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Most common print sizes for business documents

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Although the standard paper size in the United States is known to be A4 size, it is not the only standard used in business. Learn more today with BDS.

Have you ever wondered what the most common print sizes are for business documents? A4 is the most common printer paper size in the United States for day-to-day documents, but not the primary print size overall. In fact, there are a plethora of different sizes that can be considered the standard depending on the industry you work in.

The most common print sizes for business documents we will focus on today include:

Why does print size matter?

Before we explore the various types of print sizes available for business documents, we should first establish why it is important. Print size matters because what you see in the digital format may not be realistic to the physical copy if the wrong size is used. Furthermore, with businesses and organizations ranging from healthcare, legal, and education sectors, maintaining a standard paper size will make everyone’s life much easier.

Maintaining a standard for paper print size adds consistency, organization, and professionalism to your documents. It allows all your staff, from the executive level to entry, to share, manage, and create uniform documents that adhere to a particular code. This uniformity adds professionalism to your documents and ensures that all your print jobs are formatted the same.

To go a bit further, if organizations and businesses did not have a standard for printer paper size, you would instead be working with many documents of all different sizes. Although this may not seem like a bother to some, maintaining a standard is integral for large businesses that work with confidential and sensitive data. Once a uniform standard is set, it becomes easier for everyone in your business to understand documents better.

The important thing to take away here is that paper size is not merely aesthetics. Paper size helps create an identity for your business and creates a standard that makes print jobs easily sharable, legible, and understandable.

Do different industries affect print size?

print size industries image

Although we have briefly touched on it, different industry standards for print size are fully worth exploring. Other industries require different standards regarding document management and print jobs. Given the diverse needs of each industry, it can be challenging to come to a uniform consensus for what should be the standard. This is why different industries enact different standards, and sometimes a combination of paper size standards, for their industry.

For example, if you are working in a creative field like art and media, you may have more flexibility for the type of paper size format you use. This industry tends to be more flexible. A particular subset that tends to print the most includes those working in digital photography. With digital photography, you will want to capture the digital image’s quality identically on the physical print copy.

When working with digital photographs of a larger size, you will have to ensure you are adjusting your print size accordingly from the standard photo print sizes. For these professionals, there is bound to be a bit more shifting and flexibility in the number of paper sizes used for their photos.

Now, for a finance firm, you are going to need uniformity. Financial documents are confidential and are to be dealt with the utmost care. That includes creating a system and standard to ensure all your documents match in format. The uniformity helps staff better analyze, interpret, and share these documents among their team and with their clients.

Just imagine receiving a financial document in a super large document paper size. Not only would it look ridiculous, but it would also cost a ton of money to print something that could be printed on a more standard paper size. This is why the print size matters and why you should take extra care to determine suitable standards for your environment.

Letter Paper Size

Now that we have reviewed our background information regarding the importance of print size, we can get into our first most common size letter. Letter paper size is approximately 8.5″ x 11″ and is one of the most used paper types in the United States. The American National Standards Institute defined this standard, and it is most often used for home or office purposes.

Although homes and offices use this type the most, businesses still enact this print size. You can use this paper size for the following professional documents:

  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Letters
  • Forms

Those working in publishing, media, or any other industry that involves printing the previous items will find the most benefit from printing with this size. It is also worth noting that this is a compatible printing size with almost all printers and software applications you may use for your prints.

Legal Paper Size

Legal paper size is approximately 8.5″ x 14″, the second most common print size in the United States and Canada. This print size is similar to letter size because the width of both print sizes is the same. However, it is critical to remember that Legal is taller than Letter, making it a slightly larger print size. It is critical to make this distinction because, depending on the format standards for your industry, it can make a difference.

With legal print size, you can print various materials, including:

  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Charts
  • Diagrams
  • Design plans

This print size will give you a lot to work with regarding the types of documents you plan to print. Because of its flexibility, you can expect to see this type of printing paper in education, law, finance, architecture, and engineering. It makes sense why this is the second most common type of paper print size due to its versatility and accessibility.

Tabloid Paper Size

The following print size we are exploring is tabloid. Tabloid paper size is not an international standard size, so you will primarily see this size in the United States, similar to letter size. The dimensions of Tabloid size paper are 17″ x 11″. This type of paper is excellent for various designs and data work. With this paper size, you can successfully print:

  • Drawings
  • Diagrams
  • Large tables
  • Newspapers

Many educators benefit from this paper size, as you will primarily see them in primary and secondary school settings. Scientific labs also benefit from this print size due to the ability to organize and track data efficiently. Thus, it would not be much of a surprise to see this print size in various healthcare facilities.

Does BDS offer various print paper sizes?

BDS has you covered if you are looking for local supply replenishment for your printer paper. We offer various printing materials, including paper, of different sizes to help you adhere to your industry’s standards. Our supply replenishment program is more affordable than outsourcing these materials from a major retailer.

We go the extra mile to learn about the unique challenges and needs of the unique industries we serve. The challenges and needs we explore include print size. We understand that print size is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so we go the extra mile to ensure we have the best inventory available.

When you partner with BDS, you do not have to worry about running out of your favorite materials. As the number one local print partner in New England and Florida, you can count on us to deliver exceptional results.

Want to learn more tricks and tips regarding your office equipment and our expert solutions? Be sure to regularly check out our blog, knowledge base, and YouTube for free resources. Stay updated on the latest industry news and trends by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok today!

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Written By:BDS
January 15, 2024

About BDS:

BDS is an authorized office technology provider/reseller with corporate headquarters in Marlborough, MA, and offices throughout New England and Florida. Since 1978, we have supported local customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Florida with copier and printing solutions.
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