“P is for Pica” – What is a pica and why do we use them?


(Pronounced pie-ka) It’s the measurement of all those little squares on your layout grids. One pica has 12 points in it. Pica measurements are represented like this: “5p6” (or “5 picas and 6 points” or “5 1/2 picas”). But what IS a pica? According to Dictionary.com, a pica is…

  • “A printer’s unit of type size, equal to 12 points or about 1/6 of an inch.”
  • “An equivalent unit of composition measurement used in determining the dimensions of lines, illustrations, or printed pages.”
  • “A type size for typewriters, providing ten characters to the inch.”
  • “An abnormal craving or appetite for nonfood substances, such as dirt, paint, or clay.”**

(**Okay, that last one has nothing to do with yearbooks, but thought you might want to know!)

*This entry is part of “The Yearbook Ladies’ A to Zs of Yearbook”
project. If you’d like to download the “P” card, go to the “Adviser
Resources” section of www.theyearbookladies.com

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