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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

An A-Z of Printing Terms

A-Z of printing terms

If you’re involved in buying printing but are not a designer or printer yourself, you’ll probably have come across some printing jargon that, at some point, has left you a little confused. ‘CMYK’, ‘bleed’ and ‘outlining fonts’ are possible examples. Such terminology often crops up at the worst possible time too — in print quotes or just when you are in a hurry to finalise artwork. Fear not, though, as we’re here to help you make sense of it all. Here is our handy A to Z of common printing terms:

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

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

We’re Now Printers in WC1 Too!

Our new print shop in London WC1

We’re pleased to announce that we are now the owners of an additional print shop, WCS Digital Print, based in Mount Pleasant, London WC1. So, if you’re looking for a printer in the Clerkenwell and Farringdon area of London WC1, we can also now help.

WCS Digital has been around since 1985, supplying high quality printing and design to west central London individuals, businesses and organisations for almost 35 years. Southside Print owners Rob Phillips and Sarah Codd have now also taken on WCS Digital Print and aim to bring similar improvements and investments to the WC1 print works, following on from their successes and proven track record at Southside Print. These are likely to include snazzy new printing and finishing equipment as well as cutting edge software that’ll help track the progress of orders and make print quotes fast and incredibly simple.

Printing services in Clerkenwell, Farringdon & London WC1

Like here at Southside, WCS Digital Print is a litho printer, a digital printer, a large format printer and a copy shop. So, as well as offering high quality printing of just about anything, you can also go to WCS Digital for photocopying, document duplication and image/document scanning services. WCS also offers print management services, graphic design, brochure production, booklet making, document binding, bookbinding and direct mail solutions. Just like Southside, it’s a full design and print solution! More details of the Read more

Why Choose Southside Print?

Why choose Southside Print

With so many printers available in the SE1 region of South London, it can be confusing knowing which one to use for your printing. So why choose Southside Print? Here we’ll tell you just a few of the many reasons why Southside Print would make an excellent choice:

We are highly experienced

Our staff have been in the print industry for many years. We are all from different parts of the print and design industry and together offer a fully comprehensive design and printing service — a one-stop print and design shop, in fact.

We have an excellent reputation

We are highly thought of, with excellent customer reviews and testimonials. Check out Southside Print’s Google reviews if you’d like to see independent proof.

We have in-house design as well as printing

We have an in-house graphic design team who can take your concept and make it look amazing! So, your finished print will ‘sell’ your product or service to your audience in the best possible way.

We use only high-end equipment

We have the very best high-end printing equipment available including digital printing that offers exceptional quality. We have lamination services, and in-house digital foiling, as well as the option of traditional foiling for those who require it. All our finishing facilities are in-house, meaning we can complete virtually every printing order entirely under one roof, unlike many printers. This means we can control quality, pricing and production speed from start to completion. So, we get the job done without the delays associated with having to sub-contract certain processes — that’s simply not possible with the vast majority of other printers in London.

We have a ‘can do’ attitude

We do our very best to accommodate as many customers’ needs as we possibly can. If we can do it, we will, even if it’s not usually a standard process or service. We are here to help you and we want you to come back! So, we are very happy to help by going that extra mile … Read more

The Benefits of Using a Print Management Service

The benefits of using a print management company

Southside Print is a print management company as well as being a one-stop design and print shop. But what exactly is ‘print management’ and how can it benefit your company or organisation?

Print Management Services

Print management companies take on all the technical and practical responsibilities of looking after the supply of your sales and marketing literature. That might be anything from company stationery, letterheads and business cards to brochures, catalogues, flyers, leaflets, exhibition displays and potentially much more. In essence, a good print management company will look after the production and supply of potentially every piece of your sales and marketing collateral. That leaves you free to get on with running your business and can also have some cost benefits.

Design, Artwork & Printing

Print management isn’t only about the supply of printing. As print managers, we often handle all the design and artwork requirements for customers too. On a simple level that might be preparing artwork for something as basic as the business cards for new members of staff. On a more complex level it might include updating catalogue products, prices and artwork or supplying a brand new corporate identity, then updating every piece of sales collateral to reflect that new I.D.

Keeping on Top of Print Stocks

Day to day print management, however, usually consists of us making sure our customers have enough brochures, leaflets, stationery and suchlike available every single day. We’ll touch base regularly to check whether customers will soon be running low and make doubly sure that we have a replenishment supply ready whenever it’s going to be needed.

Saving You Money

Perhaps surprisingly, a good print management company can actually save you money, despite doing so much more for you. Because all printing is handled under one roof, we can build in the economies of scale. For example, we can Read more

Large Format Printing for Exhibition & Display

Large format printing for exhibition & display

Roller banner printingWe’re not only digital printers here at Southside Print — we’re also large format printers. So, if you’ve got any display or exhibition graphics that need printing, then please get in touch. Our printing is high quality, competitively priced and our turnarounds are excellent.

Roller banners

Our indoor roller banners are large format banners that roll down neatly into a compact cartridge for easy transportation. What’s more, when they’re needed, they’re quick and incredibly easy to erect and, with their small footprint, can be utilised just about anywhere that has a level surface. So, your all-important sales or marketing message can be displayed in all its glory in mere seconds without the need for additional hardware or tools. Our roller banners are perfect for indoor promotions, trade fairs, temporary public displays and information panels in offices, shopping malls and trade shows. We can supply just the printing, or the design and artwork too — your choice.

Hanging banners

Outdoor banners

We also print outdoor banners. These are the kind of banners you see outdoors, stretched across a wall, fence, building or even overhead. They come with pre-positioned eyelets, ready for you to tie your banner into position. They’re waterproof too, so are perfect for use outdoors. So, if you’ve got a special event or promotion to publicise, then they’re hard to beat in terms of impact. They’re eye-catching, will announce your event or offer to the world with minimal effort and are custom-made just for you. As with the roller banners above, we can supply both the printing and the design should you not have your own design and artwork facility.

Printed lightbox in shop windowDisplay graphics

Sometimes you simply need a large printed graphic, for instance wall-mounted graphics, a hanging sign or large format graphic to display in a window. Southside Print can help with all of that. We can mount our superb oversize prints on a variety of substrates and can also laminate the printed surface to protect it from moisture and wear and tear. Our superb large format graphics panels are perfect for anything from commercial displays, special offers and wall-mounted menus to in-store signage and wall art.

Exhibition shell schemeExhibition panels

Do you have a stand at a trade fair? Perhaps you will be using a ‘shell scheme’ supplied by the exhibition organiser. If so, you may well benefit from our mounted exhibition panels. Typically these consist of large printed graphics, printed at a size to suit the shell scheme, with each printed sheet mounted to something like Foamex, a robust, semi-rigid material. As with the display graphics above, we can laminate the front of the exhibition panels for protection or simply to give them an attractive finish (for example gloss, silk or matte). Our exhibition panel printing service helps turn your empty shell scheme into a unique space where you can show off your products or services with optimum impact, all for a reasonable price.

Ask for a free printing quote

If you’re looking for a large format printer in London, Read more

Printing for Bankside Open Spaces Trust, London SE1

Printing for Bankside Open Spaces Trust, London SE1

Regular readers may recall our post about Bankside Open Spaces Trust (‘BOST’) back in August 2015. Well, they’ve continued to keep us busy ever since, with a huge variety of different printing requirements, and have even updated their logo and corporate identity in the intervening time. In view of all that, we thought we’d bring things up to date in a new post here on the Southside Print blog.

Brochure printing for SE1 charity BOSTPrinting Examples

Just a few examples of work undertaken for BOST since our original post include:

  • A full colour mini brochure
  • Overprinted, branded envelopes, digitally printed in black and white plus tints
  • Strikingly designed, full colour printed postcards (A6 size)
  • A4 leaflets/flyers for a lunchtime talk all about Octavia Hill, the founder of The National Trust
  • 70 A5 Christmas cards with envelopes
  • A variety of different flyers and leaflets
  • And much more!

Our thanks go out to them for all the lovely printing work and for being such loyal and regular clients — we really appreciate it.

About Bankside Open Spaces Trust

Full colour printed postcard for Bankside Open Spaces Trust, SouthwarkAs we outlined before, BOST is an award-winning environmental and volunteering charity that was set up with the primary purpose of creating and improving gardens and parks, along with green and open spaces, in and around the Bankside region. These include 30 or so community gardens where sustainable food is grown for the direct benefit of those living in the social housing nearby. People local to the area may also notice the cheerful planters placed around the neighbourhood by BOST volunteers. By doing all of this, the Bankside area is improved and the community involved in the initiative is brought closer together. It’s a win-win for everyone in SE1.

We make previously unloved spaces beautiful

Some of the green spaces looked after by the Trust include Red Cross Garden, Marlborough Sports Garden, Waterloo Millennium Green and Tate Community Garden. Indeed, some of their green spaces are amongst the very best in Britain, having gained many awards including two Green Flags and two Golds in RHS London in Bloom, a silver in RHS Britain in Bloom, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere award, the MPGA London Spade award and London in Bloom Champion of Champions award.

The charity’s Community Green Champions initiative allows those living in estates around Southwark and Lambeth to grow fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants right outside their own front doors. The Trust encourages people throughout the area – including those without gardens – to take part. Many later go on to have horticultural careers.

Meanwhile, their Future Gardeners ten week course helps the unemployed or those struggling to make a career change get into the horticultural arena and to earn themselves a City & Guilds qualification. Careers advice is also available as are introductions within the horticultural sector and within many of London’s best parks and gardens. There are three courses per year with the next one starting in May 2019, so check out their website if the courses are of potential interest.

For more information, click the Trust’s website link above or contact them at Bankside Open Spaces Trust, Red Cross Garden, 50 Redcross Way, London SE1 1HA. Telephone 020 7403 3393.

Looking for a local printer in Southwark or SE1?

Southside Print is a commercial printer based in SE1 in Southwark, South East London. We offer digital printing, large format printing, print management, graphic design and artwork services and an online print shop where you can order anything from printed business cards and stationery to poster printing, brochures, leaflets, flyers and more. Click the bold links for more information or simply call 020 7378 6754 to speak to our friendly printers and estimating staff. You can also request a quotation online or send us an emailed message here.