A4, Letter, Legal, 9x12, 18x24, 16x20. These are all commonly referenced paper sizes. And it can be totally confusing. But no problem - we're here to help you figure it all out.
What are all these sizes?
What do they mean?
What about framing my artwork?
We're going to answer these questions and more in the next few minutes.
Paper sizing, and where it came from
There have been many different paper sizes throughout the world and throughout history. The industry just hasn't adopted a universal standard yet. And that's what causes so much confusion.
ANSI paper standard
Leave it to America to be different. In America, Canada, and certain parts of Mexico we use the ANSI standard. But in most of the world they follow the ISO standards.
Adopted in 1995, this standard oddly miss out the highly popular 8.5x14 legal size.
|Size||Width x Height (mm)||Width x Height (in)||Aspect Ratio||Nearest ISO|
|A||216 x 279 mm||8.5 x 11.0 in||1:1.2941||A4|
|B||279 x 432 mm||11.0 x 17.0 in||1:1.5455||A3|
|C||432 x 559 mm||17.0 x 22.0 in||1:1.2941||A2|
|D||559 x 864 mm||22.0 x 34.0 in||1:1.5455||A1|
|E||864 x 1118 mm||34.0 x 44.0 in||1:1.2941||A0|
Architectural Paper Sizes
This size is mostly used in America and is specific to the architectural industry.
|Size||Width x Height (mm)||Width x Height (in)||Aspect Ratio|
|Arch A||229 x 305 mm||9.0 x 12.0 in||4:3|
|Arch B||305 x 457 mm||12.0 x 18.0 in||3:2|
|Arch C||457 x 610 mm||18.0 x 24.0 in||4:3|
|Arch D||610 x 914 mm||24.0 x 36.0 in||3:2|
|Arch E||914 x 1219 mm||36.0 x 48.0 in||4:3|
|Arch E1||762 x 1067 mm||30.0 x 42.0 in||7:5|
ISO 216 Paper Sizes
ISO 216 is the common standard that have been adopted by most of the world. As you work in larger industries, which often work on an international scale, you will more regularly come across these sizes. If you purchase paper in Europe or other locations that use ISO 216 standards you will likely have to buy paper in these sizes.
|Size||Width x Height (mm)||Width x Height (in)|
|4A0||1682 x 2378 mm||66.2 x 93.6 in|
|2A0||1189 x 1682 mm||46.8 x 66.2 in|
|A0||841 x 1189 mm||33.1 x 46.8 in|
|A1||594 x 841 mm||23.4 x 33.1 in|
|A2||420 x 594 mm||16.5 x 23.4 in|
|A3||297 x 420 mm||11.7 x 16.5 in|
|A4||210 x 297 mm||8.3 x 11.7 in|
|A5||148 x 210 mm||5.8 x 8.3 in|
|A6||105 x 148 mm||4.1 x 5.8 in|
|A7||74 x 105 mm||2.9 x 4.1 in|
|A8||52 x 74 mm||2.0 x 2.9 in|
|A9||37 x 52 mm||1.5 x 2.0 in|
|A10||26 x 37 mm||1.0 x 1.5 in|
Standard Frame Sizes
There are no specific standard frame sizes set by a governing board. But the framing industry has adopted 3 basic ways of organizing frames:
Common frame Sizes include
If you want to frame your art and keep your costs as low as possible, make sure to create your art, including matting and mounting, to fit these size frames.
Uncommon frame sizes include...
Basically, uncommon frame sizes are any standard paper size that is not listed above.
- 11x17 (a regular size for concert posters)
- 13x19 (aka B+ or A3+)
Custom Frame Sizes
Custom frames come in every size.... because they are custom. Custom frames give you the most versatility with frame size, matting, frame color, and mounting options. As long as you have a good designer, custom framing will almost always give you a much better piece of framed art.