International Paper Sizes and Envelope Guides

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The system is based on three sizes all of the same proportion, designated A,B and C. The most likely used is A for stationery and general leaflet printing. The B series is intended primarily for larger printed items such as posters, wall charts, etc. The C series, in conjunction with some of the B sizes, is used for envelopes. The A0 size of one square metre (841 x 1189) allows the direct use of grammes per square metre for designating the weight of paper (as opposed to the traditional method of referring to it in terms of lbs. per reams of 500 sheets). The accompanying diagram illustrates the constant ratio between the long and short sides of the sub-divisions of the standard A0 sheet. This constant ratio means that any drawings, artwork, diagrams or typesetting prepared for one size in the series will be in proportion to any other international paper size (A, B or C) up or down. The popular stationery sizes are A3, A4 and A5. A3 is 297 x 420mm (113/4 x 161/2”) A4 is 210 x 297mm (81/2 x 113/4”) A5 is 148 x 210mm (57/8 x 81/2”)   A few examples of A4 and A5 folded to fit various envelopes are shown on the right.
Size in ins. Size in mm.
C3 123/4 x 18 324 x 457
C4 93/4 x 123/4 229 x 324
C5 63/8 x 9 162 x 229
C6 41/2 x 63/8 114 x 162
DL 41/4 x 85/8 110 x 220
A few examples of A4 and A5 folded to fit various envelopes are shown on the right. The second dimension of an envelope usually denotes the opening, i.e. 110 x 220mm (flap is on the 220mm edge), 220 x 110mm (flap is on 110mm edge). All sheets in the three series of sizes are the same shape: a rectangle with the same proportions between long and short sides. In this shape the diagonal of a square becomes the long side of a rectangle based on a square. The A series of size is based on the A0 sheet which has an area of one square metre. The A1 size equals half A0 (i.e. an A0 sheet folded in half with the two short edges brought together), similarly, A2 is half of A1, A3 is half of A2 and so on.


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