Best practice is to design your file or document at the size you wish to print it, as this will prevent issues when upscaling or downscaling.
Printing an existing document?
If you are printing an existing document, open the file and check the dimensions.
In Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can do this via File > Properties > Description > Advanced > Page Size
We then suggest choosing the corresponding or closest paper size for printing.
Creating a new document?
If you are creating a new document, be sure to consider the following important factors...
The purpose of your document is important. For example, an A5 marketing poster will not have as much impact as an A3 or larger poster.
Conversely, an A5 report will be harder to read than an A4 version. So consider the needs of your reader/audience. For internal or personal use, a reduced size may be acceptable. However if you are sharing the document with customers or partners, readability is important.
When questioning the purpose, question the convention. What is the typical size for this type of document?
As an example, no recruiter expects to see an A5 or A0 CV! Nor does a customer want their invoice delivered on an A2 sheet. It’s just not practical.
Your Print Resource
For day to day printing, many opt for A4 as it is the most readily available option.
Larger scale print jobs often have to be outsourced to a third party who have appropriately sized printing equipment to complete the job.
As the saying goes, “the bigger the better”. But not when it comes to print costs, as a larger surface area costs more to print.
Obviously cost shouldn’t be your only deciding factor, but it is something to keep on your radar.
Some types of document binding are only available in certain sizes.
At Doxzoo, we can bind A4 and A5 documents in a variety of styles, however your options are limited to 3 binding methods for A3 documents. Large format (A2+) documents can be printed loose but not bound.
When do you require the document? If you need it there and then, making use of your on-site printer is the quickest option.
But if you have prepared your file ahead of time, you can choose to use an online printing service. This will give you a greater number of finishing and binding options.
Your File/Layout Size
When a document is resized, display issues can occur. For example, if an A4 document is printed as an A1 poster, you are likely to experience some image pixelation. For this reason, vector graphics should always be used as this helps scalability.