Klaas van Kreis Aspect Ratio

I decided to create my own aspect ratio for all my future works, because I was unhappy with the common ones (e.g. DIN, 16×9, HD, Cinemascope, etc.). They never really suited my needs and forced me into compromises that left me unsatisfied. So with countless hours of experimentation, research and some tweaking I came up with the ›Klaas van Kreis Aspect Ratio‹ of 13:7.

It’s versatile, elegant, functional and works both horizontally and vertically. By restricting myself to a fixed proportion, I challenge myself to constantly reinvent my compositions. It also spares me the tedious choice of format (size) every time. I’m not constraining myself to the exclusive use of this one particular format though. I see it more like a trusted workhorse for everything nonspecific [1].

It also helps me to guarantee a certain congruence and compatibility in the future.

Title: ›Klaas van Kreis Aspect Ratio (13:7)‹
Status:  private project
Medium: aspect ratio
Tech. spec.: 13:7
Year: 2015
Layout: Klaas van Kreis 

Thanx: Karl Gerstner [2] for his groundwork for this project.

[1] While the options are endless, I specifically designed this aspect ratio to work well with certain applications. Consequently the landscape format is mainly meant for film, animation, comics, postcards and business cards, while the vertical format can be applied to books, comic-strips (panels), storyboards, portraits and posters.

[2] ›58 units grid‹ by Karl Gerstner for Capital Magazine, ca. 1960


The proportions are 13:7, consisting of 130 units horizontally and 70 units vertically. When I choose not to use the full canvas, but only the ›live area‹ in the center, I have two adjacent squares of 58 units each, separated by 2 units in the middle, and surrounded by 6 units serving as margin: 6 + 58 + 2 + 58 + 6 = 130 units. On the vertical axis it’s only one 58 units square with 6 units as margin at the top and bottom respectively: 6 + 58 + 6 = 70 units.

The KvK-Aspect-Ratio
(with 6 units as margin) = 13:7
6 + 58 + 2 + 58 + 6 = 130 units
6 + 58 + 6 = 70 units

The aspect ratio comes with some handy design grids as overlays, that serve as guides when creating a composition. 

It contains a cinematic safe areas guide with a shrunken full frame to action safe size (90%) and title safe size (80%). Its main purpose is for cinematic designs.

It incorporates some classical compositional tools like a rules of thirds division, quadrants, compositional triangles and the golden ratio.


There is a variety of less conventional but useful geometric grids as well: a grid of squares and diagonals that I call ›Leyendecker‹ (because I got the idea from J. C. Leyendecker), hexagons and octagons.

For orientation, measurement, positioning and navigation I added a checkerboard texture and various background grids with dots or crosses on every unit, including decimal divisions, if needed.


The reduced live area offers some white space to either free the artwork from certain constraints (e.g. an irregular shape, fuzzy borders) or to add decorative borders. It also enables the use of the diverse multi-column layouts (1–24) as a result of the two 58 unit grids.