The orientation of most magnet materials must be determined prior to manufacturing the magnet. Most magnet materials are anisotropic; therefore, the orientation cannot be changed after the magnet has been manufactured. This means that communicating the orientation correctly is imperative. The format that we follow is the accepted format in the industry and should be used when communicating with us. This format is explained in layman's terms so that it is very clear in order to avoid confusion.
First, visualize the magnet pole. Think of this as a point which is the center of the pole surface area. Suppose this is the "North" pole.
Now think of the "South" pole the same way.
Imagine a line drawn between these two points. The distance between the two lines will be the dimension that describes the orientation.
In the above example, the distance between the poles is 0.50". Therefore the orientation is through the 0.50" dimension.
The correct method to describe this magnet when writing the dimensions is as follows:
2.50" x 1.20" x 0.50"<m></m> where m designates "magnetized" and <> designates orientation.
Occasionally, there is confusion between "orientation" and "polarity". Caution should be exercised so that this is clarified.