International Paper sizes
International paper sizes of today are a standardised system of related sheet sizes, based on a series of three different sizes. These are simply know as A, B or C (see table below).
Definition of weight, or 'substance', of paper is measured as grams per square metre or ‘gsm’. If a sheet of AO paper weighs 90 grams it is then described as '90 gsm' - regardless of the actual size of the sheet.
The weight (or gsm) of the paper does not necessarily measure the stiffness of the paper. The stiffness of the paper is commonly referred to as the rigidity of the paper. The rigidity of the paper is determined by the 'sizing', which is the filling material used in the manufacturing process of the paper.
A Series |
B Series |
C Series |
|||
size |
millimetres |
size |
millimetres |
size |
millimetres |
A0 |
1189 x 841 |
B0 |
1414 x 1000 |
C0 |
1297 x 917 |
A1 |
841 x 594 |
B1 |
1000 x 707 |
C1 |
917 x 648 |
A2 |
594 x 420 |
B2 |
707 x 500 |
C2 |
648 x 458 |
A3 |
420 x 297 |
B3 |
500 x 353 |
C3 |
458 x 324 |
A4 |
297 x 210 |
B4 |
353 x 250 |
C4 |
324 x 229 |
A5 |
210 x 148 |
B5 |
250 x 176 |
C5 |
229 x 162 |
A6 |
148 x 105 |
B6 |
176 x 125 |
C6 |
162 x 114 |
A7 |
105 x 74 |
B7 |
125 x 88 |
C7 |
114 x 81 |
A8 |
74 x 52 |
B8 |
88 x 62 |
C8 |
81 x 57 |
Standard paper sizes of yesteryear
Prior to decimalisation in 1966 the sizes listed below were the common paper sizes and measurements used in the printing industry. You may still find people referring to 760 x 1020 or quad crown. Other sheet sizes still commonly referred to are, foolscap 13x8', American quarto 11x8.5' and quarto 10x8'.
inches |
millimetres |
description |
standard cutout |
final measurement |
21 x 33 |
530 x 840 |
double large post |
quarto |
10 x 8 |
22 ½ x 35 |
570 x 890 |
double demy |
demy 4to |
10 ¾ x 8 ¼ |
23 x 36 |
580 x 910 |
double medium |
American quarto |
11 x 8 ½ |
27 x 34 |
690 x 860 |
quad foolscap |
foolscap |
13 x 8 ¼ |
25 x 40 |
640 x 1020 |
double royal |
various |
- |
30 x 40 |
760 x 1020 |
quad crown |
various |
- |
Back then, as today, most writing papers were sold in wrapped reams of 500 sheets, however prices were quoted by the pound. If a ream of paper contained sheets 23' x 36' and the ream weight was 60 pounds, it would be indicated as 23 x 36/60. The number after the oblique indicated the weight of the ream. Writing papers were usually wrapped in reams of 500 sheets. Boards were wrapped in packs of 100 sheets.
Post 1966
Paper sizes remained the same for quite a few years, except that the inch measurement was decimalised to millimetres and the ream weight was replaced with 'gsm' (grams per square metre). Thus a particular paper may be referred to as being 90gsm, irrespective of the sheet size or reel size on which it is made.
International paper sizes (recommended by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) are stated as 'trimmed' - the size of the finished work after trimming. In each of the three series of ISO sizes - A, B and C - the shape of the basic size and of all normal subdivisions is the same. The sides are always in the proportion 1:v2 (that is, approximately 1: 1.4)
In the A series, the basic size is AO (1189 x 841mm), which occupies an area of 1 square metre. All A sizes derive from this standard and are described by the letter A followed by a number. For example:
A1 is half of A0
A2 is half of A1
A3 is half of A2
A4 is half of A3