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Poster Formats

Movie Poster Sizes


Posters have traditionally come in a variety of formats and sizes, with each type of poster designed to do a specific job in the promotion of a movie. Below is a list of the common American poster formats, followed by another of non-U.S. poster sizes. All sizes are noted here in inches but each individual listing on this website also includes the metric equivalent.

One-Sheet: 27" x 41" (27" x 40" after about 1990)

The one-sheet is the most common poster size. Studios sometimes issued several styles of one-sheets and lettered them (A, B, etc.) so they could be told apart. These were folded when they were printed. Rolled or "flat" one-sheets were not turned out until the 1980s, thus a poster that is folded is considered normal and can still be graded in near mint or mint condition with the folding not affecting the grade. Since about 1990 US one-sheets have measured 27" x 40".

 

Three-Sheet: 41" x 81"

A large poster printed in two or three overlapping sections, though they occasionally appear in one piece. Generally displayed in theatre lobbies and in glass cases outside the theatre to advertise coming attractions. Never produced in great numbers, studios stopped issuing this size altogether in the 1980s. Three-sheets are visually the most impressive of poster sizes, but you're going to need a lot of wall space and high ceilings if you intend to display them.

Six-Sheet: 81" x 81"

A billboard size, generally printed in four overlapping sections. Six-sheet and larger posters are rare and are seldom found for films released before 1950. Six-sheets were displayed outside a theatre, large enough to be seen and read easily from across the street or a passing streetcar.

Half-Sheet: 22" x 28"

Usually printed on heavier paper or card stock. Because the format is horizontal, rather than vertical like the larger one-sheets, the title and graphics are re-arranged to match the format, sometimes making them look quite different from the more numerous one-sheet versions. Half-sheets were often displayed in the foyer or lobby of theatres and surrounded by lobby cards or stills from the movie.

Insert: 14" x 36"

A narrow vertical poster usually printed on heavier stock or card, although later studio inserts could be on light paper stock. Inserts are often more attractively designed than one-sheets. They were made to fit into narrow vertical spaces, often between the lobby doors of the theatre.

 

Lobby Card: 11" x 14"

A poster printed on heavier stock featuring a scene from the film advertised and, commonly prior to the 1960's but afterwards as well, title art that is repeated on all the cards. Usually there were 8 cards to a complete lobby set, although sets of 4, 10 or 12 were sometimes produced. Lobby cards were displayed in glass cases in the lobby (obviously), the foyer or outside the theatre. Their purpose was to give the audience a better idea of what the movie actually looked like.

Title Card: 11" x 14"

A lobby card. Usually there is one card in a set of lobby cards that displays the title and top stars prominently in the graphics. Interesting, because the design is a variation on the design of the one-sheet for the movie. These cards can stand alone and some people collect only title cards.

Window Card: 14" x 22"

Printed on card stock and meant to hang, not at theatres, but in the windows of other businesses, usually neighbourhood grocery stores, candy stores, barbershops and the like. This was a common way of promoting movies in small towns. A 4" blank border at the top was used by theatres to print show dates and times, not to mention the name of the theatre.

 

Non-U.S. poster sizes:

  • Argentine One-Sheet: 29” x 43”
  • Australian Daybill: 13 1/4" x 30" (may vary depending on year printed)
  • Australian One-Sheet: 27" x 40"
  • Belgian: 14” x 22”
  • French poster sizes: 24" x 33", 47" x 63" (may vary slightly) , 63" x 94" , 94" x 126"
  • German poster sizes: 23" x 32" , 37" x 55"
  • Italian Locandina: 13" x 28"
  • Italian One-panel: 39" x 55"
  • Italian Two-panel: 55" x 78"
  • UK Double Crown: 20" x 30"
  • UK Quad: 30" x 40"