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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:

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

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

Personal Stationery Printers in Southwark

Personal stationery printers in southwark & London SE1

Personal Stationery

As well as being designers and printers of business stationery, Southside Print also produces personal stationery. This can be anything from a simple, typographic letterhead to a full colour, highly designed suite of stationery including overprinted letterheads, compliments slips, business cards and even envelopes. Each might include a personal logo, calligraphic motif or indeed even a family coat of arms. Personal stationery is not for everyone but it is perfect for the image-conscious and those who want to give people a convenient reminder of their name and contact details.

Personal Business Cards

Personal business cards are a great tool for creating a good first impression. Let’s say you’re at a posh function and want to do a bit of networking. Without a personal business card, you may initially impress but you may also be forgotten again within minutes without some kind of reminder. Hand out a beautifully designed personal business card and it’s sure to remind your prospect or future employer of you once again. After all, it’s something they can keep long term. Personal business cards are great at interviews, networking events, functions, trade shows or when you’re selling your services in some way on a one-to-one basis. Of course, in their simplest form, they are also a convenient way of reminding friends and family of your contact details and home address.

Personal Letterheads

Personal letterheads are a great tool for those wishing to create the best impression when communicating via the written word. Whether you’re sending off your CV, working as a sole trader or liaising personally at a high level, bespoke letterheads allow you to look great even though you’re not right there in person. You will stand out from the crowd as someone with style and as someone who goes the extra mile.

Personal Compliments Slips & Envelopes

You can take this a step or two further by including personal compliments slips and overprinted envelopes in your suite of personal stationery. So, the moment your envelope arrives with your intended recipient, they will know it contains a communication from you. And compliments slips are useful when you want to perhaps send something to someone and have no time to scribble a note. With the compliments slip accompanying the item you supplied, it all speaks for itself with minimal effort and fuss.

Personal stationery will tell people that you are a quality individual and be a lasting reminder of something very special … you!

Image, Information & a Useful Reminder

Put simply, personal stationery will tell people that you are a quality individual. Your personal stationery will impress, let the recipient know your contact details and be a lasting reminder of something very special; you. 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