Poster, Handbill or Flyer?
Tomayto, tomahto. I've been witness to
several heated discussions over the distinction. One of the first definitions I heard
sticks with me, but over the years the differences have come to be less well defined.
It used to be that a poster was
produced to be hung up ... posted. Generally a larger size format and heavier stock. A
handbill was 'handed' out at a show or on the street or wherever advertising the next
show. Most likely 8.5 x 11" or wherebouts on thinner paper. While Flyers were left
for the taking at ticket locations, record stores and headshops, etc. You've seen 'em:
ranging from around 3 x 5" to 8.5 x 11" or so and on about any stock. A Card was
-- well ... a card; a postcard for mailing.
That was a few moons ago and the
landscape of poster art and poster collecting has changed and is continuing to change, as
it should. But along the way the poster/handbill/flyer distinctions seem to have blurred.
I've seen posters handed out. I've seen handbills/flyers posted. I've seen the same poster
on thin and thick, different colored stock. So what's the difference? I've seen some
of my early 11 x 17" coverstock litho pieces referred to as handbills &/or flyers
in others' catalogs and lists when I considered them posters -- they were posted, larger
than 8.5 x 11" and on heavier stock. Semantics.
To me, the most important thing has
always been that they were produced to promote the show.
To avoid becoming entwined in
semantics, I make no distinction. I'll let you decide. I will do my best to describe the
pieces on the site, and let you be the judge.
So much information is required
to accurately describe an item, I will use a description code to more effectively
convey that information. I ask for your patience. I know it's a bit convoluted, but you
benefit in the long run because you will know what you're getting when you place an order.
Basically I'm a poster kinda guy.
Normally I won't put anything on the site smaller than 11 x 17", but that is not a
hard rule. I'll put anything up of particular interest or value regardless of size or type
of stock. I will only refer to an item as a handbill or flyer if it is generally
recognized as such. Most items will still be found under 'Poster' headings, regardless of
I appreciate your reading this and I
hope it will clarify where I'm coming from on this issue -- call it a Mercedes if you
want, just send me your bux! ... baby needs new shoes.
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