Table of Contents
Paper comes in many different shapes and sizes. The best-known size is of course A4 paper; every office and household has at least one pack of A4 paper. This size is also the most common size for a printer.
Now we hear you thinking: ‘What is the exact size of A4 paper, what other sizes and weights (thicknesses) of paper are there, and for what purpose are they used?’ This article will discuss the A4 paper size, the other A paper sizes, and the different paperweights.
Dimensions of each A-size paper
The international standard for the size of a sheet of paper is also known as the ISO 216 standard. The table below lists all A paper sizes in cm and mm according to the ISO 216 standard. This shows that A4 paper has a size of 210 millimetres in width by 297 millimetres in length. Then we immediately have an answer to the question: ‘How long is A4 paper?’ A4 paper is 29.7 cm long and 21 cm wide.
As you may have noticed, the aspect ratio of all A formats is the same. For example, the A1 paper size is twice as small as A0 paper size, A2 paper size is twice as small as A1 paper, A3 paper size is twice as small as A2 paper, etc.
Put more simply, when you fold A0 paper in half, you get the A1 size. If you fold it in half again, you get an A2 size, and so on. The image below gives a clear overview of the sizes of the A series.
What is the weight of A4 paper?
Besides different paper sizes, paper can also have different thicknesses. So not all paper is equally heavy (or in this case: not equally light). Since paper is very thin, this cannot be expressed in millimetres. This is why the thickness of the paper is expressed in grams per square metre from the A0 format. This is because A0 paper is 1 square metre.
In our range, we have 75-gram A4 paper and 80-gram A4 paper. But what does 80-gram A4 paper really mean? Of course, one sheet of A4 paper does not weigh 80 grams. Yet it is called 80 grams paper, because it would weigh 80 grams if it were in A0 format.
Because A1 paper is twice as small as A0 paper, A1 paper weighs 40 grams. So you divide the 80 grams by two because the paper is twice as small. The table below clearly shows the actual weight of a sheet of paper at a certain grammage.
So a sheet of 80-gram A4 paper weighs 5 grams (80 / 16 = 5). The more grams, the thicker and stronger the paper. From a grammage of 180 onwards, paper is called cardboard. Below is a description of what the commonly used paper weights (should) be used for.
- 75 and 80 gsm paper: The most common paper for versatile use. Think of reading book papers and documents such as letters, return labels, invoices, work papers, contracts, etc.
- 90-110 gsm paper: High-quality letters and documents.
- 120-150 gsm paper: Colour children’s books, posters, magazines, leaflets, flyers and other commercial printed matter.
- 160-200 gsm paper: Posters, photos, leaflets, flyers and brochures.
- 220-250 gsm paper: Posters, photos, leaflets, flyers, brochures, invitations and certificates.
- 260-350 gsm paper: (Thin) book covers, business cards, birth announcements, congratulations cards and invitations.
Photo paper in various types and sizes
Photo paper is also available in different types. Not only is it available in different formats and grammage weights, but it is also possible to choose between glossy photo paper and matte photo paper.