The standard newspaper column size used in US newspapers is 1.83 inches wide (11 picas). However, this measurement can vary. In fact, some US newspapers use other sizes.
What is the Column Inch?
This is the measuring system used by newspapers to determine the content in multiple columns. A column inch is one inch high and one column wide.
Pages in a newspaper are set down on a grid with margins on all four sides. The grid also has gutters (space between columns) and vertical columns. US tabloids have five columns while broadsheets have four.
Advertising and Column Inches
Whether the standard newspaper column size is used or not, ad space is always sold per column inch. The column inch rate varies depending on the paper’s demographic figures and circulation. The more readers a newspaper has, the higher the rate will be. Newspapers with well off readers will fetch higher rates.
However, the column inch rate is not the only way fees are charged. Frequent advertisers are usually given lower rates. Newspapers also have sales reps that negotiate the fees.
They are measured by way of column inches. For example, a one column inch square ad is an inch high and 11 picas wide. For multiple columns, the size is assessed by multiplying inch height by the column numbers. An ad 6 inches high and 3 columns wide occupies 18 column inches. This is attained by multiplying 3 columns by six inches.
Ad cost is attained by multiplying the column inch numbers by the rate of the newspaper. If the newspaper charges $10 for every column inch, the charge will be $180.00. The figure is attained by multiplying 18 (the column inches) by the rate ($10).
Larger ads get some extra space because they cover the gutters. The gutters are the space in-between the columns. Gutter sizes vary; some are a pica wide while others are 10 points. A double truck ad costs more money.
Notes and Other Information
In the newspaper industry, the ad size is always expressed by width x height. The first figure is always the width. In some newspapers, the modular system is employed (1/2 page, 1/8 page and so on). Many find this system easier to understand.
The standard newspaper column size and rates are still used widely in the US. But these are not always applicable to newspapers in other nations.