Standard Poster Size Breakdown

There aren’t rules or regulations on what size a poster needs to be but the most popular poster sizes are known as standard poster sizes. This is because poster frames, paper rolls, and print enlargements are designed to cater to these specific sizes making them affordable and easily accessible. Many large format printers can print custom poster sizes such as squares or very long panoramic prints but for many uses concert posters and mounted poster advertisements people choose to follow industry standard sizes so they don’t run into problems after printing.  

How are posters printed?  

Thanks to large format printers, posters share images, messages, and art all around the world. A typical at home printer prints on 8.5×11 paper sized or smaller so when it comes time to print an ad or hang a company mission in the hallway, people turn to a large format printing company. Large format poster printing can be done on digital, inkjet, and offset printers. To learn more about offset and digital printers, the basics of large format printing, and more check out our blog. 

Standard Poster Sizes 

The most common poster sizes are 11×17, 18×24, 24×36 and 27×40. People come back to these classic sizes for nearly any poster you can imagine. From band posters to hang on your wall, to movie posters at the theater and even large format posters for elite marketing campaigns. Let’s break down these standard poster sizes and their uses.  

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Size (Inches)

Size (Centimeters)

Size (Millimeters)

Printing Method

Common Purpose

11×17 27.9×43.2 279×432 Digital, Offset, Inkjet Indoor advertising, event posters, bulletin boards
18×24 45.7×61 457×609.6 Digital, Offset, Inkjet Medical posters, wall decor, retail advertisements
24×36 61×91.4 610×914.4 Digital, Offset, Inkjet Retail stores, events, outdoor advertising



Digital, Offset, Inkjet

Movie posters, bus stop ads


Picture the posters hanging in a coffee shop window; those have poster dimensions of 11”x17”. This standard size is popular when placed in a busy place, typically indoors such as a store, restaurant, lounge, bathroom, bulletin board, or at an event. Another outdoor place 11”x17” advertising posters are found is on street posts. Since these posters are the smallest common size, if you’re looking to inform your audience about an event, business, or announcement remember there’s not a lot of room to work with. The best way to get your message across on this small poster size is to use large bold font, minimal copy, and attention-grabbing visuals.  


An 18”x24” paper size poster is the most standard dimension for medium sized posters. Posters this size are large enough to be place indoors and outdoors and still grab attention. Unlike small posters, designers can add more copy, bigger font sizes, and detailed images to medium posters this size because it’s significantly easier to read. This poster has an even aspect ratio of 3×4. Extra room for content makes this standard size a popular choice for medical posters, wall décor, and retail advertisements.  


When looking to go a size up from the standard medium sized posters, 24”x36” are common poster dimensions. People choose large posters to grab the attention of people in a busy areas. With lots of space to fill with messaging, graphics, and imagery people choose these posters for retail stores, events, and outdoor advertising spaces. This sized poster has an even aspect ratio of 2×3 and many framing options. 


The largest standard poster size we’ll cover is a 27”x40” poster design. This is the typical movie poster size as well as a common poster size for bus stop ads. If the 24”x36” is a large poster size, these posters are extra-large. Unlike the different sizes, a poster frame for a 27”x40” print isn’t as easy or affordable but it is a great option if you’re looking for a very large standard poster size or movie poster.  

Start Printing Professional Posters with BR Printers 

What is the right size for your poster large format posters? If none of the sizes above seems perfect for your project or you still have questions, ask your large format poster printer. A large format printer is the best choice for poster printing if you’re looking for professional level prints for advertising purposes and professional assistance with document and page setup. Not only is BR Printers ready to get your poster print on the wall, we can also print your books, marketing collateral, labels, direct mail, and more! Our talented Large Format Graphics team is ready to build a solution that delights your audience and rewards you with increased reach and brand awareness.  

BR Printers started as an educational and trade printer in San Jose, CA but now we’ve diversified our capabilities and national footprint. We’re happy to be based in San Jose, CA with facilities in San Diego, CA, Denver, CO, Appleton, WI, Cincinnati, OH, and Independence, KY, BR is now a provider of high quality large format printing, commercial printing, labels, marketing, promotional products, value chain, and logistics management to marketers and the publishing industry’s most recognizable names.  

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