Paper Sizes

The introduction of greater regularity into paper sizes stemmed from the fact the old sizes of paper grew out of the days of hand made papers, sizes had names such as Royal, Crown, foolscap, post, Demy etc.

In the 1920's Germany began the standardisation with the introduction of “Deutsche Industrie Normen” (D.I.N.). DIN was subsequently replaced by “International Organization for Standardization” (I.S.O.).

The advantages of standardization are obvious for efficiency of paper production and printing equipment, print production, storage, etc., hence “International Paper Sizes” (I.P.S.) was born.

The standardized system produced paper sizes based on 3 series A, B & C, but all of the same proportion.

“A” series are the most popular and most practical, “B” series was intended for larger items such as posters and Maps but is not very popular or practical and the “C” series are the envelope sizes designed to compliment the “A” series.

The “A” series uses the AO sheets as its starting point. AO has an area of one square metre, each succeeding size smaller is exactly half the area ans retains the same proportion ie. A2 is half A1 and so on. All the sizes have the rectangular proportions of 1 to the square root of 2 (1.4142), thought by the ancient Greeks to be “The Golden Square”, (The Perfect Rectangle).

Fig. 1 This Rectangle is constructed with sides in the proportion of 1 to the square root of 2 (approximately 1:1.414). These are the proportions on which all international standard metric paper sizes are based. Fig. 2 The normal subdivisions of A0.
Fig. 3 The proportions of the sides are constant in all regular sizes. Fig. 4 The relationship between A, B and C sizes.

Paper & Envelope Sizes

A Series B Series C Series

A0 - 1189 x 841 mm
A1 - 841 x 594 mm
A2 - 594 x 420 mm
A3 - 420 x 297 mm
A4 - 297 x 210 mm
A5 - 210 x 148 mm
A6 - 148 x 105 mm

B0 - 1414 x 1000 mm
B1 - 1000 x 707 mm
B2 - 707 x 500 mm
B3 - 500 x 353 mm
B4 - 353 x 250 mm
B5 - 250 x 176 mm
B6 - 176 x 125 mm

C0 - 1297 x 917 mm
C1 - 917 x 648 mm
C2 - 648 x 458 mm
C3 - 458 x 324 mm
C4 - 324 x 229 mm
C5 - 229 x 162 mm
C6 - 162 x 114 mm

US General Paper Sizes
Letter
11 x 8.5 in.
279.4 x 215.9 mm
Tabloid
17 x 11 in.
431.8 x 279.4 mm
Executive
10 x 7.5 in.
254 x 190.5 mm
Legal
14 x 8.5 in.
355.6 x 215.9 mm
Ledger
11 x 17 in.
279.4 x 431.8 mm
Folio
13 x 8.27 in.
330 x 210 mm
Statement
8.5 x 5.5 in.
215.9 x 139.7 mm
   

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13th July 2016

30 years on!

Thank you to Peter Dearing for 30 years at Printgraphics Printgreen.

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