Wednesday, March 10, 2010

letter size

Most of you will know that the paper sizes in different countries are completely different. When using swap-bot there was a European swapper who suggested using A5 paper, which is A4 paper folded exactly half. A discussion ensued with some Americans who had no idea what size that was. I tried explaining by using half a letter format, and giving the side measures. However, one of the swappers thought that I meant quarter A4 paper as that's what you get when you take half of BOTH side measures, which I understand. I was taken aback that something so simple as paper size could be so complicated. In Europe I've only ever seen DIN-format paper (mostly A5,A4 and A3) and now I've received US letter format for the first time. Here's a good article on wikipedia about the different sizes. I have also included a photo of both pages side by side, to illustrate the difference.
The one with the book on it is the US letter size. Having different sized paper feels significant, or am I blowing it up? I'd like to have the letter format for creative processes as it seems less portrait-kind. For letter writing and text documents I like A4 as the lines are shorter. I wonder what you think.


Yoshi said...

This is great information. I only recently learned about DIN-format (although I didn't know what it was called until reading this) in order to print on some specialty papers. In the US we generally use inches to describe paper (i.e. 8 1/2 by 11, etc) but I guess that doesn't translate well into the rest of the world where inches are not used.

Yoshi (libertunity from Swapbot)

Jessica said...

I didn't know until reading your post. Thank you for that information. Like Yoshi said we talk about our paper in inches. 8 1/2 x 11, 8 1/2 x 14, 11x17 or letter, legal or ledger (same order).

j3ss1ca (SB)

candyn said...

This is very interesting. I knew standard paper sizes were different but never really thought that much about it, but your post has me curious now. I'll go check out your wikipedia link and see what it is all about. - candyn/swapbot

Fi said...

Thanks for the link.
I find the system of inches so difficult it always confuses me.

fii -swapbot