Small Poster Dimensions
The small size is 11 x 17” and the cheapest poster you can use. The dimensions are just enough to command the viewer’s attention, provided it is used properly. To achieve the greatest effect, use these posters indoors.
You’ll see some of these on community boards. Since it’s small, avoid placing it among big posters, or it will go unnoticed. When using text, keep it short and straight to the point.
Medium Poster Dimensions
The medium (or “normal”) posters measure 18 x 24”. This poster size is used in movie star / sports athlete posters. To use it for advertising, the graphics need to hold center stage. The text should be limited to a single header or headline. You can add a bit of text under the header. These poster ads are usually seen at oil changers and medical facilities.
Large Poster Dimensions
These begin at 24 x 36” or 27 x 39”. It is used almost exclusively outdoors and aimed at motorists and pedestrians. These posters employ big graphics / photos. Text is limited to a slogan or one sentence only. These poster sizes can be seen in trade exhibitions and canteens.
The typical movie poster today measures 27 x 41” (also known as the sheet). Some posters are available in 8 x 10”. The ½ sheet comes in at 22 x 28”. The major film releases also employ billboard posters, which measure 106 x 234”. This measurement is typical in the US, but in other countries different dimensions may be employed.
Other movie sizes you’ll come across are the 3 sheet (41 x 81”), the banner (81 x 24”) and the 6 sheet (81 x 81”). The lenticular posters measure 27 x 41”, while the mini window measures 11 x 14”.
The insert poster size is 14 x 36”. The lobby card (11 x 14”) is no longer used in the US. The card was comprised of eight parts. It included movie artwork as well as film credits.
Custom Made Posters
While these are standard poster dimensions, custom sizes are easily obtainable. A film company can hire a printing service to produce a poster with user defined dimensions.
Although most desktop printers can’t handle a typical poster, there are some specially designed printers that can. If you’ll be needing posters regularly, consider buying one of these.
The guidelines suggested above for using posters are by no means set in stone. Some of the most successful products have come from using posters in innovative and unusual ways.
Even if you adhere to the standard dimensions, try to make the poster design / message stand out. People will only take a second and closer look if it’s eye catching.
Most people may take it for granted, but the right poster size is critical to getting your product or point across. Used correctly, the poster will grab the attention of the viewer.