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 collection of standard size poster frames to help you choose as well as how to frame a poster.
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 movie posters 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)
Last Updated August 21, 2020