As an agency that specializes in Wild PostingĀ® and Wild PostersĀ®, we know just about everything there is to know about standard poster sizes and poster dimensions. And we want to share that with you so you can make the best choices for your campaigns.

Finding the right poster size is critical to the success of a campaign. It contributes to the creative aspect as well as practical matters of how to carry out the Wild PostingĀ®. Understanding that the standard sizes and dimensions can vary by country will also make a campaign go smoother ā€” thereā€™s nothing more frustrating than realizing you and an international counterpart are talking about two different sizes.

The Basics: Poster Sizes 101

You donā€™t want to constantly be referencing exact sizing in a campaign. Instead, in the United States, we use three main categories of poster:

  • Small ā€” up to 11 inches x 17 inches
  • Medium ā€” 16 inches by 20 inches up to 18 inches x 24 inches
  • Large ā€” 24 inches x 36 inches up to 40 inches x 60 inches

We use all these sizes in our Wild PostingĀ® campaigns, but large is the most popular size.

Why Does Poster Size Matter in a Wild PostingĀ® Campaign? 

Size matters in Wild PostingĀ®, also often referred to as wheatposting, for many reasons.

  • Visibility: You want the posters to be big enough that passersby can see them easily. More importantly, you want them to be able to read whatever you have on the poster from far away.
  • Creativity: In Wild PostingĀ®, what draws the eye wins the day. Utilizing different sizes of posters can set your campaign apart. For instance, you could use a bunch of different-colored small posters to create an image of a flower or star, or you could stick to the more traditional Wild PostingĀ® format of putting a bunch of similar posters in one place.
  • Cost: As you might imagine, the bigger the poster, the more expensive it usually is to produce. Using a smaller poster could cut campaign costs.
  • Environment: Wild PostingĀ® is not about fitting in. Itā€™s about making noise, and using a different size poster than other people can help your brand or product stand out.

Everything You Need to Know About Small Posters

Small posters measure from the size of a regular sheet of paper to slightly bigger than a legal-sized piece. While we use them less than bigger sizes in our campaigns, they can be effective when you want to plaster an area entirely with papers. It takes less wheatpaste to put them up and less ink to print them, making them cost-effective. We love them for checkerboard patterns or creating a unique shape using posters.

Small Poster Sizes

Just how small are ā€œsmallā€ posters? These are the most common sizes:

  • 8.5 inches x 11 inches
  • 11 inches x 17 inches
  • 12 inches x 18 inches

Everything You Need to Know About Medium Posters

We use medium posters more frequently than small posters in our Wild PostingĀ® campaigns. They tend to be sturdy, thanks to the bigger size, and can cost a bit more. People walking past can see these posters better than small ones and read the type on them.

Medium Poster Sizes

We work with two main medium poster sizes:

  • 16 inches x 20 inches
  • 18 inches x 24 inches

Everything You Need to Know About Large Posters

The industry standard for Wild PostingĀ® posters is 24 inches x 36 inches. Sometimes we go even bigger, like with a jumbo-sized 36 inches x 72 inches, but you have to pick and choose when to make that type of impact, or it wonā€™t remain effective. For most campaigns, the standard size works perfectly, giving enough room for a large image and moderate-sized type people can read from far away.

Large Poster Sizes

The five main sizes of large posters are:

  • 24 inches x 36 inches
  • 27 inches x 39 inches
  • 27 inches x 40 inches
  • 40 inches x 60 inches
  • 36 inches x 72 inches

U.S. Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes 

American poster sizes have been standardized using our system of measurement, which differs from the rest of the world. Hereā€™s a look at standard sizes and other names you might hear for them. (Note that in the U.S., we measure posters in inches. Nearly the entire rest of the world uses the metric system, so weā€™ve included centimeter equivalents in all of our charts.)

U.S. Poster Sizes

Alternative Names for U.S. Poster Sizes

8.5 inches x 11 inches (21.59 cm X 27.94 cm) ANSI-A, letter
11 inches x 17 inches (27.94 cm x 43.18 cm) ANSI-B, legal, ledger, tabloid,
12 inches x 18 inches (30.48 cm x 45.72 cm) Mini-poster
16 inches x 20 inches (40.64 cm x 50.8 cm) Portrait picture
18 inches x 24 inches (45.72 cm x 60.96 cm) Half-size, architectural C
24 inches x 36 inches (60.96 cm x 91.44 cm) Architectural D
27 inches x 39 inches (68.58 cm x 99.06 cm) One-sheet movie posterx
27 inches x 40 inches (68.58 cm x 101.6 cm) One-sheet movie poster
48 inches x 36 inches (121.92 cm x 91.44 cm) Academic poster, research poster
40 inches x 60 inches (101.6 cm x 152.4 cm) Subway poster, bus stop poster
46 inches x 67 inches (116.84 cm x 170.18 cm) Subway poster, bus stop poster

International Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes

We carry out Wild PostingĀ® campaigns all over the world. Often, a campaign will launch in several countries at the same time using the same creative, so we need to know what the U.S. equivalent to an Architectural D poster is. Understanding foreign sizes and dimensions can also cut out a lot of headaches when dealing with the vendor.

European Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes

Wild PostingĀ® campaigns blanket Europe, from Frankfurt to Oslo. Some standards are the same across countries, while others vary depending where you go. Europe uses DIN (Deutsches Institut fĆ¼r Normung) standards, but other countries have their own system.

European Standard Poster Sizes Table Using DIN

  • European B1: 24 inches x 36 inches (large poster)
  • European B2: 18 inches x 24 inches (medium poster)
  • European A1: 23 inches x 33 inches (medium poster)
  • European A 2: 17 inches x 23 inches (medium poster)
  • European A3: 11 inches x 17 inches (small poster)
  • European A4: 8.5 inches x 11.5 inches (small poster)

UK Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes

Just as the UK flouted European Union monetary standards by sticking with the pound even before Brexit, it also has its own preferred way to set poster dimensions. The country uses simplified terms like card and sheet (adding a size before the latter to differentiate them) to refer to poster size.

UK Poster Size

UK Poster Names

8 inches x 10 inches (20.32 cm 25.4 cm) Card
20 inches x 30 inches (50.8 cm x 76.2 cm) Double Crown
27 inches x 40 inches (68.58 cm x 101.6 cm) One Sheet
30 inches x 40 inches (76.2 cm x 101.26 cm) Quad
40 inches x 81 inches (101.26 cm x 205.74 cm) Three Sheet
80 inches x 81 inches (203.2 cm x 205.74 cm) Six Sheet

Italy Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes

If youā€™ve ever tried to navigate Rome in a taxicab, you know how overpowering the cityā€™s traffic can be. Thatā€™s not great when you have to get somewhere fast, but it is great for Wild PostingĀ® campaigns. It means people have time in their vehicles to look around and notice your posters. Similarly to the United States, Italian posters tend to be large to bring the greatest visibility to the message.

Italy Poster Size

Italy Poster Names

27.6 inches x 39.4 inches (70.1 cm x 100.08 cm) Un foglio
39.4 inches x 55.1 inches (100.08 cm x 139.95 cm) Due Fogli
55.1 inches x 78.7 inches (139.95 cm x 199.9 cm) Quattro Fogli
13 inches x 27.6 inches (33.02 cm x 70.1 cm) Locandina
19.7 inches x 27.6 inches (50.04 cm x 70.01 cm) Photobusta

France Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes

France has arguably the most creative and fun names for its posters. The city is known for its traffic, which makes it a perfect and popular location for Wild PostingĀ®. Traffic jams mean plenty of dwell time! The city also has lots of places under construction, which means barriers as perfect canvases for Wild PostingĀ® and flyposting campaigns. Hereā€™s what those posters are referred to as.

France Poster Size

France Poster Names

5.7 inches x 23.6 inches (14.48 cm x 59.94 cm) Petite
23.6 inches x 31.5 inches (59.94 cm x 80.01 cm) Moyenne
23.6 inches x 63 inches (59.94 cm x 160.02 cm) Pantalon
31.5 inches x 47.2 inches (80.01 cm x 119.89 cm) Demi-Grande
47.2 inches x 63.0 inches (119.89 cm x 160.02 cm) Grande
63.0 inches x 94.5 inches (160.02 cm x 240.03 cm) Double Grande

Australia Standard Poster Dimensions and Sizes

We have experience with Australian Wild PostingĀ® campaigns, including in Sydney, and we can tell you that they use fewer standard poster sizes in Australia than in Europe. We see the greatest demand for the two medium sizes, but occasionally a campaign will benefit from using a jumbo size.

Australia Poster Size

Australia Poster Names

11 inches x 14 inches (27.94 cm x 35.56 cm) Lobby card
26 inches x 30 inches (66.04 cm x 76.2 cm) Daybill
27 inches x 40 inches (68.58 cm x 101.6 cm) One sheet
41 inches x 81 inches (104.14 cm x 205.74 cm) Three sheet

Printing Standard Posters

In addition to understanding standard poster sizes and poster dimensions, it helps to know some basics about paper and printing before you start your campaign. The size of your poster can influence cost and other considerations when choosing paper weights and printing methods.

What About Paper Weight?

The higher the paper weight, the better the quality of the paper. While Wild PostingĀ® posters donā€™t need to last forever, they must be somewhat durable because you want the campaign to last long enough for people to see it.

Choosing a good paper weight also means avoiding the ugly yellowing that can happen to posters as they age. That just makes your campaign appear amateur and like you were too cheap to splurge on decent paper.

We wouldnā€™t use anything less than 60 pound paper. If you have the budget, bumping up to an 80 or 90 pound can improve the look of your posters even more.

Printing for Standard Posters

You can use three types of printing for your posters:

  • Digital: Fast, precise manner of printing that transfers images right from printer to poster.
  • Inkjet: Digital printing with an ink cartridge that gives a crisp appearance.
  • Offset: Non-digital printing using metal plates and rubber rollers.

Standard Poster Sizes and Dimensions FAQs

Still have questions about standard poster sizes and dimensions? Here are a few answers.

How do I know what size poster to use in a Wild PostingĀ® campaign?

The best thing to do is consult an agency with experience with these types of campaigns, like us. We can advise you.

What is the international standard poster size?

Small, medium and large posters.

What is a handbill?

Posters 8.5 inches x 11 inches are called handbills.

What size are movie posters?

Most movie posters in a theater are 27 inches x 39 or 40 inches.

Does it take longer to print bigger posters?

Yes, but most poster orders, even for large posters, can be turned around within a business day or so.

What is used to put up Wild PostingĀ® posters?

A homemade mixture called wheatpaste.

Start a Wild PostingĀ® Campaign Using Standard Poster Sizes and Dimensions

Wild PostingĀ® is one of the most creative, efficient and fun ways to advertise. No matter what size poster you need, we can help you with your next campaign. Contact us now to get started!