Our guide to European international Printed paper sizes
(Economical paper sizes)

It is based all the Science of economy (or Mathematics). This is to ensure that the minimum industrial waste is made from standard paper sizes. All paper from the mill to the printed document or Newspaper can be benefits from this standard set of paper 'A' sizes.

However 'other' paper sizes do exist for traditional Photographic (Standard Photoprint sizes) Art (Imperial paper sizes reasons as well as 'creative' use can exploit odd shapes and paper sizes although to some extent these are either being phased out towards an International size. Many 'Photo display' and 'Art framing' sizes may well benefit from being a specific 'traditional' Art and display sizes used in Galleries and Museums.

Incidentally one major 'new' development is the CAMERA change from 35mm film slide format to a new 'digital print size' (that confuses many digital camera users when you try to print on 'traditional photo print size'). However the purpose of this guide is to give you a guide for economical international PRINT paper sizes and to recognise any benefits. Camera imaging sizes are different by traditional film formats recognised by Photographers.

The European International Paper sizes are based on the square root of two. This was discovered by
Hippasus but is better known as the PYTHAGORAS CONSTANT. We can use It to make an observation* that a sheet of paper can be folded to make the best use of large and smaller sizes based on an 'ideal' paper size. i.e. Take an A4 sheet of paper. Divide the side length into the diagonal (corner-to-corner) and you will find the 'Pythagorean Constant'!

Therefore (International) paper sizes are all based on a single aspect ratio of the square root of two, or approximately 1:1.4142. *Basing paper upon this ratio was conceived by Georg Lichtenberg in 1786, and at the beginning of the 20th century, Dr Walter Porstmann turned Lichtenberg's idea into a proper system of different paper sizes. And this is because that it is the most efficient use of paper at various sizes (minimum waste when cut into sheets) Sheet sizes are A0 (largest), A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6 and A7.

Download our guide to International paper sizes : Download PDF (840.83 K)

Note: As this is (oddly) the most popular page of any of my web pages, I has better add THIS alternative print size disclaimer:

> Almost all colour printers will offer '
non-standard' size of paper (or card) should you wish it. It will however be costed as if it were a 'standard' paper size (as above). In effect you will be charged for the 'next' paper size 'up'. There are 'square' book sizes (for instance) and other 'odds and ends' that prefer a non-standard size. It is really about marketing. What size is 'best'. No printer likes to turn down a job - whatever that size might be. I may be rather too academic on paper sizes, but just so you know its not cast in stone and can be 'any size' in between the standard sizes.

I hope that makes sense!

Our guide to international 'A 'paper sizes and why they are used...

Our helpful INFORMATION Guides:

(1) A guide to UK and EU Copyright
(2) A
Glossary of Photographic terminology
(3) A guide to Photo resolution
A guide to perceptive colour
(5) A guide to internet security
(6) A guide to zero VAT printed items
(7) A guide to the print processes
A guide to Latin publishing terms
(9) A
guide to Economical (Euro) paper sizes
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