Sketchbooks come in a variety of sizes from very large to very small.

Smaller sketchbooks are often hard-bound and sometimes have an elastic band to hold them closed. Sketchbooks larger than 11”x14” are often called sketchpads and are often spiral or tape-bound.

When it comes to larger and smaller sized sketchbooks, there are many options, not all of which conform to standard sizes. In the U.S., common sketchbook sizes include 4”x6”, 5”x7”, 7”x10”, 8.5”x11”, 9”x12”, and 11”x14” for hard-covered sketchbooks, and 14”x17”, 18”x24”, and 24”x36” for spiral-bound and tape-bound pads. Other sizes are available as well, including metric-sized papers that conform to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. Note that other than 8.5”x11”,some sizes common to office papers or photography paper such as 11”x17” and 8”x10” are usually not found in sketchbooks.

In recent years, there has been a trend toward square sketchbooks and “landscape” sizes, in which the binding is on the short side of a long rectangle. These sizes are especially effective for unusual compositions and sketchbooks intended as collections of finished drawings.

When choosing a sketchbook, consider not only the scale of drawing you would like to do, but also how convenient it will be to carry a given size around with you. Ease of use can make all the difference in staying engaged in the creative process!