When it comes to creating eye-catching posters for print, understanding the standard poster sizes is crucial. Whether you’re designing posters for advertising, events, or personal projects, having the right dimensions can make all the difference.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the various standard poster sizes for print, providing expert insights and answers to frequently asked questions.

Standard Poster Sizes for Print

In this section, we’ll delve into the different standard poster sizes you should consider for your print projects.

Standard Poster Sizes for Print
Standard Poster Sizes for Print

Small Posters Sizes

Small posters are perfect for promotional materials and indoor displays. They are compact and easy to distribute. Common small poster sizes include:

  • 8.5″ x 11″: This size is similar to a standard sheet of paper and is often used for flyers and informational posters.
  • 11″ x 17″: Slightly larger than the previous size, this is great for promotional posters with more content.

Small posters are versatile and suitable for various purposes, making them a popular choice.

Medium Posters Sizes

Medium-sized posters strike a balance between visibility and portability. They are suitable for a wide range of applications, such as event announcements and product promotions.

Common medium poster sizes include:

  • 18″ x 24″: Ideal for visual impact, these posters are commonly used for advertising and presentations.
  • 24″ x 36″: Often chosen for movie posters and retail displays, this size ensures your message is hard to miss.

Medium posters allow for more creative freedom and are effective in catching the audience’s attention.

Large Banners

When you need to make a big statement, large banners are the way to go. They are perfect for outdoor events, conferences, and grand openings. Standard banner sizes include:

  • 30″ x 72″: These tall banners are perfect for grabbing attention from a distance.
  • 48″ x 96″: The largest standard size, these banners are suitable for large outdoor displays.

Large banners are designed to make a bold statement and are often used for branding and advertising on a grand scale.

Custom Posters Sizes

Sometimes, your project may require a unique size to fit specific spaces or design concepts.

Custom poster sizes allow you to get creative and tailor your posters to your exact needs. Keep in mind that custom sizes may involve additional printing costs.

Here’s a table featuring standard poster sizes for print:

Poster SizeDimensions (inches)Common Use Cases
Small Posters8.5″ x 11″Flyers, Informational Posters
11″ x 17″Promotional Posters
Medium Posters18″ x 24″Advertising, Presentations
24″ x 36″Movie Posters, Retail Displays
Large Banners30″ x 72″Outdoor Events, Conferences
48″ x 96″Grand Openings, Large Displays
Custom SizesVariesTailored to Specific Needs

This table provides a quick reference to the various poster sizes and their common use cases.

Poster board size

Poster board size
Poster board size

Poster boards come in various sizes to suit different needs. The most common poster board size is:

22 inches by 28 inches (55.88 cm by 71.12 cm)

This size is frequently used for school projects, science fair presentations, art displays, and smaller promotional posters.

However, there are other standard poster board sizes available as well, including:

  1. 24 inches by 36 inches (60.96 cm by 91.44 cm): This larger size is commonly used for presentations, advertising posters, and academic conference posters.
  2. 30 inches by 40 inches (76.2 cm by 101.6 cm): Often used for academic and scientific posters, as it provides ample space for detailed information and graphics.
  3. 36 inches by 48 inches (91.44 cm by 121.92 cm): This size is typically used for large academic posters and professional presentations.
  4. 40 inches by 60 inches (101.6 cm by 152.4 cm): Reserved for very large displays, such as trade show exhibits and oversized promotional materials.

When choosing a poster board size, consider the amount of content and the visual impact you want to achieve.

Larger boards provide more space for information and graphics but may be less convenient for transport and display.

Smaller boards are more portable but may limit the amount of content you can include.

Movie poster sizes

Movie poster sizes
Movie poster sizes

Movie posters come in various sizes, each serving a specific purpose in film marketing and promotion. Here are some common movie poster sizes:

  1. One Sheet Poster:
    • Size: 27 inches by 40 inches (68.58 cm by 101.6 cm)
    • Commonly used for theatrical releases in cinemas. It’s the standard size for movie posters in the United States.
  2. Teaser Poster:
    • Size: Similar to a one-sheet, but it may feature less detailed information, aiming to generate curiosity before a movie’s release.
  3. Character Poster:
    • Size: Typically the same dimensions as a one-sheet.
    • These posters focus on individual characters from the movie, often featuring the actor’s image along with the character’s name.
  4. Mini-Poster or Half Sheet:
    • Size: 22 inches by 28 inches (55.88 cm by 71.12 cm)
    • Smaller than a one-sheet, these posters are sometimes used for promotional purposes or in smaller spaces.
  5. Bus Shelter Poster:
    • Size: Approximately 48 inches by 70 inches (121.92 cm by 177.8 cm)
    • These large posters are designed for placement in bus shelters or other outdoor advertising spaces.
  6. Subway Poster:
    • Size: Approximately 45 inches by 60 inches (114.3 cm by 152.4 cm)
    • Used in subway stations and other high-traffic urban areas for maximum visibility.
  7. Quad Poster (UK):
    • Size: 30 inches by 40 inches (76.2 cm by 101.6 cm)
    • A standard size for movie posters in the United Kingdom.
  8. Lobby Card:
    • Size: Typically 11 inches by 14 inches (27.94 cm by 35.56 cm)
    • Often used as a set of promotional cards, these feature scenes or characters from the film.
  9. Insert Poster:
    • Size: 14 inches by 36 inches (35.56 cm by 91.44 cm)
    • These posters are less common today but were historically used in theaters to promote films.
  10. Three Sheet Poster:
    • Size: Approximately 41 inches by 81 inches (104.14 cm by 205.74 cm)
    • A larger format poster, less commonly used today, primarily for classic films.

The choice of poster size depends on the marketing strategy, distribution channels, and promotional budget of the film.

Larger posters, like one-sheets and bus shelter posters, are more visible but also more expensive to produce and distribute, while smaller sizes like mini-posters or lobby cards are used for supplementary marketing materials.

Poster Design Tips

Creating an eye-catching and effective poster requires a blend of creativity and design principles.

Poster Design Tips
Poster Design Tips

Whether you’re promoting an event, product, or idea, these tips will help you craft a compelling poster:

  • Clear Purpose: Start with a clear understanding of your poster’s purpose and message. What do you want to convey? Who is your target audience?
  • Simplify Your Message: Keep your message concise and to the point. Use a catchy headline and subheadings to communicate the key information.
  • Visual Hierarchy: Organize content with a clear visual hierarchy. Important information should be larger, bolder, or in a prominent position.
  • Typography: Choose easy-to-read fonts that match the tone of your message. Avoid using too many fonts and keep font sizes consistent.
  • Color Palette: Select a cohesive color scheme that complements your message and evokes the right emotions. Use colors strategically to highlight key elements.
  • Images and Graphics: Use high-quality images or graphics that relate to your message. Ensure they are relevant, and don’t overcrowd the poster with visuals.
  • Whitespace: Embrace whitespace (empty space) to create a clean and balanced layout. It helps guide the viewer’s eye and prevents clutter.
  • Contrast: Make important elements stand out by using contrast. This can be achieved through color, size, or placement.
  • Alignment: Maintain consistent alignment for text and graphics. Alignment creates a sense of order and professionalism.
  • Balance: Distribute elements evenly across the poster to create a sense of balance. An unbalanced poster can be visually distracting.
  • Brand Consistency: If applicable, incorporate your brand colors, logo, and other elements to maintain brand consistency.
  • Less is More: Avoid overcrowding the poster with too much information. Stick to the essentials to maintain viewer interest.
  • Use Bullet Points: When presenting lists or key points, use bullet points for clarity and readability.
  • Whitespace for Readability: Use ample whitespace around text blocks to improve readability. Avoid cramped text.
  • Proofread: Check for spelling and grammar errors. Typos can undermine the credibility of your message.
  • Test Legibility: Step back and view your poster from a distance to ensure it remains legible. Adjust as needed.
  • Call to Action: If appropriate, include a clear call to action that tells viewers what to do next (e.g., “Buy Now,” “Join Us”).
  • Print Quality: If you’re printing the poster, ensure it’s of high resolution and suitable for the chosen print size.
  • Audience Engagement: Consider interactive elements like QR codes, tear-off tabs, or social media icons to engage viewers further.
  • Feedback: Get input from others before finalizing your design. Fresh perspectives can help you refine your poster.

Remember, the key to a successful poster is a combination of creativity and effective communication. Tailor your design to your specific goals and audience for the best results.

Poster ideas

Poster ideas
Poster ideas

Certainly! Here are various poster ideas for different occasions and purposes:

Movie Poster Ideas:

  1. Character Collage: Create a visually striking poster by featuring the main characters in a collage-style layout. Use their images, character names, and taglines.
  2. Minimalist Design: Employ a minimalist approach with a simple background and a single iconic image or symbol from the movie. This can create intrigue and pique curiosity.
  3. Action Sequence: Showcase an action sequence or a pivotal moment from the movie to capture attention and convey its genre or tone.
  4. Retro Style: Give your movie poster a vintage, retro look reminiscent of a particular era to evoke nostalgia or set the mood.
  5. Teaser Poster: Create a teaser poster that provides a hint of the movie’s theme or plot without revealing too much. Use enigmatic images and cryptic text.
  6. Character Posters: Design individual posters for each major character, focusing on their personalities or roles in the story.

Promotional Poster Ideas:

  1. Event Timeline: Design a timeline-style poster that highlights key moments and activities throughout the event. Include dates, times, and locations.
  2. Themed Collage: If the prom has a theme (e.g., masquerade, Hollywood), create a collage that incorporates elements related to the theme, such as masks or movie reels.
  3. Red Carpet Style: Mimic the style of a red carpet event with glamorous photos of attendees or models dressed in prom attire.
  4. Typography-Centric: Use creative typography and calligraphy to make the event name and details the central focus of the poster.
  5. Photo Mosaic: Craft a mosaic-style poster composed of small photos of the attendees, forming a larger image or shape that represents the prom theme.
  6. Color Gradient: Experiment with vibrant color gradients that convey the mood and excitement of the event.

Event Poster Ideas:

  1. Illustrated Map: Create an illustrated map of the event location, highlighting key areas and attractions.
  2. Concert Poster: For music events, design a poster that reflects the genre and energy of the performers, incorporating their images or instruments.
  3. Artistic Collage: Compile an artistic collage of images, artwork, or abstract designs that capture the essence of the event.
  4. Community Event: If the event is community-focused, include images of local landmarks, people, and activities to connect with the audience.
  5. Workshop or Conference: Design an informative poster with a schedule, speaker profiles, and topics for workshops or conferences.
  6. Holiday Event: For holiday-themed events, incorporate festive elements like ornaments, lights, or seasonal motifs.

Remember to tailor your poster design to the specific event or occasion, considering the target audience and the atmosphere you want to create.

Visual elements, colors, and styles should align with the event’s theme and purpose to make a lasting impression.


What is the most common poster sizes for events?

The most common poster size for events is 18″ x 24″. It offers a good balance between visibility and portability, making it suitable for a wide range of occasions.

Can I print posters larger than the standard poster sizes mentioned?

Yes, you can certainly print posters larger than the standard sizes mentioned. However, you may need to use custom printing services, and the cost could be higher.

Are there standard sizes for movie posters?

Yes, movie posters often follow the standard size of 24″ x 36″. This size allows for striking visuals and easy placement in movie theaters.

What is the advantage of using small posters?

Small posters, such as 8.5″ x 11″, are advantageous for their ease of distribution. They are commonly used for flyers and informational materials.

Can I use custom sizes for promotional posters?

Absolutely! Custom sizes for promotional posters can help your brand stand out and create a unique visual impact.

How do I choose the right poster sizes for my project?

Choosing the right poster size depends on your specific project and goals. Consider factors like where the poster will be displayed, the content you want to include, and your budget.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the world of standard poster sizes for print. Whether you’re designing small posters for a local event or large banners for a grand opening, understanding the dimensions is crucial.

Remember that custom poster sizes offer endless possibilities for creative expression. With this knowledge, you can confidently create posters that capture attention and convey your message effectively.

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