Not all mechanicals are comprised of text only. You must know how to
proportionally scale art and photographs to fit into a predetermined space.
Scaling is calculating the dimensions for a reduction or enlargement of a
given image. You can use a slide rule, a mathematical formula, the diagonal
line method, or a scaling wheel to scale artwork. This segment will cover
the most common and easily available methods, the diagonal line method and
the scaling wheel which is often called a proportional scale.
The diagonal line method reduces or enlarges the size of the original artwork
or the size of the allotted space in the paste-up or mechanical.
To use the diagonal line method, use this table:
Cover the allotted space on the mechanical with tracing paper or an
Using a straightedge and a pencil, draw the outline of the allotted
space on the paper.
Extend the left-hand vertical line and the lower horizontal line.
Using a triangle, draw a line from the lower left-hand corner
through the upper right-hand corner of the outline.
Place the overlay on top of your original artwork aligning the left
side and the bottom.
Determine whether the height or width is most important for your
Mark the line corresponding to your selection of the most important
dimension and extend this line to the diagonal.
Using your straightedge, draw a line from where the last line
intersected the diagonal to complete the box or rectangle.
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