What Comes First?

Early BirdWhat comes first, lightening or thunder?

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

What comes first, width or height?

The answer, if you are talking to a graphic designer, is width. Width by height is standard in the graphic design industry, which is reinforced by the fact that all design programs (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Quark) use width by height to determine orientation (portrait vs. landscape).  It is further enforced by the fact that we read left to right and then down a page (unless you are designing for a foreign country where specs are different).

Some might argue that width versus height doesn’t matter, but it does to a graphic designer. It you ask a designer to create a 4” x 4” ad, you’re safe, but the minute you vary the sizes you can have success or disaster. If a publication needs a 4” x 6” ad, they are asking for a vertical ad (portrait). If they ask for a 6” x 4” ad, it will be a horizontal layout (landscape). So when giving specs to a designer make sure you have the correct orientation. In a perfect world, everyone would know this. However, designers are not often dealing with people who understand graphics or have ever used design programs, so play it safe and always include a “w” or “h” after the size dimensions to clarify matters (i.e., 4” w x 8” h  or  8” w x 4” h).

On a side note: “Women Have Legs,” a term used by general contractors, stands for width x height x length. This is a clever and easy way to remember the width/ height rule.

And just in case you were wondering about the other questions, here are the answers.

What comes first, lightening or thunder?
Though it is theoretically possible to hear thunder and then see lightning, lightning actually causes thunder, so it has to come first. Thunder is the noise that’s caused by the sound of the rapid expansion of air that gets suddenly heated by a bolt of lightning.

What comes first the chicken or the egg?
Egg. If you disagree here is a video that explains it.