The Difference Between Flat Size And Finished Size
A lot of printed products sometimes provide two sizes on their descriptions: Flat Size and Finished Size. The two can be widely different dimensions, and this often leads to confusion. As such, one of our most frequently asked questions is – what’s the difference?
What is a Flat Size?
The flat size is the total size of the product before any folding or finishing techniques have been implemented. Much like with flatpack furniture- this is the size of the unassembled parts.
For example, imagine a three sided table talker (multisided marketing devices that often stand on restaurant tables and bars). The flat size is the size of the printed product when it is laid flat, before it’s been folded and erected into the three-sided shape you’d be familiar with.
Another example would be a birthday card; the flat size would be an A4 sheet, which is the dimensions for the total product, open and flat. However, the ‘real world’ or ‘finished’ size would be the size you’re familiar with when imaging a birthday card: A5- as the A4 is folded in half to sell and use.
What is a Finished Size?
The finished size is the size of the product after all the necessary folds and finishing touches have been done, to create the product as you know it. In terms of flatpack furniture- these are the dimensions of the completed item, once it’s been put together.
Revisiting those table talkers – the finished size would be the size of the product after it’s been folded, interlocking tabs are in place and it has been erected. An A7 Z fold leaflet would be folded to a finished size of A7 but when opened out can be depending on the number of panels anything from A4 to A2 size!
It should also be noted that with some products, like the table talkers or tent cards, the flat size will be 2Dimensional, but the complete finished size will be 3Dimensional.
Why would I need to know both sizes?
It might seem like the finished size is all you need- after all, that’s the size of the product you’re buying in its finished form. However, knowing the flat size is invaluable for designing and creating a template for your product. Here at Better Printing, we offer a wide range of templates- all of which you’ll notice are the flat size for ease of design.
It’s also useful to know if you’re planning on shipping the products through the post- as posting flat will be a lot cheaper than posting finished, and the flat dimensions will let you know the size of the packaging needed. And if you’re not keen on the hassle- we can always do this step for you! With inhouse variable printing we can send out your products to your database of customers – direct from our warehouse to them, missing out the middle step altogether!
Finally, it’s useful to know the flat dimensions for storage purposes- some custom printed products become 3D and quite sizeable when finished, like bollard covers, tent cards and box sleeves. Having flat size dimensions allows you to work out the most efficient storage space for your printed products.
As always If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team!