Know Your Poster Sizes

Know Your Poster Sizes

by | Jun 2, 2017

In today’s internet age, digital media has overtaken print media. Whilst film studios still embrace posters to advertise films, they mostly arrive as a digital format rather than the traditional printed format. Cinemas are replacing posters spots with digital screens that can show trailers, posters and promos within the same retails space. One day, the traditional poster will be a thing of the past, and the major collectors will be the only people distributing the fabled prints. 

Film posters have a been significant part of the film industry since the 1950s, where the boom in print media quickly made entwined with the film industry. Whilst the media was new, film companies experiment with all types of size, paper and prints to catch the eyes of the general public. But during the early 80’s a major reform took place, and a standard for all companies was reached. All film posters would adhere to the most popular choice, making the other sizes redundant. Today we are looking at the many different sizes posters produced over the last 70 years. Know Your Poster Sizes!

One Sheet

One-sheets are the most common and collectable posters available. The most common size is 27 x 40 inches, but theses can vary slightly, but all are portrait. Before the 1980s, these sheets were distributed folded, with one vertical and three horizontal creases. However, studios now always roll sheets, so that the images remain un-creased for display. The One Sheets have remained the most popular poster option and are now the standard poster size for theatres.

Curse of the Werewolf Small Poster A Clockwork Orange Small Poster 

Half Sheet

 A landscape format American poster measuring 22 x 28 inches. These were printed on thicker card stock and issued rolled, but were often folded for ease of storage. This folding process is not deemed a flaw for half-sheets, considering collectors usually spurn unrolled stock for other formats. As studios stopped issuing Half sheets after 1983, these have become major collector items and are very rare.



A portrait format American styled poster card, measuring 14 x 36 inches. These taller items were issued to theatres for longer dramatic displays. They were issued on thick paper stock and rolled, though it’s common to find these two were folded before the 1960’s. The movie studios discontinued Inserts in 1983 and are generally much rarer than Half Sheets.

Jaws Insert Poster Small


Three Sheet

These large and much desired portrait posters measure 41 x 81 inches. They are three times the size of a One Sheet and were originally concepted for use on small billboards or foyers. Because they were pasted or glued for display, the only sheets that still exist today are the posters that were never used, making Three-sheets super-rare.  For U.K collectors, pre-war posters (before 1942) are extremely rare due to the paper drive that saw newspapers, books and movie posters re-used for military purposes (mostly packaging). It was common for Three Sheets to be printed in two or three sections, to be assembled at the theatre. This format was printed in very small quantities and discontinued after 1983.

Blood Of Dracular Three Sheet Poster Small   Frankenstein Three Sheet Poster Small

Six Sheet

These massive movie posters dwarf the lonely One Sheet, measuring 81 x 81 inches. That’s around 6 times larger. They were usually produced in four sections and intended for eye-catching displays outside of theatres. Studios stopped using these huge posters in the early 70’s. Much Like the Three-sheet posters, not many still exists, as they were pasted/glued and torn down after use.  

Twenty Four Sheet

A HUGE international sized poster that measures in at a whopping 9 x 20 feet. Produced in 12 overlapping sections, you’ll be hard pushed to find many of these hanging on collector’s walls. Designed for large billboards, these monsters are still in use today, even coming in a larger Thirty Sheet variety.

30 x 40 & 40 x 60

These extremely rare formats were generally produced as advance advertising for films, but discontinued after 1983. Printed on card stock and issued rolled, they were generally plainer than a one sheet, with fewer colours and a blank section for the Theatres name. As they were designed to go outside the theatre, surviving examples are usually of poor quality.

Dementia 13 30 x 40 Small Poster

Quad Posters

The Quad poster is a British stock still used today, based on the original 30 x 40 inch, the modern day variety comes on both paper and card, but both are much heavier than the older US variety. Issued rolled, these varieties are the most common collectable British poster due to its larger size. It’s also not uncommon to find that the Quads are printed on both sides, to help enhance the visual display in theatres, which use bright light boxes as display cases. 

“Hey Horror Fans. An interesting look at the many different poster sizes used over the years. It’s a shame that many of the larger sized posters for pre 1970’s films have gone the way of the dinosuars. Do you collect film posters? Drop us a GRUESOME message in the commenst below. 

Keep Rotten”


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