Paper Sizes – for ordering printing – Explained!

For those folks that don’t often get involved in print ordering, paper size designations can be confusing – let us unconfuse this situation!

The most common paper size by far is A4, 210x297mm, for 99% of business letterheads, paper for the average office copier etc.  So if you cut that letterhead in half that becomes A5, 210 x 148mm, cut in half again that becomes A6, 148 x 105mm. So we have covered A4, A5 and A6.  Do the same again for A7…

Almost all printed Brochures and Leaflets are either multiplications or divisions of A4, eg. A5 folded in half to A4; A4 folded in half to A5, A5 folded in half to A6.  Larger sizes A3, A2 A1 etc. are used for production of multi-page jobs.  And yes, there are other varieties of paper sizes, but I am trying to help not hinder.

Need Printed Brochures

Compliment Slips are most usually 1/3rd A4, so 3 strips out of A4 giving a size of 99 x 210mm, sometimes also described loosely as “DL”.

DL” strictly speaking is an Envelope size of 220 x 110mm, to take A4 Letterheads, or Leaflets, folded in 3, either in a Letter Fold (U Fold) or Concertina Fold (Z Fold).

Business Cards are mostly 85 x 55mm, printed out of an A7 size 74 x 105mm, most often produced 8 out of A4, or 16 out of A3 in our workshop.  The reason for the 85 x 55mm size is simply to fit the vast majority of people’s purses and wallets, any larger sizes will result in a nice neat design being scrunched on the edges until it can be used one day.  Smaller sizes than 85 x 55mm are no problem; often used for personal Visiting Cards, Club Cards etc.

For Banners, Posters and Point of Sale (POS) items much larger sizes are used: A1, AO and “Elephant”…  No, not an animal, but 28 x 23” but we are getting into the pre-metric , pre-EU realm now of Foolscap, 13 x 8”; Quarto, 10 x 8”; still around when we first started our family business.  Maybe Brexit will bring as radical a change as joining the European Community and metrication did.  History has a habit of repeating itself.  Perhaps new paper sizes will be created under Brexication.  Who knows?

Download Paper Sizes Cheat-Sheet

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