The ABC’s of Paper Sizes, 2018 Update

Posted on December 17th, 2018 | Tags: FAQs, Printing, Technical

Back in 2015 I talked about paper sizing and the common formats. Well it’s time to talk about it again and some of the more interesting things that can be done, when you play around the the with cutting sizing. Also advances in digital print technology allow us to now print on ‘banner sizes’ while still getting the economy of digital print. And lets not forget about what can you can do with printing when the paper comes in roll’s not cut sheets. So let’s dive into some of the cool things we can do for you.

Firstly I’m going to assume that you know about how ‘A’ paper sizing works. If you don’t, why not read my original article to learn more. Now we are going to look at some of the more interesting ideas of how you could do your printing.

Third, Half and Quarter sizes

I’ve already covered DL size (⅓A4) before, and it’s in such common use that all printing companies use it to print flyers, make pads, and put to many other uses. But do you realise that we can also do them in other versions too. A common one we have done for restaurant is ⅓A3 (140 x 297mm). Speaking of restaurants you might have run into the ½A4 which takes a sheet 105 x 297mm or an A4 folded on the short edge for menus. We’ve also done ¼ A4 (74x210mm) to make nifty large bookmarks and 50x148mm (~½A5) for small ones. If you need something really long we have even done ⅓A3 (99x420mm) for a couple of jobs.
If you take these long sizes and fold them you can get some fun options as well. ½A4 folded on the long edge is a short edge hinged A6 greeting card. Scale it up to a ½ A3 and you get a landscape short edge hinge A5 greeting card. Take a DL and fold it on the long edge and you get a greeting card 99x105mm which is almost square.

Square Sizes

You may have seen we have added a few new products to our web to print system over the last few months being sticky note pads and memo cubes. We are also planning to bring in ‘square’ sized flyers and rack cards as well. These are all standard square formats. The smallest is the sticky note size, being based around the 3 by 3 inch (~75x75mm) US size. Memo cubes are larger at 100 x 100 mm (~4×4”). Both of these sizes are used for their products alone, but we are happy to quote for other printing done as these sizes. The Square size (120x120mm / CD Insert) is another industry standard thats come about from the need to meet certain types of situations. It’s not a size we print much of but we support it, and the folded version that uses a sheet 240x120mm is something we can also print.

Going Larger

One of the bonuses of updating our digital printing equipment is the support of new and interesting papers and card. Currently we are still working on sourcing supplies of the custom cut paper but it does mean that we will be able to work on some interesting sizes, with the goal of being able to supply sheets almost as large as two A3s (780x310mm). It’s a case of watch this space. But what does it mean for you? Well we will be able to start offering such things as four panel ⅓A3 (560x297mm) and A5 (492x210mm) brochures, and even three panel A4 (630x297mm) ones! Another thing is low cost smaller banners 300×750 or large single sheet wall planners and calendars of the same size.

With our wide format printer it’s no problem printing larger sizes. You would have already seen the small selection of banners you can print through our online print system. If there is paper or fabric on the roll then we can keep printing. So if you wanted to a print that is 900mm wide and 10m long, not a problem. The downside is that wide format is the most cost effective when printing small runs of work and the more ink on the page the more it will cost you to print.

Bespoke Sizes

You have noticed that lot of the sizes I’ve spoken about here are based on even fractions of a A3 or A4 sized sheet of paper. We do that to because it means we can get the most economical runs on our printing sheets and keep the price manageable for you. But you are not required to stick to those sizes. If you want to print a 120×80 product tag or a 150x150mm invite, then we will print it for you. How we price it is based how many we can fit on a printing sheet. The easiest way to work it out is look for the next largest standard size we offer and uses those for the price. So for our 120x80mm tag is bigger than an A7 (105x74mm) but smaller than a A6 (148x105mm) so we will charge based on the A6 price. Likewise the 150x150mm invite is larger than a A5 (148x210mm) but smaller than a A4 (210x287mm) so we cost it on the A4 price. It’s true that are using less paper and depending on the proportions might be able to fit more on the printing sheet, but because they are non-standard sizes there is more work involved in dealing with them, so in the end the costs work out the same for us. If you do want to do a bespoke size we are more than happy to do a custom quote to fit your exact needs.

This is the second of a series of FAQ’s we will be adding to the blog to answer the common questions we get. If you have one that is not answered by this or any of our helpful blog articles then please do give us a call or email and we will be happy to answer all of your questions directly and add it to future articles.