Picking a poster size? You might be wondering, "What are the standard sizes for posters?" or "What's the difference between US and European poster sizes?" Well, wonder no more. Here's all you need to know about poster sizing: It's important to print your artwork on the right size paper. If you get it wrong, your design won't look as good as it could. Also, choosing a poster size which is standard in your country will make it easy to find a frame which shares the same standard sizes. For example, it might be difficult to find a frame in a 21x30cm size in Canada or the United States, so if you don't already have frame that size, or don't plan on ordering a custom frame, it is better to make sure you order an art print in an North American standard poster size.
American vs European Poster sizes
There are two main standards for poster sizes: the North American standard and the European standard. Both systems are based on dimensions of paper, but they use different units to measure them. The US system uses inches as its base unit, while the European system uses centimeters. This means that when you convert from one system to another, you need to multiply or divide all dimensions by a factor of 2.54 to get the correct result.
Most countries use the ISO standard paper size, except for the United States, Canada, the Philippines, and Mexico.
North American standard poster sizes:
Here are the most popular poster sizes used and sold in North America ( all measures in inches):
- 4x6in: Le mini (the size of a postcard), perfect for an artwork to hang on a kitchen cupboard or on a mirror.
- 8x10in: a small poster size. As a reference, it is a a little smaller than the better-known standard US letter size, which is the typical paper size most basic home-printer uses and is 8.5x11in
- 11x14in: a small poster size, looks nice on a ledge gallery wall
- 12x16in: a medium poster size. The perfect size to hang over a small bedside table
- 16x20in: a medium poster size
- 18x24in: a large poster size, a great size to hang 3 in a row over a sofa or over a bed.
- 24x36in: a large poster size, and the most common poster size in North America.
European Standard poster Size:
Most European countries use ISO 216, which includes the commonly used A4 size. The ISO 216 is commonly known as the International poster size standard except in North America and parts of Central and South America, where North American paper sizes such as "Letter" and "Legal" are used (8.5x11in).
There are 11 standard poster sizes in the ISO A series, designated from A0 to A10, and all share the same aspect ratio, which is incredibly practical as they can all be scaled to any other A-series poster sizes without being distorted.
Since A series sizes share the same aspect ratio (√2), they can be scaled to other A-series sizes without being distorted, and two sheets can be reduced to fit on exactly one sheet without any cutoff or margins.
The most used paper size of the ISO series is the size A4, which is 210×297mm (8.27×11.7in) and almost exactly 1⁄16 square metre (0.0625m2; 96.8752 sq in) in area. The A4 is the European equivalent of the American Letter paper size, and used in most standard home printer, it is slightly narrower and a little longer than the American letter.
The A0 paper size measures one square meter and is the most popular large poster size from the ISO series.
ISO poster size:
|2A0||1189 x 1682 mm||46.8 x 66.2 in|
|A0||841 x 1189 mm||33.1 x 46.8 in|
|A1||594 x 841 mm||23.4 x 33.1 in|
|A2||420 x 594 mm||16.5 x 23.4 in|
|A3||297 x 420 mm||11.7 x 16.5 in|
|A4||210 x 297 mm||8.3 x 11.7 in|
PRO tip: To print in any ISO paper size, use the 5x7 aspect ratio, which is very close to the ISO aspect ratio.
Other common poster sizes and frame sizes in Europe are:
- 21x30cm= a small poster size, equivalent to A4
- 30x40cm= a medium poster size. The perfect size to hang over a small bedside table
- 50x70cm= a large poster size, a great size to hang 3 in a row over a sofa or over a bed
- 70x100cm= a large poster size, slightly bigger than the North American 24x36in
So you want to print your printable wall art? Before you start, you'll need to know the aspect ratio of your poster. The most common aspect ratios for printing your posters are 4x5, 3x4, 5x7 and 2x3.
What is an aspect ratio?
It's the difference between the width and height of your poster. There are a few standard aspect ratios that you'll see when printing your posters, but they're not all created equal.
It can be expressed as a ratio (e.g., 16:9), or as a fraction (e.g., 1.778). Aspect ratios are generally expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, like 4:3 or 3:2. The first number represents the width, while the second represents the height.
How to Print Your Poster
Once you've finalized your order and downloaded your printable wall art on your device, you're ready to print. Simply open the .jpg file and send it to your printer. Especially if your poster is large or colourful, be sure you have the right printer, ink, and paper. Your standard home printer may not meet your needs in some cases.
For more details on what inks and paper we recommend, have a quick look at our guide on How to print your printable wall art.
How to choose a frame size for your poster
When you purchase a frame for you poster or wall art, simply select the same size as the size of your art print. All frames are measured using the inside dimensions, height and width. So if you have a 18x24in wall art print, you need to order a 18x24in frame. It's common to assume the dimensions relate to the outer edges, but the truth is the measurement relate to the actual wall art / poster size.
Thanks soooooo much for this!! I never understood the difference between America and all the A poster size… and was wondering what size of art print to buy from your shop to make sure I find frames for it. Appreciate the help!