Standard Poster Size

UPrinting's Standard Poster Size Options

Posters are available in several standard sizes; each one has specific popular application. Popular applications for standard-sized posters include announcement of events, company or school circulars, promotion of movies or concerts, and outdoor advertisements. Standard poster sizes are represented in the image below:

Disclaimer: Some images on this page are not owned by UPrinting and are used solely as design examples. Please click on the images to see their original sources.

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Applications of Different Standard Poster Sizes - Infographic

Knowing what size of poster to use for a specific need can help you get more suitable prints. Here are simple tips on what size to use and when or where to best use it:

*The data used for these statistics came from a random sampling of UPrinting customer data for 2013.

8.5" x 11"

Also known as poster flyers, you can use these prints for announcements or advertisements in areas with limited spaces. School or office circulars are usually printed in this size. They are commonly placed in art galleries, as well as information desks, street posts, and bulletin boards.


*Research Data:

  • 15% - Entertainment (movies, concerts and events) Personal (special occasions; christening and birthdays)
  • 10% - Education (schools and university),Nonprofit (fundraiser, charities) and marketing (advertising services/solutions)
  •   9% - Arts and Museum (museums, art galleries)

11" x 17"

Just slightly bigger than the 8.5" x 11" prints, posters in this size are also used for advertisements or announcements for restricted space. Commonly posted on phone booths, community boards and street posts.


*Research Data:

  • 26% - Entertainment (movies, concerts and events)
  • 22% - Personal (special occasions; christening and birthdays)
  •  7%  - Performing Arts (theater)

18" x 24" and 19" x 27"

These poster sizes are commonly used for printing photos of celebrities such as sports icons, and music bands or artists. These are also common in clinics and shops.


*Research Data:

  • 19% - Personal (special occasions; christening and birthdays)
  •   8% - Health (health services, hospitals)
  •   6% - Education (schools and university)

24" x 36" and 27" x 39"

These standard sizes are popular for outdoor advertising. They are placed in high traffic areas such as theaters, cafeterias, and book shops. These posters are usually designed to attract attention using large text and eye-catching graphics. Trade shows and exhibits are also common places for posters in these sizes.


*Research Data:

  • 38% - Personal (special occasions; christening and birthdays)
  •  9% - General Services (Services that are applicable to the entire firm and are not confined to any department)
  •  6% - Entertainment (movies, concerts and events)

27" x 40"

This is the standard size for movie posters. These are commonly used to announce or advertise upcoming films. Posters in this size are usually placed in high traffic areas such as bus stops, phone booths, malls, and theaters.


*Research Data:

  • 60% - Business Solutions (marketing services)
  • 20% - Education (schools and university)
  •   6% - Entertainment (movies, concerts and events)



Statistics Data: *UPrinting customers who ordered these specific standard poster sizes last 2013

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Tips on Text Layout and Alignment


  • Information needs to flow across the page
  • Text should be displayed and can be read by columns or by rows
  • Justify your text to the left and keep it that way
  • Use grids to align text and images
  • 40% of your poster should be free from text/ images


  • Use Arial and Serif fonts. Courier is easy to read as well, however, it is too old which can appear boring to some people. Italic fonts should be avoided as well.
  • Avoid using too many font styles. (Maximum is three)
  • Avoid making use of ALL CAPS too much. Words with all capital letters create a “visual rectangle shape” which is difficult to read. Ascending and descending effect on words with small letters or combined capital and small letters is a lot better to read.
  • Bigger is better (To make sure text is readable to as far as 5- 6 ft.)
  • Use bigger fonts for words or phrases that you want to emphasize. Here is a guide for fonts used for posters.


  • Do not use too many colors on your posters. Remember, less is more.
  • Choose a foreground color which is easy to look at and complements the background color as well as the other colors on your poster.
  • Use complementary colors.
  • Test your chosen color combinations first to make sure that they do not strain the eyes.

Visuals/ Graphics

  • Use photos/ graphics with high resolution. Check custom poster printing page for tips.
  • Avoid placing too much photos/ graphics to avoid clutter.
  • Balance your posters by placing photos accordingly. If you will be using more than one photo for example, make sure to spread the photos evenly on the poster. This will attract viewers/ readers to all the pages and not just on one side of the page.
  • Adding borders/ frames to your photos will effectively add to the clean look of a poster.

We also print posters in custom sizes.This is just a guide to help you understand what popular sizes are available and what they're commonly used for. Explore our site to learn more about printing posters online.

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