Common Poster Sizes - What's the Standard Size?

Written by Mark Rogers

Artwork doesn’t typically come in standard sizes, but there’s one area where that doesn’t actually ring true: posters. There are many standard poster sizes, including movie posters, advertisements and band flyers, used for both commercial and personal advertisements — but all these various sizes can be hard to keep track of.

Although there are plenty of different sizes a poster can be, there are really four poster sizes that are the most common either for printing yourself or for purchase. These sizes include 11" x 17", 18" x 24", 24" x 36" and 27" x 40". The later are the most common standard poster size for movie posters.

If you’re planning on collecting posters or simply wish to display the ones you already have, check out our list of standard poster frame sizes to help you choose.

Standard Poster Size by Type

Movie Poster Sizes

27x40 and 27x41

Not all movie posters are made the same, and there are several different sizes depending on where and when they were used. The film industry has standardized their poster sizes — in fact, you can date a poster by its size — so framing them is simply a matter of matching the size it is.

The 27x40 is the most common movie poster size. Also called a one-sheet, this recognizable poster is used inside cinemas to promote new films. Prior to the 1980s, this size was actually slightly larger — 27x41 — so those collecting vintage posters should measure carefully to avoid a too-small frame. Frame Destination carries frames for both sizes, allowing you to display both modern and vintage posters. Browse here for size 27x40.

Concert and Band Posters

For some, it’s not the movie posters they’re after — it’s the music events. Posters for bands, concert posters and gig flyers are popular collectibles among music enthusiasts. Unlike the film industry, however, these sizes are not standardized.

A handbill, the smallest band poster, is often 8.5x10 or 8.5x5. Flyers and small posters that are used as advertisements outside the venue are generally 8.5x11. The most sought-after band poster is the one on display at the venue itself; these large concert posters range from 11x17 to 24x36. We have a wide selection of both 11x17 poster frames and 24x36 poster frames.

Small Poster Sizes

11x17 and 17x11

Standard paper sizes in America are letter (8.5x11), legal (8.5x14), and tabloid and ledger (11x17 or 17x11, based on the orientation). While letter and legal are simply paper sizes used primarily for office and home use — not for display — tabloid and ledger can be used as both.

The 11x17 poster is the most popular small poster size. It is commonly used in theaters as poster giveaways for movie promotions, as well as for commercial and personal advertisements in public buildings or event venues, on lampposts and bulletin boards, and as handouts. The relatively small size makes this poster very portable and easy to print by the thousands.

Medium Poster Sizes

13x19, 16x24 and 18x24

Medium poster sizes include 13x19 and 16x24, but 18x24 is the most popular medium poster size. Used at event venues and on bulletin boards for a more impactful advertisement than its smaller counterpart, this poster size is eye-catching yet understated — and a perfect size for home decor.

Large Poster Sizes

20x24 and 24x36

The two common large poster sizes — 20x24 and 24x36 — are used to make a statement. These large posters are commonly found in retail stores and malls as well as in outdoor advertisements, as they are large enough to catch the eye of passersby on foot, in a car or on public transport. The 24x36 poster is the most popular large poster size, and its impressive dimensions make it a great conversation piece in your home.

Other Poster Sizes

Less common but still a standard size, 11.75x36 posters are used for panoramic prints. These slender posters are often simple art prints or special advertisements; in the home, they make excellent works of art.

Lucky for collectors, many of these standard poster sizes have remained the same for years — and will most likely continue to stay in use. To make sure that your poster collection stays pristine, use the right right poster frame size and framing supplies to help protect it for years to come.

(For additional tips, check out our guide on How to Frame a Poster)

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6 thoughts on “Common Poster Sizes - What's the Standard Size?”

  • Brian Marron

    Let's not forget imported posters, most importantly Japanese B2 (20" X 29"). All my Godzilla posters are B2s.

    Reply
  • Lesley

    I have some NYC bus shelter/subway posters advertising movies or TV specials (Oscars, Emmys, Grammys) Thy're about 54" long. Are there any standard frames for this size?

    Reply
  • Mark Rogers

    Lesley, I am not familiar with any standard frames that size. If you can give me the exact width and height and select one of our wood or metal frames I can build an example custom picture frame for you on our site. Just select wood or metal frame here and let me know which profile you prefer: https://www.framedestination.com/custom-frames.html

    Reply
  • Antonio

    What size poster would you say goes on your door? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Joely Rogers

      Hi Antonio, that depends on your door and your personal taste. If your door is flat and smooth, no recessed areas, you could possibly go as large as 24" x 36". In general though, I'd probably keep it between 11" x 17" and 18" x 24". Anything larger might be difficult to mount and jiggle when you open and close the door. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Ted

    I have a poster that is 21 x 29.5 inches and I'm REALLY struggling to find a frame for it. I'm a bit worried I might have to order something completely custom made which is probably going to be ridiculously expensive. Any suggestions?

    Reply
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