The earliest posters for the film industry
were issued in a wide variety of sizes and were focused on the different
types of equipment that was used. Following that the focus turned to the
production company. Finally around 1910, posters started stablizing in size
and became focused on the film itself. The initial sizes issued were dictated
by the paper industry (see Poster Development
in the UK) and the Quad was one of the first sizes issued.
The British Quad measures 30x40 and was
originally called the Quad Crown. This is a term that was given
by the paper industry which is 4 times the size of a Crown (which measures
15x20). The original quads for issued in a vertical format by the major
production companies. Shown on the right is a quad issued in 1911 by Pathe-Freres.
In the bottom right is their office address on Charing Cross Rd.
We have several quads issued in that time
period in our
database from several different production companies. AFTER the war
is a different story. We have thousands of Quads documented in our archive...
but not a single ONE from this time period.
Documentation on poster releases between
WW1 and WW2 is extremely hard to find. The paper drives and shortages during
WW2 literally eliminated ALMOST all records. Many, many titles can only
be seen through Trade Ads. Unfortunately trade ads don't give ANY information
about the posters issued.
We have found enough to know that most of
the normal sizes continued through this time period. Quads, 3 sheets, 6
sheets and banners, etc. were standard issues on major titles. NOTICE: the
clip from this 1936 pressbook for My Man Godfrey..
This shows 2 - Vertical Crown Quads being
issued, plus 2 - 6 sheets (our 3 sheet), a 12 sheet (our 6 sheet) and a
48 sheet (our 24 sheet).
During the advertising renaissance between
1936 and 1939 there were major changes made. For information on this see
our article on Poster Development. We
have several Quads in our archive starting with 1938..... and they are all
horizontal. BFI is suppose to have a horizontal quad that was first tried
The new horizontal quads that appeared are
a Broadside Quad.
When World War II started, the paper shortage
eliminated the variety of paper issued for each title. Sometimes only a
Quad and stills is all that was issued....... and sometimes the Quad was
eliminated and only stills were issued. Notice: on the left is a clip from
a pressbook for the 1942 release Night in New Orleans by Paramount Film.
Large Paper Banned
NOTICE: During and immediately after each war, larger
poster sizes were not issued. Notice this announcement from the 1946
pressbook of Wizard of Oz!!!
Notice in the clip above that posters couldn't be
issued any larger that the 'BROADSIDE' Quad OR the 20x60 which we call a
Door Panel. Both cover the same area of space which is 1200 square inches.
The Quad became more popular through the 1940s to
become the dominate poster used. It's unique layout helped to make it stand
out from releases from other countries, and oddly enough it seemed to overshadow
all the other poster sizes and almost totally eliminating them.
The film industry didn't stick with the name though,
the name has pretty much reverted back to the term Quad Crown in the industry.
Currently the Quad and Mini Quad are the primary posters
issued on each film release.