Designing Effective Movie Posters

Movie posters are the earliest form of trailers or previews for audiences, and play a critical role in marketing a film by raising awareness of the film.

Movie Director recently provided some insights on how to design an effective movie poster, and used a couple of classic examples for inspiration.

Over time, movie poster design has evolved with changing movie genres and audience preferences. The graphical appeal of posters benefit from artistic flair, iconic imagery and quality graphic design.

Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds featured a high-impact yet simple design, with a bright red background and a single large white feather running from top to bottom through the centre of the poster. The title is printed over the feather and part of the text is cut out by the feather. The intense red contrasting with the white and the simple design hints at the suspense and horror film Hitchcock was famous for.

James Mangold’s Walk the Line used the graphic style of the 40s and 50s (the era in which the film is set) with the lead actor in profile and his flaming red guitar set against a background of golden flames in red and black. The colours and the stylised graphics captured the fiery tone of the film.