The Ultimate Guide to Framing A-Paper Sizes

Everything you need to know about "A" paper sizes and how to use them for framing your artwork, prints, and photographs.

What are A-Sizes?

These standardised sizes are popular for framing artwork, prints, and photographs, making it easy to find the right frame for your piece.

A-paper sizes are rectangular, making it easy to find and fit the picture into your frame. Each A-size is half of the previous size, ensuring easy scaling of documents and artwork while maintaining a consistent aspect ratio of approximately 1:1.4. This ratio helps to preserve the proportions of your image when scaling.

It’s worth noting that A paper sizes are particularly popular in Europe, so you’ll have no shortage of frame options to shop for. With this information in mind, you can confidently select the ideal frame to showcase your artwork, print, or photograph, enhancing its visual appeal.

Popular items to frame in each A-Paper size

Before choosing your art or frame, you might find it useful to know what types of art are best suited to each of the A sizes:

  • A0 (841 x 1189 mm): The largest standard A paper size, A0 is perfect for displaying large artwork, posters, or photographs in your home or office.
  • A1 (594 x 841 mm): A1 is an excellent choice for displaying medium to large-sized artwork or designs. It’s ideal for showcasing travel memories, family portraits, or professional presentations.
  • A2 (420 x 594 mm): A popular choice for displaying artwork or photographs, A2 frames are versatile and suitable for a wide range of content. They’re perfect for home or office use.
  • A3 (297 x 420 mm): Ideal for smaller spaces, A3 frames are great for displaying illustrations, quotes, or family photos in living rooms, bedrooms, or office spaces.
  • A4 (210 x 297 mm): Commonly used for certificates, awards, or small prints, A4 frames are perfect for personalising your workspace or commemorating achievements.
  • A5 (148 x 210 mm): Suitable for displaying postcards, small artwork, or cherished memories, A5 frames are a lovely way to add a personal touch to any space.
  • A6 (105 x 148 mm): A6 frames are perfect for displaying small photos, inspirational quotes, or miniature artworks in compact spaces.

When selecting a frame size, consider the space where you plan to display your artwork or photograph and the overall aesthetic you aim to achieve. An A0 frame is big enough to use as a statement piece, whereas an A4 frame or smaller can be used to fill nooks and compact spaces.

You can use our online framing configurator to upload your digital files for printing and framing. The tool will automatically suggest sizes based on the resolution of your image, ensuring that your finished product is clear and not blurry.

What other items can you frame with A-Size frames?

  • Prints, posters, and photographs: These items are commonly used in framing projects.
  • Paintings: Paintings such as watercolours, drawings, and mixed media pieces are often framed.
  • Certificates, diplomas, and other documents: Important documents such as certificates, diplomas, and awards are often displayed in frames.
  • Maps: Maps are frequently framed, as frames provide enough space to display the entire map without cropping or distorting the image.
  • Postcards and greeting cards: Small items like postcards and greeting cards can be framed and displayed as art rather than stored away.
  • Children’s artwork: Children’s artwork can be showcased in frames without taking up too much wall space.
Frames in A paper sizes next to human
A sense of scale: Paper sizes, from A0 down to A7, in proportion to each other and a person (frame face width: 43mm)

How do I measure A-Size artwork and frames?

To measure “A” paper sizes for framing, you will need a tape measure or ruler. Measure the width and height of the paper in millimetres and then use an “A” size chart or calculator to determine the size of the paper. For example, if the width of the paper is 841mm and the height is 1189mm, the size of the paper is A0.

Instead of relying on the artist, photographer, or print company’s word on the size of your picture, measuring it yourself to ensure accuracy is essential. Taking your own measurements will help you to determine the correct size for framing and guarantee that your finished product looks the way you want it to.

Our comprehensive measuring guide has more detailed instructions on how to measure every picture for framing. By following our instructions and double-checking your measurements, you can be confident that your frame will be the perfect size.

Here is a table with the A paper sizes and their dimensions in both centimetres and inches:

Size Dimensions (cm) Dimensions (mm) Dimensions (in) Commonly Sold As
A0 84.1 x 118.9 841 x 1189 33.1 x 46.8 84 x 118cm
A1 59.4 x 84.1 594 x 841 23.4 x 33.1 60 x 84cm
A2 42 x 59.4 420 x 594 16.5 x 23.4 42 x 60cm
A3 29.7 x 42 297 x 420 11.7 x 16.5 30 x 42cm
A4 21 x 29.7 210 x 297 8.3 x 11.7 21 x 30cm
A5 15 x 21 148 x 210 5.9 x 8.3 6 x 8″
A6 10.5 x 15 105 x 148 4.1 x 5.9 6 x 4″
A7 7.5 x 10.5 74 x 105 2.9 x 4.1 7 x 10cm
Note that the “Commonly Sold As” dimensions are approximate, and the actual dimensions of each size may vary slightly depending on the store. It is generally best to use the exact dimensions specified by the ISO 216 standard whenever possible.

Some countries, such as the United States, have paper sizes that do not match the “A” series. If you are in one of these countries, you may need to use a different chart or calculator to determine the size of your paper.

The relationship between each size

Note that the A paper sizes are based on a 1:2 ratio, meaning that each size is half the size of the previous size.

Each size in the series is determined by halving the preceding size along its longer side. For example, A2 is half the size of A1, and A4 is half the size of A3. This means that the width-to-height ratio of all A series paper sizes is the same, regardless of the size of the sheet.

Viewing distances

The recommended viewing distance for a piece of art can depend on its size, the size of the room, and the viewer’s personal preferences. We talk about hanging your picture in more depth. However, here are some general guidelines for the recommended viewing distance of different-sized pieces of art:

  • Small pieces (e.g. A7 to A4): At least 1m (40 inches)
  • Medium-sized pieces (e.g. A3 to A2): At least 1.5m (60 inches)
  • Large pieces (e.g. A1 to A0): At least 2m (80 inches)

Again, these are rough estimates, and you may want to adjust the viewing distance based on your specific circumstances. It’s important to consider the size of the room and the placement of the art to the viewer when determining the appropriate viewing distance.

What to consider when buying an “A” size frame?

Shopping for “A” size frames can be a great way to add a professional touch to your artwork, prints, and photographs. At our store, we offer a wide range of “A” size frames in all the standard sizes: A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 and A6.

If you don’t have an “A” size frame and are looking to frame artwork that doesn’t quite fit one of the standard sizes, don’t worry! Our store offers custom framing options that allow you to get the perfect fit for your artwork.

With our custom framing service, you can choose your frame’s size, style, and material to suit your specific needs. Provide us with the dimensions of your artwork, and we will create a frame to fit it perfectly.

When choosing a frame for your item, like a certificate or poster, it is important to consider more than just the size:

  • Style: Do you want a traditional or more modern look? Do you want a frame with a simple, clean-lined design or one with more ornate details? Consider the style of the frame and how it will fit with the decor of the room where it will be displayed. Our frame collections might be a good place to start if you’re searching for a frame by style.
  • Material: “A” size frames are available in a variety of materials, including wood and metal. Each material has unique characteristics and can give the frame a different look and feel. For example, a wooden frame may add a warm, classic touch to your picture, while a metal frame may give it a more modern, sleek appearance. To help you, we have a great wood vs metal picture frame guide.
  • Colour: Consider the colour of the frame and how it will complement your piece. A neutral-coloured frame, such as black, white, or natural wood, may work well with a variety of pictures and decor styles. Alternatively, choose a frame in a bold, eye-catching colour to make your art stand out.

Ultimately, the best frame for your picture will depend on your preferences and the look and feel you want. With so many options available, you are sure to find a frame that meets your needs and enhances the overall appearance.

Printing digital files

When it comes to printing digital images, the resolution is important to consider to ensure that the images print clearly and without blur. Resolution is typically measured in dots per inch (DPI), which refers to the number of pixels in an image per inch of printed space. The higher the resolution, the more pixels are packed into a given area, which results in a clearer and more detailed image.

As a general rule of thumb, digital images should have a resolution of at least 300 DPI to print clearly without blur. This is because most printers can print at a resolution of 300 DPI or higher, and using an image with a lower resolution can result in pixelation or blur.

However, it’s important to note that the actual DPI needed for a clear print may vary depending on the size of the print and the desired level of detail. For example, if you are printing a small image that does not require a lot of detail, you may get away with a lower DPI. On the other hand, if you are printing a large image or one with many fine details, you may need a higher DPI to maintain clarity.

To make it easy for customers planning to print A-size pictures, here are the dimensions and pixel counts for each of the “A” paper sizes at varying levels of quality.

It’s important to note that these are just estimates, and the actual number of pixels needed may vary depending on the image’s content and the desired detail level. If you are uncertain about the pixel count needed for a particular print size, you may want to contact us.

Find any size frame online, including all the paper sizes

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