There are many different paper sizes out there, with obviously the most common being A4 and A3. But how are they different to each other, and what about the other paper sizes that are out there?

Well, there are actually more standard paper sizes that you probably think. Each of them are good for different things, so depending on what you want to print, a certain size may be better for your needs. So, let’s look at all of the paper sizes that are out there, and how they are different to each other.

A1 vs A2 vs A3 vs A4


Often referred to as the ISO 216 standard, this is what most of the world uses to determine the size of their paper. It makes sense – it’s easy to understand, and each of the different forms is simply half the size of the previous.

When you cut an A0 piece of paper in half, you simply get an A1 sheet – and so on. North American paper sizes are a bit different, and although very similar, actually have a different aspect ratio altogether. So, this is stricly about the measurements we use in Europe.

A0 – 841 x 1189mm


Commonly Used for: Street posters. The largest of the paper sizes is A0, which is extremely large and pretty rarely used nowadays. The main place that you’ll see A0 used is on posters, perhaps for an advertising campaign.

A1 – 594 × 841mm


Commonly Used for: Posters, Signs. For the most part, A1 paper will be used for larger projects, as it’s essentially 8 pieces of A4 paper put together. Although you’re unlikely to print this from home, any good printing shop near you can help you print things out in this colour.

A2 – 420 x 594mm


Commonly Used for: Window banners, artistic prints. This size is used far more often than both A1 and A0 (A0 is just double the size of A1). This is a common size you’ll find artistic prints in, so it will probably be used by graphic design students and art students.

A3 – 420 x 297 mm


Commonly Used for: Charts and Presentations. A3 is probably something that you’ll used quite often if you work in an education environment, in both university and school level. It’s the perfect size for group work and presentations.

It’s also the largest size you can opt for and print from home sensibly, although you’ll need a specific A3 printer for this (check out our A3 Printer Guide to find one).

A4 – 297 x 210mm


Commonly Used for: Everyday. Everyone knows what A4 paper is – it’s become the synonymous term for paper or printer paper, and most of us use it on a regular basis. Most of the professional and educational work you’ll do will be on A4 measured paper.

A5 – 210 x 148mm


Commonly Used for: Books, Notebooks. Aside from A4, this is another one of the most commonly used paper sizes all around the world. The majority of books are printed in A5 format, making them a good compromise between readability and compact design. They’re also heavily used for all sorts of notebooks, planners and diaries.

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