I just got a pre-interview questionnaire for potentially a new job. On it I have to rank certain skills like creativity, attention to detail, photo manipulation.... one of them says "Scaling"

Before I email the woman asking what "Scaling" means I thought I'd ask and see if there's some obvious thing I'm overlooking as to what in the world this would mean. It's an Environmental Graphic Design position. Maybe this means making physical scale models? Just working with an architectural or engineering scale? Using vectors so the type and design can scale?

Anyone know if in Environmental Graphic Design firms there's some specific task they refer to as 'Scaling'?

3 Answers 3


In a situation like this, there's no harm at all in asking for clarification. As you and Scott already noted, "Scaling" can apply to several different design situations -- scaling vector artwork, building large-format artwork in a smaller-scale/higher-resolution (common in grande format and billboard work), resizing images and working to scale as in maps and to-scale diagrams are all "scaling."

You won't seem ignorant. Rather, you will make it clear that you are conscientious and detail-oriented and probably actually read client specifications carefully -- an all too rare but highly valued trait in our industry. :)


Scaling can often refer to increasing the scope of a project.

Project starts with a small piece. Later it's decided there are some collateral items which are needed and the design needs to be consistent with the original project. This would be scaling the project.

It's a bit difficult to answer specifically without knowing the exact question.

  • There really was no question. It was a table that said, "Rank your skills 1-11 in the following topics, 1 being the strongest. Use each number only once." Then in a table it had topic / blank space. One of the topics just says, "Scaling."
    – Ryan
    Apr 9, 2012 at 18:38
  • In that use I would expect it to mean resizing images.
    – Scott
    Apr 9, 2012 at 19:07

Took Alan's advice since it seems there isn't a specific answer. They want me to rank my ability to use an architectural/engineering scale.

We can probably delete this question since the answer didn't end up being some universal I was unaware of and will not be very helpful to anyone else.

  • Never delete questions! The design world is inherently multi-disciplinary and anything that helps us know what different niches are up to and what skills are being valued where is interesting and useful :) Apr 10, 2012 at 15:28
  • 1
    @Ryan: I agree with @user568458 - Even though you know the different meanings of scaling (which have been answered here now) someone else might not know every aspect of it, and be enlightened by reading this question/answers. The existence of this question here along with the answers makes internet better... ;)
    – Aᵂᴱ
    Apr 11, 2012 at 13:05

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