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 Stockphotos.com– so you have the proper resolution before publishing or printing.
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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; these common sizes reflect the following:
- 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 on 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 in high definition, which is absolutely desirable – for example, if you design a presentation, you need to consider the dimensions of the projector and not the screen. All the more when you will be working with a responsive design that has to adapt to multiple screens, like newsletter images. It is also crucial to select the correct aspect ratio (and dimensions) for images seen across multiple mediums, such as what happens with marketing campaign designs. 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.
Finally, don't forget that inclusion is key, so you need to consider not size but all aspects of design to ensure your visuals are accessible to all viewers.
Standard photo sizes for web: Facebook, Instagram, …
Here’s a guide to standard sizes for social media images and other popular platforms:
These are the standards for Facebook photos.
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
Twitch profile picture: 1600 x 1600 pixels; a 1:1 aspect ratio
Twitch banner image: 1920 x 480 pixels; a 4:1 aspect ratio
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File Formats and File Size
JPG/JPEG, PNG, TIFF… The file format might seem irrelevant if you don't know much about digital imagery and graphic design. But it can make a difference in terms of image quality, which also affects image size for both digital viewing and printing. The level of detail in an image in JPEG can have been a lot less than that of a TIFF picture, for example.
File format can be especially relevant when it comes to file size, which has a direct impact when using images on the web: how big an image file size determines how fast –or slow– said image will load on a web page, as well as much space it'll occupy in your storage (local or cloud-based), among other considerations. And as a rule of thumb, the highest-resolution images also have the largest file sizes. TIFF files, which preserve a lot of image details, are also much bigger than JPEG.
For digital use, the ideal format is one that offers the highest pixel count with the smallest file size. WebP is one such format, as it can store image quality than JPEG in files that are 25 to 35% smaller. Plus, converting from WebP to JPG and vice versa can be done very easily and within seconds, thanks to multiple web-based and software tools that handle this.
Using WebP files is one easy way to optimize your images for use on the web.
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.
There are also very good AI photo tools to help with this.
- 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 only to use images that are functional to your content rather than just decorative ones.
Try Canva Magic Resize!
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
Where to get Stock Photos for your next Campaign
Whatever your next marketing project may be, there are plenty of stock image sources to find these standard picture sizes for marketing materials:
Stockphotos.com – Royalty-Free, Commercial-Use Images for Every Budget
Stockphotos.com 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 this agency doesn’t tie price to image size. You just pay for the download.
Furthermore, you can purchase single images, image packs, or annual subscriptions 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.
We recommend the awesome Club Easy plan, which gives you 200 image downloads for one year for $99. And exciting bonus benefits:
- 100 extra downloads in your first year at no added cost (so you get 300 images for $99!)
- 10 upscales at Stockphotos.com Upscaler and 10 video downloads included with your plan for free
- If you sign up using our special Stockphotos.com coupon code, you get 10 free downloads on top of your membership!
For more information, read our Stockphotos.com review!
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 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 image 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 the 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!