10 March 2014

Movie Poster Design

Browsing through design inspiration I found this article of the elements of design for movie posters. It was an interesting read, but I don’t really like most of the examples they used, which lead me to research movie poster clichés.  It’s interesting to see how most of these are the same. I feel as designers we have to challenge ourselves to create different designs, but at the same time we have follow the rules, and appeal our designs to audiences. 

Romantic comedies back-to-back

Action movie black and white

Horror movie eye
Here are some alternative posters made by designers, I think these are more interesting, but I’m not sure if they would appeal commercially. I feel some of these don’t capture the movie to audiences viewing, such as what the movie is about and genre; it’s more of scenes from movies.   Here are examples of the real posters and  alternative designs on the right. Overall, I feel these are more creative and original.  What do ya think???....

Drive alternative design

World War Z alternative design  

Star Trek alternative design



  1. Yeah, I can see how some designers have repetitively used similar elements for movie posters, and after viewing the real poster plus the alternatives ones, I have to say that some really do work better than the original. Yet, most of the alternatives were more animated-looking, and sometimes that doesn't really go with the theme or vibe the movie is trying to give off, especially if it consists of a lot of special effects and such, like the Man of Steel one. Sure, the alternative poster was very unique and appealing, but it gave that sort of animated style that perhaps wouldn't really attract some of the audience. The movie's a live action, and that alternative might just confuse and make some people mistake it for a generic animation type of the man of steel (if they hadn't looked at the trailer at least), so to grab people's attention and let them know it is a live action movie with real actors and special effects, there needs to be that real photo picture on the poster, but that's just my opinion I'm not dissing the alternative or anything like that since I quite like the take on it. Otherwise, I think some of them really would've captured more attention than the original posters used for some of those movies. Nice research!

  2. Yves Peters at FontShop Feed, does a typographic review/critique of the newest movie posters each month. It's a rather entertaining read...

  3. The repetition of movie poster design has always been a sore thumb with me. Like you mentioned, many posters we see as consumers follow the basic template that previous films have used, creating a genre of cliches. The alternatives you posted all have that little bit of creative flare and vectorization that set the posters apart, but they might not appeal to pop culture or the general public as much as the 'familiar' designs might. Although we as designers would appreciate more varied and unique posters, folks don't always (rarely) pay attention to that stuff.

    I for one would love to see some unique designs in the movie poster genre, but we'll probably need to prompt the rest of the world to break out of the comfort zone in order to do so and successfully advertise a film. This is the difference between creative license and getting people to want to see your movie. There are folks who design posters and movie trailers for a reason: it's the first impression someone gets of a movie. The cliches are everywhere, but they are familiar and that could be the very reason why folks keep sticking to them instead of branching out.

  4. This is really interesting! I never really thought about how genres of movies are grouped together style wise, but it really does make sense. I agree the alternative posters are really cool, they might even be an interesting sell as far as just normal posters go that people can buy. However, I don't think they would work well in the industry. I feel a lot of people look to movie posters to see who is starring in it and what the setting is so they can get a better idea of what the movie is about. Although those other posters didn't necessarily NOT relate to the movies they were for, I think seeing a major icon/stars is a big part of what draws in people and their money.

  5. I actually have noticed this before your post, but I have to agree the trend of movie mosters cliche is growing old in certain genres.

    Some of the alternative posters in your last link actually looks commercially viable. Would love to have a Shaun of the Dead alternative on my bedroom wall.