Let's Talk Paper - Revenge of Eve

Let’s Talk Paper

Creative & Collective

Let’s Talk Paper!

Hey, Y’all!!  Keeping with the theme of stationery, today I will provide some basic information about paper sizing.  We all know that there are different sizes and types of paper available for purchase but possibly not the exact sizing.  How does this information help you? Well, if you like to schedule your daily life then a planner may be necessary. Planners come in a variety of sizes and finding your planner peace often depends on finding the perfect size planner that suits your needs.  This is also true when deciding on notebooks sizes.

You don’t have to be into planning to benefit from the following information.  The sizes of paper matter when printing as well.

Paper Sizing

Paper sizes are measured on a standard paper size scale.  International standard (ISO) specifies paper sizes used in most countries except for the U.S. and Canada which size their own sizing standard.

There are a lot of mathematical formulas behind A, B, and C paper sizes but the common feature is that any successive paper size measurement is determined by halving the dimensions of the preceding one.

Notebook Paper Size A Series

A3 11.7 X 16.5 inches

A4 8.3 X 11.7 inches

A5 5.8 X 8.3 inches

A6 4.1 X 5.8 inches

A7 2.9 X 4.1 inches

Examples of commonly printed items are:

postcards A6

flyer A5

newsletter A4

Remember: The larger the number, the smaller the paper size.

Notebook Paper Size B Series

B5 6.9 X 9.8

B6 4.9 X 6.9

B7 3.5 X 4.9

Paper Weight (GSM)

Grams per meter squared (GSM) refers to the paper’s weight, its thickness.  Generally the thicker/heavier the paper, the better its quality, unless we consider Japanese papers and then we have a new ball game.  Japanese stationer’s bring a different contender to the game of paper in terms of quality. They offer thin, soft papers for calligraphy that show no bleed through.  That makes for a separate post.

Back to standard paper – The thicker the paper the less tendency to bleed through or feather when using wet ink pens, ie. fountain pens.  I prefer marker pens which have a tendency to bleed through when using writing paper but with a thicker stock paper, it does not.

Revenge of Eve

Types of Paper

  1. Text paper (office paper) ~ lightweight 20 lbs budget-friendly, medium 22-24lbs, heavy 28-32 lbs pen will not bleed through
  2. Bristol ~ lightest cardstock, most commonly used, 100lb for card making projects
  3. Index ~ sturdier cardstock, smoother than Bristol
  4. Cover ~ much thicker, invitations, cards

Paper Finish

  1. Coated
  2. Uncoated

Both uncoated and coated papers can have a polished finish.  The polished types are gloss, semi-gloss, silk, and matte.

7 Categories of Paper

  1. Printing paper
  2. Writing paper
  3. Wrapping paper
  4. Blotting paper
  5. Drawing paper
  6. Handmade papers
  7. Specialty paper

Need to Know Info: Paper has a history that can be traced back to the 2nd-century in China.  The use of paper has a large impact on the environment in terms of trash and deforestation.  The use and production of recycled paper are more prevalent today because of environmental factors.

The extent of information provided is condensed, as you can imagine the scope of information related to stationery.  If you work in an office setting you are likely to have learned about paper sizing, type, and finish without realizing you have done so. Printing requires paper settings to achieve a desired result.  Next time you are printing, take note of the settings and the options you are given, This is an easy way to familiarize yourself with the information you just read in terms of real life situations.


*information source: Wikipedia

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