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Printing Lingo: What is “A-Series” Paper, such as A3, A4, A5, etc.?

In the United States, and other parts of North America, standard paper sizes are based on inch measurements. For example, the three most popular US paper sizes are 8.5" x 11" (Letter), 8.5" x 14" (Legal), and 11" x 17" (Tabloid/Ledger).

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However, the rest of the world uses an International standard for paper sizes which is based on the metric system.

A-Series refers to the most popular size category within the International paper system. Paper sizes within the A-Series range from A0 (largest) to A10 (smallest).

Looking at the size chart, you will notice that the A-Series follows a very logical sizing system. It starts with the A0 sheet size, which has an area equal to one square meter. Next is the A1 sheet size which is one-half the size of A0. The A2 size is one-half the size of A1, the A3 size is one-half the size of A2 and so on.

Also, all A-Series sheets have a consistent size ratio, with the longest side of a sheet being equal to the shortest side multiplied by the square root of two (approximately 1.41).

In case you are wondering, the most common sheet size in the world is A4, which measures 8.27" x 11.69" or 210mm x 297mm.

If you need help with an upcoming print project, be sure to get in touch with Formax Printing. Just give us a call at 866-367-6221. Or, if you already know your specs and would like a quote, click here to submit our quote request form. As always, we look forward to assisting with your printing needs!

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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