Poster Size Guide: An Expert’s Guide to Size and Dimension

Poster size hanging on a wall

Once upon a time, we were customers like you grappling with substandard print quality and dismal customer service. This frustrating journey compelled us to construct Printivity, a platform dedicated to quality products, superior service, and excellent prices. Today, we continue our commitment to exceptional service by offering an expert guide on sizes of posters to simplify your printing journey.

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What is a Poster Size Guide?

A poster size guide is a crucial tool that gives you a comprehensive understanding of the different dimensions used in poster printing. It acts as a reference point to comprehend standard poster sizes, make accurate size comparisons and assists you in selecting the ideal poster size for your distinct requirements.

Poster Size Guide: How to Choose Wisely

Making an informed decision about the size of your poster can significantly impact its effectiveness. By understanding standard sizes and their applications, you can ensure that your poster fits perfectly into its intended environment and communicates your message effectively.

Sizes and Dimensions of Popular Poster Sizes

When it comes to poster sizes, there’s a wide range of options available, each catering to specific purposes and preferences. From small-sized posters perfect for personal projects or intimate spaces to large-scale posters ideal for grabbing attention in crowded areas, the choices are endless. 

Whether you need a poster for advertising, showcasing artwork, or simply adding a touch of creativity to a room, exploring the diverse array of standard poster sizes will surely help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Before we start, let’s clarify one question: What is the average poster size? You may be surprised to discover there is no specific “average” poster size, as it can vary depending on the purpose, location, and audience of the poster. However, some common poster sizes for printing include:

Small (11″ x 17″)

Small posters are perfect for bulletin boards or compact spaces where information needs to be communicated effectively. Despite their size, they can pack a punch when designed well.

Medium (18″ x 24″)

Medium-sized posters are versatile and provide ample room for compelling visuals and text. They are commonly used for art prints, office or home decor, and mid-sized advertisements.

Large (24″ x 36″)

Large posters are highly visible and ideal for advertising or informational posters in larger spaces. They allow for more complex designs or more text without sacrificing readability.

Extra-large (27″ x 40″)

Extra-large posters are primarily used for high-impact marketing campaigns or large-scale events. They are the size you often see in movie theaters or at exhibition displays.

You can use the information above as a poster size reference guide. 

Advantages of Using Standard Sizes

Using standard poster print sizes offers several advantages:

  • Ensures that your designs fit perfectly within common frames and mounts available in the market, eliminating the need for costly custom frames.
  • Streamlines the printing process, as printers are typically set up to handle these dimensions, making it quicker and easier to print your posters.
  • Makes it easier to re-print or duplicate your poster, as the original file specifications will be readily available.
Colorful poster hanging on a wall

Poster Size Comparison: An Expert’s Guide

Understanding the comparison between different sizes of posters is crucial in choosing the right one for your needs. Each size serves a unique purpose, and awareness of that can help you make a more informed decision.

Why Poster Sizes Are Important

The size of your poster directly affects its effectiveness. A poster that’s too small might not be noticed, while one that’s too large could overwhelm the viewer. The correct size strikes a balance, ensuring your message is conveyed efficiently and appropriately to your target audience.

Considerations for Choosing Poster Size

Several factors determine the perfect poster size. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Purpose of the Poster

Are you looking to create a poster for informational purposes, such as conveying important details about an event or providing educational content? Or perhaps you’re considering promotional activities where you want to catch the attention of your target audience and promote a product or service. 

On the other hand, maybe you’re interested in creating decorative posters meant to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space or convey a particular mood or theme. Depending on your objectives, different poster sizes may be more suitable for fulfilling your goals and effectively communicating your message to the intended viewers.

Amount of Text or Detail in the Design

When it comes to intricate designs or content-rich posters, opting for a larger size is often necessary to ensure optimal readability. Doing so allows viewers to grasp the finer details and seamlessly consume the text-heavy information without strain.

Location of Display

The size of the display area will directly influence the size of the poster. In order to ensure optimal visibility, larger spaces will require larger posters that can effectively capture the attention and engage the audience. By taking into consideration the dimensions of the display area, you can create a poster that stands out and effectively communicates your message.

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Viewing Distance

When considering the distance between the viewer and your poster, it’s important to think about how far they will be standing when reading it. Opting for larger posters makes them easily visible from a distance, ensuring that your message catches the attention of passersby.

Of course, smaller posters are ideal for up-close viewing, allowing viewers to appreciate the finer details. So, depending on the intended viewing distance, choosing the right size for your poster can significantly impact its effectiveness in conveying your message.

Understanding Poster Print Size Terminology

In the world of printing, certain terms are frequently used. Understanding these can help you make more informed decisions about your poster printing.

Commonly Used Terms for Poster Sizes


Dimension refers to the length and width of the poster. It’s usually measured in inches in the US and in centimeters in most other countries.


Orientation determines whether the poster is displayed in portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) format.


Bleed is an extra margin around your design that gets cut off after printing. It ensures that your design extends all the way to the edge of the paper.

How to Choose the Right Poster Size for Printing

 Three movie posters hanging on a wall

Selecting the appropriate size for your poster print involves taking into account various factors. These considerations will help you decide the best poster size for your needs.

Factors for Selecting Poster Size

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a poster size:

The Design Itself

If your design is intricate or text-heavy, it may benefit from a larger size. Conversely, a simple design with a clear message can be effective even at smaller sizes.

The Space Where It Will Be Displayed

Measure your display area before deciding on poster size. You’ll want a size that is noticeable but not overwhelming.

The Distance from Which It Will Be Viewed

If your poster will be viewed from a distance, choose a larger size. If viewers will be close, a smaller size may suffice.

The Type of Message You Want to Convey

Larger posters are suitable for bold statements or detailed designs, while smaller ones can be perfect for concise, straightforward messages.

Tips for Optimizing Your Design

Once you’ve selected your poster size, it’s important to optimize your design to ensure the best possible outcome:

Use High-Resolution Images

This is particularly important for larger posters, as low-resolution images can appear pixelated or blurred when printed at a large scale.

Ensure Readability

All text should be large enough to read from the intended viewing distance. Choose fonts and colors that are easy to read.

Keep Essential Elements Within the ‘Safe Area’

This is the area of your design that is guaranteed not to be cut off during the printing process. Important information should always be kept within this area.

Consider the Use of Color

The right color scheme can help your poster stand out. Keep your audience and message in mind when selecting colors.

Get Expert Help on Poster Size Guides from Printivity

The world of poster sizes can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. At Printivity, we’re more than just a printing service; we’re a team of experts committed to helping you effectively communicate your message. Whether you’re looking for a standard wall poster size, figuring out the average poster size, or need help with any other print-related tasks, we’re here to assist. Visit our poster printing page to explore our services and see how we can help you make the right impression.

Remember, choosing the right poster size is not about squeezing your story into a standard size but finding one that allows your story to unfold perfectly. Trust Printivity to guide you through your poster printing journey, ensuring that your story is told just the way you want it to be.


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