Paper Size Guide

As easy as A B C…

The A series of paper sizes was adopted in Europe in the 19th century, and is currently used all around the world apart from the USA and Canada. The largest of these is A0, which is 841mm x 1189mm.  Although strange looking numbers you will find if you multiply these dimensions the sheet surface area is 999.949mm or very nearly one square meter.

One of the quirks of this size is that when the sheet is halved, the aspect ratio remains the same. So all the sizes from A0 to A8 are all proportionally the same. This system means enlarging and reducing of images/pages can occur without any loss of image or blank margins, and that when sheets are folded they will make a booklet of the next A size down.

Because of the way paper is made and brought this sizing is important, you will waste less paper if you are printing to a standard size. There is also something familiar about an A4 brochure or an A5 leaflet though you will find other sizes do stand out as something different.

The B series though not commonly used fall between the standard A sizes, for example B5 will measure between A4 and A5. Lots of posters use a B series paper and B5, 176mm × 250mm is a common size for books.

The ‘C’ paper sizes are most commonly used for envelopes as they have been made to exactly fit the ‘A’ paper sizes. So an A5 invite will fit perfectly into a C5 envelope.

We all know the dimensions of A4 but it’s easy to forget less used paper sizes. Why not bookmark this page or download the PDF for a handy reference point. Download the A series sizes here      Download the C series sizes here

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