Is there a formula for creating a common newspaper ad size that will work for most papers?

Answered by Suzanne Morgan, founder, Print Buyers

I am placing an ad in a variety of newspapers. Is there an easy formula for finding a common size for the film that (hopefully) can be used for most of the ads? I used to know an advertising production manager who had a secret way of measuring and finding a common size that always worked for him. However, he never shared his secret.


There may not be a simple, clear-cut answer to this question. Since many papers have purchased new equipment, there are now two standards for newspaper advertising: Fifty-Inch Advertising and Standard Advertising Units (SAU). Your best bet is to start with a 3 column x 10.5 ad size. This translates to 6 7/16" x 101/2" for SAU or 5 3/4" x 10 1/2" for Fifty-Inch. This allows you to reduce or increase to fit most newspaper ad spaces.

One good source for learning more about newspaper display ad sizing and Fifty- Inch/SAU sizing is SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service). You can visit their Web site at or call them at 800-851-7737.

Best wishes,
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