Paper sheet and envelope sizes

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Over time, there have been many conventions of paper sizing. The present-day standards date back to 1975, when the ISO standards regarding paper sizes were issued.

The most popular A-series sizes are based on the findings of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a German scientist, who noticed that a rectangle with the √2 side ratio has some unique scaling properties. The basic format, A0, was designed to have the area of 1m2. A1 was achieved by folding the A0 sheet in half across the longer side, A2 is a result of folding A1 in half etc. Each of the subsequent sheets obtained this way has the aspect ratio of √2, too.

A-series paper sizes (especially A4) are common for office use.

ISO 216 paper size, A series

Measurements [mm]

A0

841 x 1189

A1

594 x 841

A2

420 x 594

A3

297 x 420

A4

210 x 297

A5

148 x 210

A6

105 x 148

A7

74 x 105

A8

52 x 74

A9

37 x 52

A10

26 x 37


The less popular B-series was designed to be an in-between size for the A-series. For example, B1 is a size between A0 and A1. B-series are used for, e.g., passports and printing press.

ISO 216 paper size, B series

Measurements [mm]

B0

1000 x 1414

B1

707 x 1000

B2

500 x 707

B3

353 x 500

B4

250 x 353

B5

176 x 250

B6

125 x 176

B7

88 x 125

B8

62 x 88

B9

44 x 62

B10

31 x 44


C-series (plus and additional format called DL) are used for sizing envelopes:

C-series; envelope sizes

Measurements [mm]

DL

110 x 220

C0

917 x 1297

C1

648 x 917

C2

458 x 648

C3

324 x 458

C4

229 x 324

C5

162 x 229

C6

114 x 162

C7

81 x 114

C8

57 x 81

C9

40 x 57

C10

28 x 40


Did you know?

The envelope sizes were designed in such a way that they go well with A- and B-series papers. Taking the most common A4 paper size as an example:

- C4 envelope can fit unfolded A4 sheet of paper
- C5 envelope can fit A4 sheet folded in half
- C6 envelope can fit A4 sheet folded twice (¼ A4 sheet size)
- DL envelope can fit 1/3 A4 sheet

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