How often do you guess the size of a poster? After a few attempts you eventually resign yourself to the fact that it could either be an A0 or A1. Printing and packaging powerhouse, Colourtone Aries, is asked regularly about paper sizes.
Colourtone Aries' sales manager, Ryan Bywater, says, "Not a day goes by without someone asking how big an A0 or A1 poster is. In many cases, especially when it comes to magazine advertising, size is critical. Getting it wrong can mean an ad will not fit or a section will be trimmed off. A poster, if the size is wrong, may not fit into its frame. Checking the size is all it takes. Referring to A0, A1 or even A4 as a size can result in it being wrong for the job. It is best not to take these sizes for granted"
Marketers, essentially, need to understand that size matters in printing. Magazines have advert specifications that need to be adhered to so that trimming does not result in copy or images being cut off. Publishers take into account the binding of the magazine and the trimming when determining these specifications.
Magazines will provide these specifications to advertisers to ensure its correct placement. Not adhering to these specifications will probably result in your advert being trimmed incorrectly. This is where trim, type and bleed restrictions, provided in the specifications, play a critical role. Pay attention to these specifications that magazines and printers provide to ensure correct printing and trimming.
There is also, often, much confusion about the exact size of the accepted A-series when deciding on the size needed. Using the most popular paper size everyone uses in the office or home, A4, as the base size, sizes can be explained as follows:
A8 measures 74mmX52mm and is half the size of A7 or 16 times smaller than A4
A7 measures 105mmX74mm and is half the size of A6 or 8 times smaller than A4
A6 measures 148mmX105mm and is half the size of A5 or 4 times smaller than A4
A5 measures 210mmX148mm and is half the size of A4
A4 measures 297mmX210mm
A3 measures 420mmX297mm and is twice the size of A4
A2 measures 594mmX420mm and is twice the size of A3 or 4 times the size of A4
A1 measures 841mmX594mm and is twice the size of A2 or 8 times the size of A4
A0 measures 1189mmX841mm and is twice the size of A1 or 16 times the size of A4
Ryan continues, "The sizes of these posters are measured in millimetres and it is clear that they are not exactly rounded off. This can create the confusion. To avoid this, marketers should be very clear on their requirements when deciding on the sizes of adverts or posters."
Putting this in perspective, Ryan says that he often hears a request to provide a poster-sized print. The difficulty in this is that there is no clear-cut poster size. They range from A3 to A0 and bigger. Being specific with this is an important part of the brief to graphic designers and printers.
On top of this, keep in mind the page layout required to ensure an accurate brief to the designer or printer. Be clear about the requirement being in a landscape or portrait format as this can have a significant impact on the design.
Ryan concludes, "Knowing paper sizes is important in marketing and design. Keep these sizes handy and understand the impact they have in your brief and you will avoid any misunderstanding."
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