The underlying principle is that when folded in half length-wise the paper retains its original aspect ratio: .
Another Shortcoming ...
Yeah, while the rest of the world uses that terribly handy and easy-to-comprehend metric system, we still use the English system of weights and measures, fershure.
But did you know that our paper sizes are similarly archaic?
It's the International Standards Organization specification for paper size. It's a mix of metric and math. Basically, it's defining an 'A0,A1,A2,..." and "B0..." and "C0..." sequence of sizes for paper (and envelopes, the "C" series).
An A1 page is an A0 page cut in half, and so on, and so on. A C0 envelope holds an A0 sheet.
B0 is the same theory, but it's one meter on the long side, as opposed to one 'square' meter of area as A0 is defined.
It's kind of a pity they chose the layout they did on the Wiki page. If they'd merely gone towards the center, instead of the upper-left corner, as they reduced the size, it would be more clearly the Fibonacci sequence (a nautilus shell shape).
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