What Is Inkjet Hagaki Paper?
By Shea Laverty
If your company produces photographic prints, postcards or other similarly sized print documents intended for sale in Japan, you may have come across references to "hagaki" size. You'll likely have also noticed that most commercial inkjet printers outside of Japan do not feature support for a hagaki size. Understanding the hagaki size and how to accommodate it is actually fairly simple, and knowing what to look for on your own printer can save you time and stress.
The Japanese word "hagaki" literally translates as "postcard." In printing, the term refers explicitly to the Japanese standard postcard size. As a result, all official hagaki prints are measured at 4-by-4 inches. Photo labs in Japan often for brevity will use the moniker "KG" to describe hagaki measurements.
Japan has its own system of print size measurement, and all printing equipment conforms to that standard. As a result, all inkjet printers produced and marketed in Japan feature support for the hagaki size convention. When using hagaki-sized paper, these printers must be set to hagaki or KG mode to produce the best results.
Support Outside of Japan
Hagaki size does see some support outside of Japan under the name "Japanese Postcard" size. However, support for the standard under the name "hagaki" or even "KG" is minimal, as globally standardized print sizes using the "nR" and "SnR" format are typically employed. Using this standard, hagaki is commonly rendered as 4R.
Japanese Postcard Size
The Japanese Postcard size is a sizing standard employed by some commercial printers. While essentially a carryover of the hagaki size, there are minor measurement differences. Particularly, hagaki size is precisely 4-by-4 inches, while Japanese postcard measures 3.94-by-5.83 inches. Some printers also offer a larger version of the hagaki, referred to as "Japanese Double Postcard." This print size maintains the original 5.83-inch height of the Japanese postcard format, but extends the width of the card to 7.87 inches.
Inkjet Hagaki Paper
Using the hagaki printing size for inkjet printing requires appropriately sized paper. Generally, any 4-by-6-inch paper is acceptable for inkjet printing in the hagaki size. Larger paper can be cut down to this size if necessary to produce hagaki prints.