is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can reach him through one of the services below.+
This photo I put on on Instagram last week turned out to be one of my more liked posts.
Though I’m a sporadic Instagram user, I think it’s an amazing product. Their early selection of the square photo format was a genius response to the constraints of the camera phone and a spot on insight into how to simplify photo composition for a mass audience.
All the same, I often lament the success of the Instagram square. Rectangles just make pictorial storytelling more interesting. Here’s how I would have cropped the same image in a portrait-oriented frame. (I had to recreate the vintage effects, so they don’t match the photo above perfectly.)
I’m not arguing that Instagram should allow portrait images. I’m just saying the world is more interesting than just squares.+