Standard Poster Sizes - Signage 101

Standard Poster Sizes – Signage 101

What is the standard poster size?

The standard size of a poster is 24” x 36” (24” wide and 36” tall). Before we continue, it is important to note the majority of poster sizes will display the width of the poster as the first measurement and the height of the poster as the second. Posters that are 24” x 36” are often used for product advertising, wall decoration, event promotion, news announcements and more. Although this is the standard poster size, this is not the only size in which posters can be made. Let’s dive in to discover the four most common poster sizes, standard sizes for specific poster types, and how you can get started on creating your own custom poster.

The Four Most Common Poster Sizes

24” x 36” (Large)

This is the standard poster size, and is also known as Large, Architectural D, or Super A1. Being the standard poster size, this means it has the largest variety of applications. Businesses and consumers alike use this size of poster in many different ways. Businesses use posters in this size for product advertisements, office decor, menus, sales promotions, coming soon announcements, open/closed notices and more. They are frequently used in outdoor applications or within retail stores and offices. Consumers often buy or create posters in this size that include their favorite movies, celebrities, video game characters or photographs.

When creating a 24” x 36” poster, try to provide a large, centralized message with additional details that provide the viewer with all the information you need to convey. Make your poster unique through using vivid colors, unique graphics and witty copy. At this size, the world is at your fingertips in regards to what you are able to create.

18” x 24” (Medium)

This Medium-sized poster is also known as the Architectural C size. While not quite the size of a standard poster, it is still large enough to be effective in a variety of applications. One common use for this size of poster is to display sales promotions in storefront windows. It is also great for promoting concerts, festivals and sporting events. Another common use for this size is to create a menu of products or services that you can display to your customers.

If you are creating a poster in this size, you now have the room to start adding in a bit more information while still maintaining legibility. However, try to keep the text on the poster at least ½” in height so your audience can easily read your message.

11” x 17” (Small)

Common names for this size of poster include Small, Ledger, Tabloid or ANSI B. Slightly larger than the Letter size, this poster falls at a size that makes it a popular choice to use as flyers on street lights and other locations with limited space all while still being able to be seen. This size of poster is usually used for product advertisements, school/office circulars, safety notices, infographics and more.

When designing a 11” x 17” poster, we recommend a minimalistic design with big letters and a simple message. This will help your message be easily seen and understood.

8.5” x 11” (Letter)

Known as the Letter size, this is the smallest standard poster size. Coming in at the same size as a piece of printer paper (also known as A4 paper), this poster size is frequently used as handouts or pinned to bulletin boards in schools, homes or offices. This size is great for giving announcements, communicating information, posting company policies, providing schedules and more.

If you are creating a poster in this size, keep in mind the size of your design elements and the text you use to avoid making it too small to read or see. Generally speaking, it is best to stick to a simple message with clear and concise language.

Additional Poster Sizes

Movie Poster Sizes

One of the most widely-known uses for posters is to advertise upcoming movies. This type of poster has essentially become iconic and is a must for any upcoming blockbuster. But what size are these posters? The standard size for a movie poster is 27” x 40”. As you may have discovered, this is slightly wider and taller than the standard poster size. This is the size that is used for movie posters you see in theaters or ones that are for sale online.

Another common size for movie posters is 40” x 60”, which is commonly referred to as the Bus Stop size. This size of movie poster is used to advertise movies in outdoor environments, such as bus stops, fences, or building exteriors. Coming in at five feet tall, these posters demand attention and are hard to miss.

Retail Poster Sizes

Another popular use for posters is to purchase them from retail stores and use them as a form of decoration in your office or home. There is no standard size for posters available at retail stores, and the sizes available can vary dramatically. However, some of the most common sizes offered include 24” x 36” and 22” x 34”. These posters usually include images from pop culture, such as movies, celebrities, books and video games and are made from a thinner paper weight than traditional posters.

Custom Poster Sizes

Just because certain sizes have become “standard” for posters, this does not mean these are the only sizes available. Using Signs.com, you are able to create a poster at just about any size you need. This gives you the freedom to create a poster with either a portrait or landscape orientation that is either very small or very large.

When creating a poster through Signs.com, you are able to go from 6” x 6” up to 50” x 100” (over 8’ tall) and everything in between. Our posters are also made from a heavy-duty 24pt Cardstock, providing the durability needed to display your message in nearly any situation. To see available sizes, prices and options check out our Custom Posters page.


Have any other questions about posters? Give us a call at 888-222-4929 or shoot us an email at [email protected] and we will be happy to help!