I am a web developer who now needs to create a brochure, so excuse me if fumble some terms.
It is a gatefold brochure and the requirement is that the central piece is as close to square as possible. I found a pretty good match – the US Legal size, but it is in imperial units.
But i live in Europe, and we have this strange system known as “metric”. The *US Legal” in metric system is 355.6 x 215.9 mm (according to wikipedia). Which does not strike me as a good sign.
So, is there an European alternative to this US Legal paper size ? And do i even need to look for alternative ? ( maybe this size is common in EU too )
Standard US and European paper sizes have different origins, both with deep historical roots, but you’ll have a relatively hard (and relatively expensive) time finding US Legal paper stock in Europe or A4 in the US. Even in the US, the standard legal size is increasingly rare and much more expensive. The UK may still have “Foolscap”, which was standard there when I was growing up, but I doubt you’ll see that anywhere else.
A4, A3, etc., are all 1:1.414 (square root of 2), so that when you fold a sheet in half the result is in the same ratio. Makes for very easy design scaling, but doesn’t lend itself to gatefold with a square center section.
I would suggest you go talk to a few local printers and find out what they recommend. Going to a non-standard size can increase cost significantly or can be no big deal, depending on the amount of waste from a press sheet. Many printers now gang run (put more than one customer’s job on the same sheet of paper) using computer-aided imposition (the placement of artwork on the printing plate) to make maximum use of the available space. A friendly printer will advise you what overall size will be most cost-effective and how best to set up your artwork. They may even have a template that you can download.