Screen Orientation – Portrait or Landscape

Should you run your screens in portrait or landscape orientation?

There are no hard and fast rules but the type of content you want to display along with how far away the screen might be viewed from might be a deciding factor along with where you want to put the screens.

How big the actual screen is will also be part of the decision process as a huge portrait screen is going to be quite wide.

Displays that show simple ‘lists’ such as a menu or travel times tend to look better on a portrait screen as you can display a longer list simply because the screen is longer.

It’s worth looking at how information is displayed on posters or on things such as conventional noticeboards. Even on a conventional noticeboard the notices tend to be portrait orientated.

The image below shows how the same type of page design looks on both types of screen. The portrait screen on the left has an obvious top to bottom text flow where the one of the right could be seen as a downwards zig zag or two independent columns.

Landscape and Portrait Comparison

If you want multiple screens keep them all in the same orientation otherwise you will have to produce content for both orientations.

You’d also run the risk of sending differently formatted content to the wrong screens.