The Best Rectangle Is a Square


All squares are rectangles (see Long Live the Rectangle), but not all rectangles are squares and of all rectangles the square is the most flexible. I began to understand the reason for the square when I started traditional scrapbooks. 12×12 was the most popular size, and I adopted it for all my projects. When I switched to photo books, I continued to create squares:

  • Horizontal and vertical photos fit on the page with minimal wasted space.
  • Layouts with multiple photos make it easy to combine horizontal and vertical photos on the same page.
  • There’s lots of space to add text.
  • The 12×12 is the largest size that fits on a standard bookshelf, allowing more photos per page.
  • The 12×12 is easily resized to an 8×8 for gifts or a second copy.
  • Finally and most importantly, big photo books are more impressive than small ones.

By the way, the square also gives me another way to highlight my two sons, Ed and Noah.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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