockPhotoSecrets Shop is the best source for small and medium-sized businesses to get quality stock imagery at a great price. You can get images at whatever size you need since Stock Photo Secrets doesn’t tie price to image size. You just pay for the download.
You can purchase either image packs or a subscription depending on how many images you need each month. Subscriptions will give you the most for your money, but image packs might be all you need if you don’t use stock images often. Check out the available pricing plans here.
Photocase is the best source available for authentic and candid stock photos for your projects. They have very high standards for the images they accept, so though their library is smaller, it is very high in quality.
You can purchase individual images, which range in price from $14 to $42 USD, as each image is a different price depending on the size you need. To learn more about this stock agency, check out our full-length review.
And, if you decide this is the right stock agency for you, grab our exclusive Photocase discount code for five FREE photo credits, plus 15 percent off your purchase.
Shutterstock is one of the most well-known stock photo sources, with over 190 million photos, vectors, and illustrations available. They are another agency with strict submission guidelines, and the variety of available content is vast in subject matter to fit every marketing campaign.
Similar to Stock Photo Secrets, Shutterstock doesn't charge by the size of the image, just per download. So whether you need an image for the web or a printed banner, it'll cost you the same amount.
iStock – Affordable, Quality Images for Every Project
IStock has two pricing options: image packs or monthly subscriptions, which are priced out by collection, not image size. Individual images through image packs end up costing between $24 and $33 USD each, which sounds high. However, iStock's quality is also high, so you get what you pay for. Subscriptions run between $70 and $399 per month, depending on how many downloads you need.
If that's too much for you to spend right now, check out this list of the best budget stock photo sites. Otherwise, read our full review of iStock and get 20 percent off your iStock purchase for a limited time.
If you're a graphic designer, chances are you're already familiar with Adobe's Creative Cloud. Stick with the same fantastic platform through Adobe Stock, which has an excellent selection of quality, creative stock photos.
In line with the Creative Cloud model, Adobe Stock is a subscription-only service, where images don't cost by size, just by download. Learn more by reading our in-depth review of Adobe Stock, and be sure to grab our FREE trial, which gets you 10 images downloads your first month!
Different Picture Sizes for Every Marketing Campaign
From Shutterstock‘s large library to the affordability of iStock, you're sure to find the images for your next marketing campaign you need. We hope this guide on standard picture sizes was valuable to making marketing materials – print and digital – much easier.
Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!