How can I give my designer detailed information about the measurements of an irregular shaped piece of paper. I create the piece of paper with such an punch:


  • I can't measuring it with a normal ruler, because of the form.
  • I can't send the piece of paper to him.

I have an idea but I don't know if it's working. Would scanning be an option? After the scan process the document will be saved as .pdf.

The size must be millimeter precision — if it's possible.

  • 9
    You cannot measure it with a ruler? why is that? Just put the ruler on top of it...
    – Luciano
    May 12, 2017 at 9:37
  • 1
    Another idea: maybe ask your designer about it? Send an email and tell what you need?
    – Luciano
    May 12, 2017 at 9:39
  • Personally I'd appreciate the width measured as shown with the blue line here. The designer should be able to resize the image to the right size based this dimension and then use it as a reference. Scanned image would be potentially better, but not necessary... necessarily... If the design has something like a Stroke that follows the outline of the shape, then a scan would be more reliable.
    – Joonas
    May 12, 2017 at 9:40
  • 1
    You will need to use a ruler to measure it. As a graphic designer myself, I would refuse to work for a client who would not or could not give me the exact measurements of a job. I don't need clients like that, and I doubt your designer does either. If you want to have a door made by a carpenter, to fit the hole in your wall, you need to tell him the size, otherwise they will tell you to get lost.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 12, 2017 at 9:59
  • 1
    according to google the puch is is 1-5/8″ x 1-5/8"
    – joojaa
    May 12, 2017 at 10:20

5 Answers 5


How to measure things with a ruler:

  1. use a ruler

Your object is made from squares and circles.

  • Measure the width and height of the object,
  • measure the inner square
  • Measure the distance from the inner square to cut (r). the r is the radius of a circle that create the bows

enter image description here

  • 3
    I love your first 2 lines. May 12, 2017 at 14:53
  • 1
    The outward-facing arcs may not be parts of circles, and the ones near the points (at the ends of the "W" segment) almost certainly aren't.
    – Mark S.
    May 13, 2017 at 13:00
  • 1
    For step 1, “use a ruler”, better advice is use a digital caliper May 13, 2017 at 15:37
  • @JamesWaldby-jwpat7 A Divider caliper AKA a compass is the tool of choice, whereas the typical vernier caliper is not noticeably better than a ruler in this case since there is no surface to push against. Ruler a is fine.
    – joojaa
    May 13, 2017 at 18:23
  • I would use roller ruler but as OP had problems with measuring it with regular ruler I doubt he have such a tool. May 16, 2017 at 10:08

get a piece of millimeter paper, put your shape onto it and scan the pile. Orient the symmetry axles of your shape along the grid as accurately as possible.

Add also major diameters as numbers.

  • 5
    Or just punch the graph paper itself if you've got the punch to hand
    – Chris H
    May 12, 2017 at 12:29
  • @ChrisH that's not so easy. The orientation will be a flyaway thing.
    – user82991
    May 12, 2017 at 17:42

Either scan or photograph the cutout shape next to a ruler. Any designer worth the title will be able to redraw the shape from that and then send you back a file that you can print out at 100% scale to verify the shape. I've had to do similar things in the past and I've been able to get well within a millimetre of the actual shape.

A couple of tips:

  • Two rulers are better than one - place one horizontally and one vertically so that both can be checked
  • Scanning is better, but if you choose to use a photo instead then zoom in as far as you can and take the photo from a distance - this will give you less distortion

One other thing: The manufacturers of these Punches sometimes have diagrams of the shapes available. Either on their websites, or made available if you request them via email.

  • I would say they almost always do, they just don't share them automatically
    – joojaa
    May 12, 2017 at 11:23

Attach some tape to the piece of paper and stick it to a sturdy desk so it is oriented upright.

Next to it place the following items:

Left of piece of paper:

  • Pea
  • Dime (standing)
  • Golf Ball

Right of the piece of paper:

  • Tangerine
  • Apple
  • Tennis ball
  • Basketball
  • Cantaloupe melon (or watermelon)

Take a high resolution photograph and email it to the designer who will take it from there.

Also take a close up of piece of paper with measurements written on it from point to point.

  • 1
    Nice to see that famous stackexchange sense of humour alive and well this sunny Friday. This was a pretty silly question, that deserved a silly answer, plus it would actually work (to a degree if slightly labour intensive) May 12, 2017 at 10:28
  • Well, you made me laugh... It'd genuinely make my day if someone sent me that picture
    – Cai
    May 12, 2017 at 10:30
  • @Cai haha cheers mate. You know as I was writing it I honestly did think that (something like it) would actually work (well enough) and make the people you are working with laugh, and that's worth something too! :) May 12, 2017 at 11:14
  • Fruit sizes vary too much to be of any significance
    – BlueWizard
    May 14, 2017 at 6:59
  • @BlueWizard - Point taken. What other fruits (or vegetables?!) would you recommend? May 14, 2017 at 8:15

Is this punch available to purchase online? If so, like many other similar punches on Amazon, they will list the product specs in the description, most likely including the size of the actual shape cut-out. Send this product link to the designer and let him figure this out, that's why you are hiring a designer in the first place!

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