Sizes & Materials Explained

There is a lot of jargon and terminology used in the printing world and we have put together some hopefully useful descriptions and explanations below to help you understand the most commonly used. We also have the following pages on our website that describe key aspects of creating artwork in detail; Artwork, Artwork Size Guide, Artwork Colour Guide, Artwork Resolution Guide, Artwork Bleed Guide and How To Order.
If there is anything that you need help with, please call us on 01273 917 939 or email us at

Standard Document Sizes

The table below shows standard document names and sizes, including the pixel size for artwork creation using tools like Photoshop and InDesign. When creating artwork you should use the size with bleed area. We print at 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution as this results in a very high print quality.

 (without bleed area)(with bleed)
Size NameSize in mmSize in pixels
at 300dpi
Size in mm
Size in pixels
at 300dpi
Business Card85 mm x 55 mm1004 px x 650 px91 mm x 61 mm1075 px x 720 px
DL / Comp Slip99 mm x 210 mm2480 px x 1169 px105 mm x 216 mm2551 px x 1240 px
A6148 mm x 105 mm1748 px x 1240 px154 mm x 111 mm1819 px x 1311 px
A5210 mm x 148 mm2480 px x 1748 px216 mm x 154 mm2551 px x 1819 px
A4297 mm x 210 mm3508 px x 2480 px303 mm x 216 mm3579 px x 2251 px
A3420 mm x 297 mm4961 px x 3508 px426 mm x 303 mm5031 px x 3579 px
A2594 mm x 420 mm7016 px x 4961 px600 mm x 426 mm7087 px x 5031 px
A1841 mm x 594 mm9933 px x 7016 px847 mm x 600 mm10004 px x 7087 px
A01189 mm x 841 mm14043 px x 9933 px1195 mm x 847 mm14114 px x 10004 px
GSM (Grams per Square Meter)

GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter and it is the industry standard acronym that describes the thickness of the paper or card being printed on. The higher the GSM, the heavier or thicker the paper or card.
For example;

  • 55gsm – thin paper, similar to newspaper thickness
  • 80gsm – used for low cost photocopy or printer paper
  • 100gsm – used for standard photocopy or printer paper, letterhead, compliment slips etc
  • 130 to 150gsm – low cost leaflets flyers and posters
  • 200 to 300gsm – the thickness level moves from paper to card. Used for premium flyers, postcards, lower cost business cards
  • 350gsm to 450gsm – higher quality business cards, invitations etc

The abbreviation DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and it refers to the output resolution of a printer. It literally means the number of printed dots contained within one inch of an image printed by a printer. The more dots per inch, the higher the resolution and the clearer the image.

Images that are being printed should be created at 300dpi. This ensures a much higher quality, clearer image without having to reduce the image size. When creating a new image, your software should give you an option to set resolution.

There is more information about DPI and image resolution on our Artwork Resolution Guide page..


Lamination is the process of applying a thin sheet of plastic onto paper or card. This can enhance the look and feel of the material and provide protection from wear and tear.
Lamination is commonly used on good quality business cards, flyers, brochures and other professional and business documentation and stationery.
We provide lamination as an option on many of our products. There are usually four choices;

  • No Lamination – no lamination added
  • Matt Lamination – a smooth professional finish with no shine to it. The most common choice for business cards
  • Gloss Lamination – a very smooth feel with a high shine. Fairly common on business cards
  • Soft-Touch Lamination – a velvety smooth finish resulting in a premium look and feel. Popular on business cards, high quality flyers, brochures etc

If you select a product, lamination will be offered as an option if its applicable for that product.


Paper and card can be finished with a coating to provide additional strength and quality. This is not to be confused with lamination which adds a thin plastic sheet and with it an additional level of quality to the product.

If a product has different finishes as an option, the choice will be available when selecting the product.
There are four finishes sometimes available depending on the product;

  • Un-coated – an un-coated piece of paper or card does not feel completely smooth as it is possible to just feel the fibres of the material
  • Matt – a matt finish is smooth to the touch with no shine to it
  • Silk – a silk finish is between a matt and gloss finish. It is smooth to the touch with a light sheen
  • Gloss – a gloss finish has a high shine to it. Not commonly used on standard paper but common on thin flyers (low gsm) to give added strength to the paper and a bright finish.

Sign Up To Receive Your

Discount Code


Thanks for signing up. Simply enter "10first" when you checkout to get 10% off your first order!