A Handy Guide to UK Paper Sizes

A Handy Guide to UK Paper Sizes

Paper sizes are something even seasoned print veterans find themselves looking up occasionally. While some paper sizes are used on a daily basis at printers and design studios, there are others that are only used a handful of times a year. Those tend to be the sizes most easily forgotten, so we’ve come up with this handy reference guide that can be referred to any time, 365 days of the year. Don’t forget to bookmark it!

The following is not an exhaustive list of paper sizes, but it should cover the most commonly used sizes used by designers and printers around the UK. For the sake of brevity, we’ll leave out the more rarefied ‘legacy’ sizes that we simply tend not to encounter any more.

ISO Paper Sizes:

You may not have heard of ‘ISO’ paper sizes, but you will have used sizes like A4 and A3 perhaps on a weekly basis. A4, A3, A5, A2, B4 and B5 are probably the most easily recognisable examples of ISO ‘A’ and ISO ‘B’ paper sizes.

ISO 'A' paper sizesISO sizes have several neat, and very handy, mathematical properties about them:

  • The ratio of their sides is always 1 to 1.414 (the square root of 2, by the way).
  • To mentally compute the dimensions from one ISO paper size to the next, you simply keep the longest side and double the shortest. So A4 (210mm x 297mm) becomes A3 (297mm x 420mm). We simply doubled the shortest side (210mm) to get that new 420mm dimension, but kept the existing 267mm dimension — easy!
  • Note that the physical paper size at each step up is DOUBLE the paper area. So A4 is half the size of A3 (fold A3 in half and you end up with A4 again). A3 is in turn half the physical size of A2 and so on.
  • You can alternatively enlarge to the next ISO size (e.g. from A4 to A3) by enlarging the original 1.414 times. So, on a photocopier, for example, you would set the magnification to 141.4%.
  • Most ingeniously, the ISO ‘A’ sizes are designed to allow printers to easily compute the weight of a printed stack of papers simply by counting the sheets. It’s based on the fact that the size A0 is exactly 1 square metre in area. So, if you know you have paper that’s, say, 150gsm in weight (paper is specified in grams per square metre; gsm), you know that a stack of one hundred A0 sheets will be 100 x 150gsm, which is 15000grams (i.e. 1.5kg in weight). If your stack happened to be A1, then you simply need to divide that by two (because, as we learned above, the next A size down is half the size). For A2 you halve it again and so on.

ISO ‘A’ sizes:

The ISO ‘A’ series of paper sizes is most widely used for printing and design in the UK; most people will use A4 paper, for example, on a daily basis. As we mentioned above, each ‘step’ down from one A size to the next is exactly half the size, as you can see in the diagram above/right. Here are the main A sizes:

  • A0 = 841mm x H1189mm
  • A1 = 594mm x 841mm
  • A2 = 420mm x 594mm
  • A3 = 297mm x 420mm
  • A4 = 210mm x 297mm
  • A5 = 148mm x 210mm
  • A6 = 105mm x 148mm
  • A7 = 74mm x 105mm
  • A8 = 52mm x 74mm
  • A9 = 37mm x 52mm

If you want to go larger than A0, the next size up is called “2A0” (1189 x 1682mm). Use the maths trick above to go up from there to 3A0, 4A0 and beyond.

ISO ‘B’ paper sizes:

Exactly as with the ‘A’ sizes, each ‘B’ paper size can be Read more

Looking for an Eco-Friendly Printer in London SE1?

Looking for an Eco-Friendly Printer near SE1?

At Southside Print, we’re passionate about doing our bit to save the planet. With such extreme weather around the world and record-breaking temperatures becoming the new norm, it’s more important then ever to reduce our carbon footprint and generally be more eco-friendly as a company and as individuals. We’re certainly stepping up to the mark.

Are you looking for a ‘green’ printer near London Bridge?

We hope that being ‘green’ is important to you too. If so, you’ll probably want to find an environmentally-friendly printer, i.e. one who uses eco-friendly practices and chooses sustainable materials wherever possible. That’s where we come in because we genuinely care about the environment and our impact on the planet. So, when you choose Southside as your environmentally-friendly printer, you know you are making a green choice and are also playing your part in the much bigger picture.

How we are environmentally friendly

At Southside Print, there are a number of ways in which we help to minimise waste and reduce our carbon footprint. Just a few examples include the following:

  • All paper, card and board off-cuts are saved for recycling wherever possible. As printers, that’s a no-brainer and results in a huge amount of paper-based material going back into the production of things like … more recycled paper! Speaking of which …
  • While the final decision about paper and card is down to the individual customer, we try wherever possible to suggest the use of sustainable papers. Depending on the job in hand, these might include paper that is 100% or at least partly recycled, made from pulp from sustainable sources, a mixture of the two, or even paper and board that contains nothing from trees at all — for example, paper made from sustainable cotton — this has a lovely crispness about it too. There is a wide variety of eco-friendly paper, card and board available on the market, so it makes total sense to offer such options to customers. Together, we can then help the planet and reverse some of the damage already done.
  • We also endeavour to choose only energy-efficient machinery. These days, this is easier than ever because most modern machines have energy-efficient modes and other eco-friendly options. These save energy, minimise heat loss and can even reduce the amount of wasted material and consumables used during production.
  • At Southside, we often also go the extra mile by using green cycle couriers to deliver to London customers wherever possible. There are not many printers that go to such lengths!
  • It may come as a surprise to some but our website hosting was also carefully chosen; at Southside, only ‘green’ hosting will do! The servers used to display our website are hosted in an energy-efficient environment and one that takes enormous measures to limit heat loss. Such measures help to reduce carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere — that’s an incredibly important step towards reducing the greenhouse effect that can so badly add to global warming.

Contact SE1’s eco-friendly printer

If you are as passionate as us about the environment and are looking for an eco-friendly printer, please give us a try at Southside Print. Printing need not cost the Earth, so Read more

Opening Times for Christmas 2019 & New Year

Christmas & New Year opening times

A very Happy Christmas to all our customers! We’d also like to pass on every good wish to you for the New Year when it arrives. Thanks to each and every one of you for all the lovely graphic design and printing work that you’ve given us throughout 2019 — it’s been a wonderful year and we really appreciate all the work you have passed our way — Thank you.

Christmas 2019 & New Year Opening Times

We close for the Christmas festivities on Friday 20th December at 5.30pm, remaining closed throughout the Christmas period until January 2nd 2020 when we re-open at 9am — and then it’s all back to normal. In the mean time, if you have anything urgent that simply must be ready in time for Christmas, don’t delay. We’ll need your artwork and order right away please.

However, our online print shop will be available to everyone during the break. So, if you need anything like brochures, posters, letterheads, compliments slips, business cards or leaflets, simply order them online (follow the bold links) and we’ll print and dispatch those for you as soon as possible.

You can also continue to request quotations over the Christmas break and, again, we’ll sort those out for you as quickly as we can so you have prices ready for the New Year. You can also call 020 7378 6754 to speak with us either side of the break.

Thanks again to each and every one of you. We wish you a happy Christmas and all good things for the 2020.

The Southside Print Team, Tabard Street, London SE1.

Winners Announced for the SE1 Charity Prize Draw

SE1 charity Christmas prize draw winners

Many thanks to all the lovely SE1 charities that took part in our Christmas 2019 charity prize draw. £550 worth of printing vouchers were up for grabs, split into four prizes for the lucky winners. Our team at Southside Print came up with the draw as alternative to sending out Christmas cards this year — and we think it’s a very worthwhile idea — and one that should help excellent causes save some money.

The Winners

We can now confirm the lucky winners are as follows:

Hestia in SE1 won the top £250 voucher prizeHestia

In first place was Hestia, who won the top prize of a £250 printing voucher. This SE1 charity, which is based just a stone’s throw away from us in Borough High Street, supports adults and children in crisis across London. This includes those who have suffered domestic abuse, modern slavery, mental health issues and homelessness, to give a few examples. The charity also campaigns and advocates nationally on the issues that affect the people involved. Each year, the organisation helps approximately 9000 adults and children in the London area. We wrote an in-depth blog article about Hestia way back in February 2018 and you can also visit Hestia’s website to learn more about them.

A further three winners, each receiving a £100 printing voucher, were:

Safer London

Safer London is the first of three SE1 charities that each won a £100 printing voucher in the Christmas prize drawer. Based in Union Street, the charity believes that every young person should be given the opportunity to live free from violence and exploitation including exposure to gangs, sexual or other exploitation and crime — and we couldn’t agree more. The charity works around the clock to help this aim become a reality. This is done through mentoring, education, empowerment, access to safe housing and, above all, one-to-one support. Learn more about the excellent work Safer London does on their website.

SE1 charity Bankside Open Spaces Trust won a £100 printing voucherBOST

Bankside Open Spaces Trust (‘BOST’) is another SE1 charity that won a £100 printing voucher. Based just around the corner from Southside Print in Redcross Way, BOST is an award-winning environmental and volunteering charity that aims to create and improve gardens, parks, green spaces and open spaces in and around the Bankside region of London. These include many ‘community gardens’ where sustainable food is grown; food which directly benefits people living in nearby social housing. We have written and published several blog articles about BOST, which can be found here. You can also learn more about the charity on their website.

RSPB

The London office of the RSPB, which is based in Southwark Street, London SE1, also won one of the £100 printing vouchers. We were delighted because we simply love birds here at Southside Print. The RSPB (full name: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is the largest nature conservation charity in the UK. As they say in their Mission Statement, “Our birds and wildlife are increasingly vulnerable in a rapidly-changing world. Together, we can create bigger, better, more joined-up spaces to save our wildlife, and our shared home.” The nature reserves over which the charity is custodian help to improve the situation for species that are too often in decline. Their recovery is nurtured through conservation, research, partnerships and the tackling of threats that so badly affect them. Learn more about the RSPB here.

Congratulations to Read more

Charity Christmas Prize Draw for SE1

Charity Christmas Prize Draw for SE1

If you’re a charity based in London SE1, you could soon be in for an unexpected treat. As an alternative to sending Christmas cards and hampers this year, Southside Print is donating a total of £550 worth of printing services to SE1 charities via a December prize draw.

Win free printing!

Four lucky charities will split the winnings, with a top prize of £250 worth of printing going to one charity, with three other charities each receiving a voucher for printing worth £100. Charities need not be existing customers of Southside Print.

Prize Draw Rules

A few simple terms and conditions apply, the main caveats being:

  • No purchase is necessary;
  • Charities need to be based in London SE1, i.e. have an SE1 postcode in their published office address;
  • Charities must register here by 12th December 2019;
  • The prizes are given as printing vouchers (1 x £250 voucher plus 3 x £100 vouchers in total), and each charity can win a maximum of only one voucher;
  • The winners will be chosen at random on 13th December 2019. A list of winning charities will be published online;
  • Vouchers must be redeemed for printing services no later than 30th June 2020;
  • Vouchers can only be redeemed at Southside Print, Tabard Street, for in-house printing services available on site;
  • The value of each order will be confirmed before commencing production;
  • No cash alternative is available and no change will be given.
  • Vouchers need not be used in a single printing order; we will keep a running tally for each winner;

Submit your entry here


If you are a charity based in London SE1, you have nothing to lose, so register now! Vouchers can pay for the equivalent value of any of our in-house printing services. These include digital printing, large format printing, lamination and digital foiling. Winners can use them for ordering things like Read more

Thermographic Printing at Southside Print, London Bridge

Thermographic printing in London Bridge

Thermographic printing, or ‘thermo’ printing as it’s also known in the trade, is a useful technique to embellish your printing and make it stand out – figuratively as well as literally speaking to some degree. Here we’ll take a look at the process and how it can be used here at Southside Print in London SE1.

The thermo process

Thermography is, to some extent, more of ‘finishing’ process as it’s completed after the coloured inks have already been printed on the paper or card. While the inks are still wet, a thermographic powder is applied to the paper and it sticks to the wet ink. Any excess is quickly removed and then the dusted sheets are passed through a heating process. This melts the themographic powder into its final form. Once melted, set and cooled, it forms an attractive coating to just the printed parts of the sheet.

Thermographic printing is great for brochuresThe effect of thermo printing

The new thermo coating is like a spot printed glossy varnish that actually has a thickness to it. This is why thermographically printed elements on the paper feel raised if you run your finger over them. While it’s not as crisp as embossing or UV varnishing, it is an interesting and slightly organic effect and one that is quite different to embossing in reality. As well as being raised, it makes the printed areas glossy, allowing the them to catch the light at certain angles. It’s also useful to note that thermo printing is a significantly cheaper alternative to spot UV varnishing.

Thermo printing is a significantly cheaper alternative to spot UV varnishing

Uses

Thermo printing is quite a well-established, traditional process but, when used well by talented graphic designers, can look incredibly attractive and contemporary. The thermographic powder/seal is transparent, so it lets the colour of the underlying printing ink show through. Because of that, it actually looks like the thermographically printing itself is coloured. So, for example, if your logo on a letterhead consists of black type for the company name and a big red square for the logo symbol, it’ll look like those two coloured elements are thermographically ‘printed’ and each of them will be glossy and slightly raised. Thermo printing also has a slightly organic feel about it as mentioned above, by which we mean that it has a slightly mottled, in-exact outer edge and the glossy ‘seal’ feels hard and glassy — almost jewel-like. This can really contrast well against the matt paper it is printed onto. Thermographic printing works well on anything from business cards, letterheads and invitations to Read more

Personalised Christmas Cards for 2019

Personalised Christmas cards for 2019

With the clocks gone back and the final part of the year upon us, Christmas will be at the forefront of people’s minds very soon. And, with last post dates for Christmas being Wednesday 18 December for 2nd Class and Friday 20 December for First Class, you need to start planning for your personalised and corporate Christmas cards now if you’re to avoid a last minute panic.

Luckily, Southside Print can help. In line with previous years, we have a great selection of attractive Christmas cards ready and waiting for you to personalise and overprint at www.christmascardgallery.co.uk. Every one of them is attractive and you can choose cards which may be metallic foiled, high gloss varnished, printed on textured card or featuring a combination of several of those finishes. Each can be personalised professionally for you, including a logo if required. Click the links and images to see the huge choice available.

Laser cut Christmas cardsLaser cut Christmas cards

New for 2019 are our contemporary-looking laser cut cards. These feature modern, geometric designs that have been cut from pearlescent material with a precision laser. Sized at 152mm square or A5, designs feature anything from fancy stars and attractive trees to festive reindeer. View the laser-cut cards here.

Laser cut Christmas cardsAnimal & bird cards

Our range of 20 animal and bird cards is always popular — who doesn’t love a fluffy robin, penguin or polar bear! Joining them are cards featuring highland cattle, stags, donkeys, blue tits, foxes, owls, dancing cranes and squirrels, each in a gorgeous, snowy scene. The photography is stunning. View the animal & bird cards here.

Christmas themed greetings cardsChristmas themed charity cards

Of course we also have a range of Christmas themed charity cards, featuring illustrations, designs and photography that have a distinctively Christmassy feel about them. All 21 of them are attractive and extremely festive in feel, sized at A5. You’ll find snowy scenes, wreathes, fancy baubles, church scenes and more in this section. View the Christmas themed cards here.

Fine art & religious themed Christmas cardsFine art & religious cards

Our selection of religious and fine art greetings cards is simply beautiful. From angels, nativity scenes, the Three Kings, stained glass windows and churches to images of works of art that all have a distinctively wintery scene at their core. All sized at A5 and ready for you to personalise. View the fine art and religious themed cards here.

Christmas cards with an International themeInternational charity cards

Our International charity card range will particularly suit businesses and organisations who have a worldwide clientele. Images include globe motifs, flags, world landmarks, doves of peace and Christmas trees in a wide variety of visual styles. Sized at A5 and featuring a variety of different finishes and textures depending upon the card chosen. View the International themed Christmas cards here.

London themed Christmas cardsLondon scenes

Our London themed Christmas cards are perfect for many of our clients as so many of them are based in the heart of the city. The choice of 24 different cards features landmarks such as The London Eye, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Horse Guards Parade, Regent Street, St James’ Park, St Pancras Station, Tower Bridge and even the Natural History Museum. Perfect! View our London themed cards here.

Photographic Xmas cardsPhotography charity cards

Always popular, we couldn’t forget our photographic range of festive cards. These are attractive, featuring stunning photography, and of course are non-religious, so will suit a wide audience. Images include anything from swans on the river and decorated trees to snowy landscapes and frosted snowdrops. A5. View the photography themed Christmas cards here.

Tree themed Christmas cardsTree cards

No collection of Christmas cards would be complete without a wide selection of tree images and ours is no exception. Choose from 24 different designs that include images and styles that will suit anyone. With the added bonus, for some, that they’re non-religious, these will have wide appeal and will suit any age group too. Sized at A5 and featuring a variety of finishes. View the tree themed Xmas cards here.

Ready to order?

Take a good look at the available cards and, when ready, make a note of your preferred card’s reference number (the ‘SKU’). Then Read more

Postcard Printers in London SE1

Postcard printing in London Bridge, SE1

Printed postcards are a simple yet potentially very effective marketing tool. This is especially true when working with digital printers like Southside Print because they’re incredibly quick to turn around and are produced at exceptional quality. Even better, our own in-house design and artwork specialists are on hand to ensure that your postcards look eye-catching, well designed and communicate all the right messages to your target audience.

Sizes

Postcards are generally affordable whether you require just a handful or many thousands, mainly due to their small size. This allows us to print several postcards on the same, larger, sheet before trimming down to their final size, so you benefit from the economies of scale and savings on materials. We print postcards mostly at A6 (148mm x 105mm) although some customers occasionally require larger sizes such as A5 (210mm x 148mm), smaller sizes like A7 (105mm x 74mm) or non-standard postcard sizes like square formats.

Shapes

As well as rectangular and square postcards, we can also supply them with all rounded corners or even with a mixture of square-cut corners and rounded corners, resulting in a kind of lozenge shape, for example. For those who require something even more unusual, we can also make up a unique cutter so your printed postcards are irregular shapes, for example with sides that follow the contour of your logo, photograph or graphics.

Finishes

When it comes to finish, postcards can be printed straight onto card with no additional finish — or additional processes can be used. It all depends upon personal preference and available budget. Without additional coatings and processes, postcards can simply show the inherent finish of the underlying card, for example uncoated cards (making for very matt and lower contrast printing), silk coated, glossy if the card itself has a glossy coating, or textured if the underlying card is itself textured. Additional finishing options that we can add include gloss or matt lamination, U.V. varnish or even spot U.V. varnish used in tandem with any of the other finishes (e.g. spot gloss U.V. varnish over the top of matt lamination — this looks phenomenally good). We can also digitally foil any of the above, resulting in metallic or even holographic detailing. All in all, your printed postcards can look (and feel) absolutely amazing when you let Southside Print really go to town!

What can Postcards be Used For?

Firstly, of course, postcards can be used for their traditional purpose. Perhaps you are a London venue — maybe a museum, landmark or experience of some kind — and want people to send friends and family a postcard featuring your venue following their visit. We can print that for you economically and in high quality. Using full colour printing and high gloss lamination, it’ll give images a real punch and a surface so glossy you can see your face in it! We’ll be happy to supply the design and artwork too.

However, postcards can also be great when used as an alternative to mailers. Send out a glossy, full colour postcard featuring your product or service in all its glory and you’re sure to impress. You can even have a set of postcards that each show a different product. That way you can follow up the first postcard with a second at a later date, then a third later still, and get some real momentum and brand recognition going amongst your target audience. Marketers know that people often need several reminders of adverts or marketing pieces before they take the plunge to purchase from a particular company, so a set of product postcards sent out gradually over the course of a few weeks can be a perfect solution. Postcards also have far more gravitas than a humble leaflet or flyer, leading to a higher perception of quality, so will be taken more seriously.

Postcards can also be used as Read more

Printers in Borough, London SE1

Printers in Borough, London SE1

Borough market - blue plaque

We are printers in Borough, right in the heart of London SE1. Based in Tabard Street, Southside Print offers high quality printing to individuals, businesses, shops, charities and organisations across the Borough & SE1 region. So, whether you’re a resident who needs personal stationery, a cafe that needs printed menus, a pub that needs posters to promote gigs, an SE1 charity that needs fundraising literature, a shop that needs printed booklets or catalogues or one of the many businesses in the Borough that requires sales and marketing collateral, we can help. We’ll print everything for you at the highest quality, for a competitive price. What’s more, our turnaround times are hard to beat and we offer free local delivery and a click and collect service for those close by.

Further afield?

Perhaps you’re a little bit outside the Borough region. No problem! We print for companies and organisations everywhere in the UK and abroad and even have a web print shop where anyone in the world can order popular items like stationery, posters, brochures, leaflets and bound documents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Simply choose your desired options, submit your payment and we’ll take care of the rest. And don’t forget that ‘click and collect’ service for local customers.

What can we print?

We can print pretty much anything you can think of! For example, brochures, catalogues, letterheads, business cards, compliments slips, NCR (multi-part) order pads, menus, posters, display graphics, exhibition panels, signs, newsletters, annual reports, leaflets, flyers, booklets, brochures, labels, stickers, wedding invites, postcards and a whole host of other printed items. In fact, if it’s produced by printing ink on paper, chances are we can supply it.

The Borough

Entrance to Borough Market

The Borough is an extremely cosmopolitan community, with a really good buzz about it. You have Borough Market right at its heart and there you can pick up anything from gifts to fruit, vegetables, street food from around the world, the finest delicacies and much more. Pubs, restaurants, cafes and other eateries abound and throughout the Borough you have a huge abundance of shops including independent traders and high street brands all competing for the attention of shoppers. All these businesses and traders need to be at the top of their game to attract passers by so it’s important that they get their message across in window displays, inside and on their printed promotional literature. Many of them also hand out flyers in the SE1 streets. We can help with all of that not only by producing the finest print, but also by making it look a million dollars in the first place, courtesy of our in-house graphic designers. That’s where we can make a real difference in your ROI (return on investment) to ensure that you communicate your service or product USPs (unique selling propositions) and key messages clearly to your prospects. That’s how you are most likely to turn them into paying customers. Supplying your own artwork? That’s Read more