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Although the term "movie poster" is used liberally to describe advertising material used in conjunction with the theatrical release of a motion picture, the "movie poster" is really only one small part of a much larger grouping known as "movie art." Movie art includes "all" of the paper advertising materials that are used by studios during a films campaign. These items come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are printed on a number of different printable materials. The size, shape and printable matter are all determined by the intended use of the item.

Since movie art is just one piece of a movies overall advertising campaign, it can vary in innumerable ways. However, over its 100 years, the motion picture industry has had some constants and these normally fall into one of these categories:


Most of the movie art printed on paper is or was intended for use either inside the theatre, in display cases around the community and/or on billboards. Some of the items are also used as giveaways. Many of these sizes are no longer used in the U.S.


Over the years, card stock items have been used in a variety of ways. Because they were stronger, they could be used in areas where paper products were not as durable. Unfortunately, most of these items are no longer used in the U.S.


Along with advertising materials for display, movie studios release a variety of press-related materials to theatres for their use in promoting their films. Since each advertising campaign is different, press materials can vary widely from film to film. Some of these items are NEVER intended for the public while others are printed exclusively as giveaways to the public. The latter items fall into the "promo" category of movie art.


There are a variety of items that have grown popular over the years and indicate a new direction for studio advertising.






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