There are two different ways methods that can be used to to standardize the aspect ratio of different images:
- Standardize by adding information (canvas resize)
- Standardize by removing information (crop)
Each approach to standardizing sizes has it's own drawbacks. Only by using one of these two techniques is it physically possible to make a rectangle fit inside of a square. To see an image showing the difference, please click here.
Resize - Standardize by adding information
Canvas resize expands the sides of your images to achieve the desired aspect ratio. This is often the best solution for images with a white or transparent background. It is also used when cropping is not workable, and has the benefit of properly aligning product titles/prices in your collection page – which many Shopify themes struggle with. To see an example of how this can help alignment, please click here.
Adding white bars will not, of course, change the size of the actual photo inside the image. This means that even though the image is technically the correct aspect ratio, it might not look like it is. This is helpful for alignment, but if your objective is to make the actual photo/content of the image occupy the entirety of the square shaped thumbnail, then cropping is the only method that is physically possible.
Crop - Standardize by removing information
This involves trimming the sides of the images in order to reach the desired aspect ratio. This is not suitable for all merchants - it really depends on the type of images you are showing, since this approach risks cutting off vital elements of an image. This technique works best if your images have large margins or if the content on the sides is not very critical.
Usually only the first image associated with a product is used to generate a thumbnail. Therefore we recommend using the variant filter Image Number X of a Product to only edit image #1 inside your products. This will save you many editing credits, and will avoid having to edit or distort images unnecessarily.