Graphic Design Quick Tip: cropping multiple images

by / Sunday, 14 July 2013 / Published in Quick Graphic Design Tips

When you have to show a row of photos, particularly portraits, cropping them consistently will help avoid odd-looking elements in your layout. Here’s an example of a row of images that has not been cropped for consistency:


Notice that, while well shot and pleasant photos, they aren’t treated the same way. This is a result you might get if you used images that were cropped separately and saved for another purpose and you’re now using them together, or they were never cropped at all – just used as is. Now, you might be going for a design style in particular and you’ve used this cropping as a creative choice. That’s perfectly valid. If, however, you’re laying out a newsletter, website, brochure, whatever and you plan to show a photo-row of “employees” or the like, you might consider the following crop instead.


You’ll notice a few things. The heads are the same size. Their position within the frames follows a style, depending on the direction of their expression. The eyes are on the same visual level. This makes for a less distracting image-set.

Again, you might be going for a different look. That’s cool. 8 times out of 10, the second cropping will serve your layout better. If you’re given images from various sources and they were cropped a certain way before you got them, there’s not much you can do. In those situations I use the image that gives me the least flexibility as the guide to cropping the others. For example, if I have one closeup, out of 5 portraits, I’ll crop them all to be closeups.

The little things add up to make your layouts tighter, and more together.

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