Poster Condition Ratings

The vast majority of movie posters and other posters are not new. Most have been folded or rolled and shipped to theaters, displayed and taken down. So it’s the very rare poster that has no condition issues at all, and the older the poster, the more defects are likely. But minor defects don’t have to affect your enjoyment of the poster or memorabilia. What we try to do is be very detailed in our descriptions and take the best possible pictures for you to examine the item yourself, so you know exactly what you are getting. And as always, you can reach out to us and ask for more details on any item of interest.

There is a common grading system that some collectors and dealers use when grading movie posters. It is called the Jon Warren guide. Jon was the author of many price guides back in the pre internet days. The Warren System uses the notations C1 to C10 to denote a particular condition grade. C10 being Mint (new, never used and no visible defects). 

We don’t use the Warren system directly because we believe condition ratings should really be assigned a range, and we think most people relate better to terms like “Poor” or “Very Good”.

Here’s how my ratings compare to those of the Warrant System:

Mint or Near Mint (C10 or C9)

This would be an absolutely perfect poster. Straight from the printer without ever having been used. There can be no flaws or handling issues at all. Even rolled posters straight from the printer can develop flaws.  

Very Good (C8 or C7)

A poster in this grade may show slight signs of use, but no significant wear. Acceptable defects might include border pinholes, minor edge chips, light edge creases, and very minor wear along fold lines.

Good (C6 or C5)

This would be an average used poster. This grade allows for a modest amount of defects/issues, including small pieces of tape on the back, light wear and color loss along the fold lines, a dozen pinholes in the periphery of the poster, minor surface soiling, minor border wear including small chips of paper loss in the borders, and minor creasing in the image area. The poster would show light, normal wear typical of some poster use.. 

Fair (C4 or C3)

A poster that is heavily used, but would still look good framed. Posters in this grade can have significant tears, numerous pinholes, significant fold separation, tape on the front (as well as on the back), light fading, moderate to heavy soiling, they could also be trimmed.

Poor (C2 or C1)

This is a poster with significant damage. Can include major tears and paper loss. Items in this grade are generally of value only to people who are trying to complete a collection of lobby cards or until they find a better version of that poster. These are also prime candidates for restoration.