The ultimate guide to paper types and sizes

The ultimate guide to paper types and sizes

Whatever your print job you’ll want to find the perfect paper size, weight and type to suit. The paper you use might depend on your target market, the final purpose of your print or the kind of event, products or services you’re advertising. If you’re not familiar with the world of print, paper choice might seem like a minefield but our ultimate guide to all things paper will help you find your way safely through.

What is A4 paper?

A4 paper measures 297mm x 210mm and is the most common size of paper used in photocopiers, desktop printers, magazines and brochures as well as for letterheads.

So, what size is A5 paper?

If you cut A4 across its centre you get A5 (sometimes called half of A4 paper). A5 is 210mm x 148mm. A6 is smaller again at 148mm x 105. The sizes go up in proportion and you can see how the scale works by looking at the list below:

  • A0: 1189mm x 841mm
  • A1: 841mm x 594mm
  • A2: 594mm x 420mm
  • A3: 420mm x 297mm
  • A4: 297mm x 210mm
  • A5: 210mm x 148mm
  • A6: 148mm x 105mm

….and so on until A10 at 37mm x 26mm.

Paper weight

The thickness of paper is measured not in mm but in grammes per square inch (gsm).

How thick is 120gsm paper?

120gsm is the paper commonly used for printing brochures, booklets, leaflets and letterheads. Many booklets have pages at 120 or 130 gsm and thicker covers at around 250 gsm.

How thick is card?

Card, like paper comes in a huge range of weights but anything around 300gsm or over is usually referred to as card. Business cards typically start at 350gsm but can go much higher. Some luxury business cards can be triple or even quadruple thick. You won’t forget those in a hurry!

What is meant by the finish of paper?

Not all paper is the same. You’ll notice that some printed material is glossy while some items like letterheads are printed on more absorbent, uncoated paper. Standard finishes are gloss, silk (which has a softer sheen) and uncoated paper. There are also a great many luxury finishes such as linen or hammer effect and laid papers. There are pearlescent papers, metallic flake effect and bright white finishes as well as off-white shades. Luxury papers can really bring the best out of your designs and give your print a unique, exclusive feel so if you’re looking for something extra special have a look at our luxury paper range.

All your sizes clearly displayed at

We set out to make it as easy as possible to find the product, paper type and size you need. When you click for a quote you’ll be taken through all the options then given an instant price for your job. We’re based right here in Ireland so if you have any questions simply contact us and our expert team of printers will help you out. To find out more about ordering professional business print online visit today.

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