While there is no official standard size for posters, over the decades many printing and advertising companies have been using the same consistent sizes for poster printing.
This resource discusses the dimensions and rules
that are commonly used for printing posters worldwide.
Smallest Poster - 11x 17 Inches
Also called Ledger, Tabloid or ANSI B size. This is the smallest standard poster size, they are mostly used for flyers, street lights, bulletin boards, and generally putting up on businesses without taking up too much room and offending. These also work great with a minimalist approach to text. Big letters big message. Size in Millimetres is 279 x 432mm.
Medium - 18 x 24 Inches
Also called Architectural C size - A little more information can be displayed on this standard poster size. I would still recommend some minimalism and little text. These posters are mainly seen as small adverts on university residence floors, doctor's offices, construction walkways and bulletin boards. Size in Millimetres is 457 × 610mm.
Large - 24 x 36 Inches
Also called Architectural D Size - This is the most common standard size for posters. These posters are used for most applications including outside of events, trade shows, and malls. Also widely used for small movie posters delivered to fans and posters for decoration like in University residences and outside a pub or club. With these types of posters you will be grabbing attention with a large message and you can include further details in small writing so after the message is received people can choose whether to come closer and learn more. Size in Millimetres is 609.6 mm x 914.4 mm.
Note: If you are designing a poster you cannot go wrong by using the dimensions that we described above, they are used by printing companies worldwide. Don't be afraid to work with different dimensions though: Posters are printed on rolls of paper (not on sheets) and can therefore be cut in any other dimension. If you want create a poster larger than 24 x36 Inch be sure to contact your printer first, and confirm that he is able to print your desired size.
Movie Poster Sizes
There are 2 different dimensions for movie posters that the film industry has standardized. Both are typically in portrait format:
- One Sheet - which is typically 27" x 40" Inches in size (686x1016mm). Commonly used in theatres for advertising movies.
- Bus stop (or subway poster) - are typically 40" x 60" Inches in size . (1016mm x 1524mm).
The "One-Sheet" size is used in the official advertising for films.
typically printed on paper stock and usually rolled for aesthetic reasons.
Be aware that the mentioned dimensions for film posters are approximate, and do not have to be exactly in the sizes mentioned above.