The 8 Types Of Advertising Signs And Their Characteristics

The types of advertising posters can be divided according to their purpose, content or size. In turn, within this division we find other more specific subtypes. Advertising is a key element in any type of organization, and billboards are one of the best communication tools to convey messages.

Although many define the different types of advertising posters as mass media, it is more of a tool to convey thoughts and ideas.

3 Types of advertising posters

The main objective of the advertising poster will always be to inform, but depending on the specific idea that you want to convey, it can be classified in several ways. A first classification is based on its purpose and based on this there are two types: informative or commercial and formative. But this is not the only typification; billboards can also be classified according to content and size.

Classification of poster types

-According to its purpose

Informative or commercial

This is the type of poster that has been designed to inform the public about a specific event or about the launch of a new product or service; even to share with the audience the benefits of the brand that is being advertised. This type of resource must offer the user the necessary information so that he is interested in what is being promoted.

Informational billboards must have a specific structure so that they can be considered complete. These must contain a main message, a slogan, an image and the legal terms.

Even so, this type of poster can also be presented with only text, although in this case it will be necessary to use an appropriate typology with a contrasting background.


This type of poster, unlike the informative one, is not intended to sell a product or service. These are often used as a means to invite the audience to become aware of certain topics.

This includes posters that are intended to create health or cleanliness habits in cleaning people, as well as those of order or safety. The sectors that usually make use of training posters are education, politics, non-profit organizations and the health sector.

In this type of poster, images play a much more important role than text. In fact, it seeks to create an impact with them. For this reason, the message is usually expressed not in words but with a graphic that generates emotions and makes the idea that wants to be transmitted much clearer.

-According to its content

Shows poster

This is one of the most widely used types of posters. The entertainment posters have some subtypes and the most popular are those for cinema and concert, to a lesser extent those for theater and circus. Of the named varieties, the only one that is still widely used is cinematic.

Concert posters, usually of singers or music groups, are also frequently used. However, many times their use ends up being outside the law, since they are usually pasted in prohibited places.

In the case of circus posters, they are usually limited to the vicinity of where the show will take place. And the same happens with the theater ones, which in this case are usually reserved for the fa├žades of the venue.

Political advertising poster

These posters were born during the time of the great war conflicts that took place in Europe since the beginning of the last century. It was from these events that what is known today as a political or propaganda poster was born.

However, at present it is a type of poster that is reserved for electoral campaigns or referendums. But unlike the war years, the content of these posters is now regulated.

Fashion poster

This is another of the most used posters today. It is a material with a very well defined content, which is frequently used by the big brands in the fashion world and by major chain stores.

The main element in this type of poster is the image of a model next to the advertiser’s logo or a slogan that is usually very short.

Beauty and hygiene poster

This advertising poster is characterized by the fact that hygiene and beauty products such as perfumes, creams and other items stand out. They are often used to launch new products or as a promotion for renowned lines.

Also, they are a widely used resource to promote products in specific seasons of the year. For this reason, they are usually very common on important dates such as Christmas, Three Kings’ Day and Valentine’s Day. As in the case of fashion, it is used by big brands.

Corporate poster

This variant is related to large corporations, whether in sectors such as banking, electricity, industrial, among others. Most of the time they are used to advertise a brand in a general way. However, they can also be used to launch some type of new product or service.

Institutional campaign poster

In this case, these posters are related to Public Administrations, Organizations and NGOs. They are usually used for campaigns aimed at a general public.

In these cases, a reflective reaction is expected from the audience, since the objective is usually to raise awareness about a particular issue. These posters promote topics that have to do with safety, accident prevention, health, ecology, among others.

-According to its size

The billboards can also vary depending on their size. The choice between one and the other will depend directly on the place where it will be placed.

But also of the distance in which the people who will observe it will be. These two elements are key to determining the dimensions of the poster. These can be:

  • 70 x 100 centimeters (the most common size).
  • 50 x 70 centimeters.
  • 35 x 50 centimeters.

These measures are not mandatory. However, they are usually the most used, and therefore the most recommended, since they are designed according to the commercial measures of the paper. In this way all resources are used, avoiding wasted ink, paper and time.


  1. Master in Marketing and Advertising (no date). Classes in advertising design. Recovered from
  2. Malalana, A. (2009). Iconographic documents. 3. The advertising poster. CEU San Pablo University. Spain.

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