Guide to Standard Poster Sizes: Picking the Right Dimensions
There is no true standard poster size. While many paper producers adhere to international standards to keep printing standardized around the world, banner sizes are not regulated. this lack of standardization can sometimes prompt questions from people looking to design and print posters with the correct dimensions. many people want to know, is there a normal poster size? How big should a poster be?
You have many options for poster sizes. To make things easier, we recommend choosing one of the few standardized paper sizes that are commonly used in industries around the world. Choosing a commonly used and standardized paper size will help take a lot of the guesswork out of planning your poster dimensions and give you the most options for choosing the paper weight or material you like best. /p>
However, it is important to note that while we discuss common poster sizes in relation to international paper size standards here, there is no single standard poster size that is used universally. There are standardized sizes that work well for posters, but “poster size” simply isn’t a term with a standardized meaning. When designing a poster, always check with your printing company or paper supplier to find out exactly what sizes of poster paper they have available, and always make sure you know exactly how and where your poster will be displayed.
Common Poster Sizes
Most paper producers and printing companies should have the following sizes of banner paper in stock. Here are four commonly used poster dimensions and their best use cases.
small: poster size 11×17
11×17 inches is generally the smallest poster size. anything smaller will not look like a poster, but rather a piece of a4 size printer paper taped to the wall.
11×17 banners are the perfect size for indoor signage and event announcements. They draw more attention and look more official than a4 size flyers, but they don’t require too much space on the wall. 11×17 banners are perfect for indoor display in areas where people tend to congregate, such as lounges, waiting rooms, restrooms, or near water coolers. 11×17 posters are best placed at eye level on a wall where people will generally be five feet apart.
A poster with the dimensions 11 × 17 inches looks best when printed with layouts that use bold typography, simple illustrations, a limited color palette, and plenty of negative space. the aspect ratio of 11×17 posters is also similar to the typical aspect ratio of movie posters (a little less than 2:3), so these poster dimensions can work quite well if you want a hang a miniature poster of your favorite movie above your desk.
11×17 inches (279×432 mm) is also known as tabloid (when the short side is horizontal) or ledger paper (when the long side is horizontal), and adheres to the international sizing standard ANSI B. This is good news if you plan to print your small-sized poster yourself. This size of paper is widely available and is compatible with many home and office printers. An 11×17 poster is also convenient if you need to mail your poster without rolling or folding it: you can find ANSI B envelopes at most post offices, and carriers have standard rates for mailing envelopes with these dimensions.
medium: poster size 18×24
18 × 24 inches is a medium size poster that can be displayed both indoors and outdoors. 18×24 is an appropriate and normal poster size for almost any project because it can be seen from up close as well as from a distance. this is also a normal poster size for framing, so you have plenty of display options for 18×24 posters.
18×24 posters look best when placed on a wall where people are typically between one and five meters. For decorative purposes, this average size poster looks great hanging behind a reception desk, lining hallways, or in your home. As advertising, 18×24 banners are ideal for public bulletin boards, in-store promotions, college and university campuses, and construction walkways.
18 × 24 inches is smaller and wider than the standard movie poster size you’ll find in big theaters, but it’s still a good size for small-scale movie poster printing. Because these poster dimensions are great for combining immersive photography and graphics with a few lines of bold text, 18×24 movie posters can work well for announcements of special screenings or other independently staged film events. just keep in mind that the aspect ratio for medium posters is 3:4, while official movie posters are designed with an aspect ratio closer to 2:3.
18 × 24 inches (457 × 610 mm) are also known as c-arch dimensions, which is an American standard for architectural paper. Unsurprisingly, these dimensions are excellent for framing and displaying plans and maps. If you need to ship an 18×24 poster, the most cost-effective way is to roll it up in a tube.
large: poster size 24×36
24×36 inches are the dimensions in which large format posters are most often printed. If you were to go to a store that specifically sells posters, chances are a large portion of their inventory will be 24×36 posters. You will find many options for framing posters that are 24×36, and with an aspect ratio of 2:3 , many images (including movie posters) fit these dimensions very well.
24×36 posters are the classic choice for posters that need to stand out from the crowd. For busy malls, sidewalk signs, trade shows, festivals, and other places with heavy foot traffic, this is a standard poster size that can be seen from a distance. depending on the design, they are large enough to be readable up to ten meters away. 24×36 posters look best when the center point of the poster is at eye level.
This large poster size works with almost any graphic: photos, illustrations, bold text, minimal designs, intricate designs. A design scheme that works well for the large poster size is to attract attention from afar with the main message printed in very large, bold text, but also include much smaller informational text that brings people closer.
24 × 36 inches (609.6 × 914.4 mm) is also known as architectural d-size paper, which is another standardized paper size. If you need to ship a 24×36 poster, the most cost effective way is to roll it up in a tube.
standard movie poster sizes
While poster sizes in general are not regulated, the film industry in the USA does have standard movie poster sizes for official advertisements within movie theaters and at bus stops. Standardized movie poster dimensions are as follows:
- 27 × 40 inches (686 × 1016 mm) – Also known as one sheet size, these are the most commonly used dimensions for official United States posters. films. distributed to theaters. the movie theater sign size aspect ratio is a little over 2:3, or a width of 67.5% of the height.
- 40×60 inches (1016 ×1524 mm) – is the standard movie poster size for advertising at bus stops and subway stops. the aspect ratio of this extra large movie poster is exactly 2:3.
These are the only two movie poster sizes used by movie studios for official advertising purposes. any movie poster that measures smaller or larger was probably created after the fact, as if a poster company bought the rights to the image to sell in their retail stores.
how big are the movie posters you can buy in stores or online?
If you buy a movie poster from a retailer, it won’t be the standard 27×40-inch movie poster size. rather, mass market movie poster printing for retail typically uses architectural paper. That means the average size of movie posters you’ll see hanging in bedrooms is 24 inches by 36 inches.
If you’re trying to get your hands on a vintage poster printed around the time of the movie’s big screen debut, check the dimensions of the movie poster as a way of verifying its authenticity.
are there other poster sizes? Or do I have to choose between common poster sizes?
While the poster size dimensions listed above provide a good guide for anyone designing a poster because they use standard paper sizes around the world, you don’t have to design a poster to fit these measurements.
In many cases, large format printers use rolls of paper instead of single sheets. this means your poster can be designed and cut to the size you want. simply discuss your needs with your printer and they will advise you!
As we already mentioned, there is no universal standard for poster dimensions. While choosing one of the average poster sizes listed above can ensure that you have the most options for printing, framing, displaying, or mailing your poster, no one will be pulling out a tape measure on the street to make sure your poster is ” standard.”
we print posters of all sizes and ship them nationwide! Call us at (858) 866-6560 to get started on your next banner printing project.
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