Understanding Poster Sizes

When properly designed and placed, attractive, high quality posters can entice and excite passerbys to attend a specific event or alert them of an upcoming product or service.

There is no official industry standard size for posters; however, many printing and advertising companies have established general standards for poster printing based on effectiveness, affordability, and consistency.

Letter Size Poster

The standard paper size, 8-1/2″ x 11″ is commonly used as a paper flyer, but when printed on a higher quality poster paper or laminated, it can easily become a convincing poster for small spaces. Many businesses use this size for bulletin board type postings in order to maximize space, while still communicating a powerful message or advertisement. The design is typically minimalistic with larger font size.

Ledger Size Poster

Measuring 11″ x 17″, ledger sized posters are commonly seen around university campuses and peppering downtown urban centers. Offering a bit more space for information than the letter size, ledger size has power to use a few more words in the marketing message, while still functioning as an impressive poster for times when the available real estate is still a bit tight.

Small Size Poster

A small poster size is one that can no longer be confused with a flyer and typically measures 16″ x 24″. Requiring more than a standard printer, this size is known to be an upgrade and has a more custom look and feel. When events or products will be advertised on a more permanent basis, this slightly larger size is a perfect marketing tool. Used by many restaurants and event centers, small sized posters enable marketers to use more design flair to deliver a larger impact that gets noticed.

Medium Sized Poster

Often referred to as small movie posters or “one sheet”, 24″ x 36″ posters, this size is typically printed on glossy paper stock and rolled. Medium sized posters are optimized for an active response and may be seen posted at bus stops, shopping centers, or at cinemas. While these posters grab immediate attention with a larger size and large, convincing message, additional detail is often provided in smaller print. This design feature engages viewers and pulls them a bit closer to learn more.

Large Sized Poster

Large sized posters are considered the traditional movie posters that line the walls of the movie theaters. Measuring 36″ x 54″, they are commonly used in public transportation hubs and on the sides of buildings. These posters, when designed professionally, can be multi-dimensional and oftentimes have a few different messages. Many non-profit organizations may be seen using this size poster on bus stops to send powerful public service announcements. Successful marketers sometimes choose this size poster to mirror a billboard or other form of concurrent advertising. Large sized posters are universally noticed by consumers and have been proven to be an effective branding tool.

Custom / Oversized Posters

Measuring up to 42″ x 152″, custom sized posters are ideal for advertising on the sides of buildings, in atriums, and anywhere it is necessary to make a huge visual impact. Oversized posters are typically very high quality and are meant to be more permanent.

Size Use

Letter 8-1/2″ x 11″ doctor’s office, dorm, small spaces
Ledger 11″ x 17″ campuses, urban centers
Small 16″ x 24″ restaurants, event centers
Medium 24″ x 36″ bus stops, shopping centers, small movie posters
Large 36″ x 54″ movie posters, bus stops
Custom Up to 42″ x 152″ large impact

Other factors to consider when developing a poster as a marketing tool are the design elements, color choices, ink quality, and paper quality.

When these other aspects are combined with the size of the poster, the effectiveness of the poster and the message that it is meant to convey can be amplified and can yield monumental marketing results.

Carefully considering your target audience, the placement of the poster and the duration of visibility will help your poster to meet advertising goals.

Choosing a printer is important when producing effective posters. With much of small business marketing transitioning to digital, it may be difficult to find local printers who have the equipment or personnel capabilities to print larger or customized sizes or who take pride in the final result.

Whether you need assistance uploading a file, color enhancing technology, custom sizes, or upgraded ink or paper, PosterBrain exceeds industry poster printing standards.