Sometimes both the terms "sign" and "poster" are used to refer to the same type of decoration. But what's the difference?
A poster is a sign which is purely decorative and has no advertising or informative function. This difference affects the way the decoration is used, its format and its content.


A sign is an advertising medium that announces an event. Signs can be found in the street, in public spaces (e.g. city equipment, buses, etc.).
An event sign has a lifespan. Once the event has passed, it loses its informative function and is no longer needed. It's then replaced by another sign because the location is reusable.

A poster is a decorative medium. You can find it in home improvement shops, or even in magazines which often contain a poster of your favourite singer in the centre. You can hang the poster in your room, in your private space.
Posters are timeless and can be changed when the image no longer appeals to you.

Sign or poster?


A sign is often standardised (A4, A3, lollipop format, 4x3...). Signs are often presented in a vertical format, as this makes communication more dynamic.
Printed signs are printed on paper of varying quality, depending on how long it's displayed for.

Posters can be presented in any format you can think of: panoramic poster, vertical poster, horizontal poster... there are no defined dimensions. The surface of the poster is often smaller than that of the sign.
Poster are also printed on paper.

4x3 sign - door poster


The image on a poster is more complex than that of a poster because it has to be graphically constructed to highlight the main information (what, when and where). It usually contains a logo, text and one or more images.

Posters can be a single decorative image such as a photo or illustration.

Informative sign or photo poster

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