Monday, 27 February 2012

Size does matter

Last month’s proof marks guide proved very popular, so hopefully this month’s guide to paper sizes, scaling and usage will be just as helpful.

Almost everyone is familiar with the standard A4, A3 etc sizes of paper (well, except for North America which is resolutely sticking to imperial measurements).

This ISO A series of paper uses the metric system, with all sizes based on a height-to-width ratio of the square root of 2, where the base format is A0, a sheet of paper measuring 1m² in area. Successive paper sizes in the series A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8, are all half the size of the preceding paper size.

Unsurprisingly, the most frequently used paper size is A4 (210 × 297 mm). The B and C series are far less common than the A, with B slightly larger than A and mainly used for posters and books, whilst the C series is generally used for envelopes and folders.

A series usage:
    • A3: typically used for drawings, diagrams and large tables.
    • A4: usually used for general and business stationery, brochures, booklets etc.
    • A5: commonly used for smaller items such as leaflets/flyers etc.
    • A6: international postcard size.
    • A7: labels etc.
    • A8: business cards
    Download our handy paper size guide here (PDF)

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