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A Sizes Explained

Posted on 4th Jul 2012 @ 8:33 AM

The brainy bit: The international paper size standard ISO 216 (International Organisation for Standardisation) is the standard that paper sizes are all based on.  In other words,1:1.4142 or single aspect ratio of square root of 2.  

Most of us use the A4 sized paper on a day to day basis for producing letters, etc, but here is a list of ‘A’ sizes explained for your use:

Size Height x Width (inches) Height x Width (millimetres)
A0 46.8 x 33.1 1189 x 841
A1 33.1 x 23.4 841 x 594
A2 23.4 x 16.5 594 x 420
A3 16.5 x 11.7 420 x 297
A4 11.7 x 8.3 297 x 210
A5 8.3 x 5.8 210 x 148
A6 5.8 x 4.1 148 x 105
A7 4.1 x 2.9 105 x 74
A8 2.9 x 2.0 74 x 52
A9 2.0 x 1.5 52 x 37
A10 1.5 x 1.0 37 x 26

For larger sheets of paper, there are the following sizes:

Size Height x Width (inches) Height x Width (millimetres)
2A0 66.2 x 46.8 1682 x 1189
4A0 93.6 x 66.2 2378 x 1682

- A0/A1/A2/A3 sized paper can be used for posters and drawings, etc
- A4 sized paper is the most popular for the use of letters, etc
- A5 sized paper is generally used for flyers or leaflets due to their handy size
- A6 sized paper is the international postcard size
- A7 sized is generally used for labels
- A8 sized is mostly used for business cards

When considering the thickness of your paper, this is known as GSM, or Grams per Square Metre. The most popular thickness of paper used for everyday printing on A4 paper is 80gsm. The thicker the paper, the higher the number GSM it will be, and obviously the thicker the paper, the more it will generally cost.

If you are considering having leaflets or flyers printed, then 150-170gsm would be an ideal thickness, as this thickness of paper is a little more robust.

For front and back covers of brochures, you would normally choose 200-300gsm.

For your business cards, 300gsm is usually used.

In general terms, if you take an A4 piece of paper and fold it over once, this will equate to an A5 sized sheet of paper, and if you take an A5 sheet of paper and fold it once, this will equate to an A6 sized sheet of paper, and so on. The paper measurements are determined by halving the measurement of the preceding one.


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