6 PICKS: Design within the Film Industry

Within a $38.3bn Global industry, the marketing of films through posters is a huge business and, for most, owning a piece of cinematic history and displaying your favourite movie poster on your wall is a common occurrence.  They say that your choice of film can say a lot about you, but what about your choice of film poster? Check out our 6 PICKS below:

  1. Dirty Harry Original Poster (1971)

    Designer: Bill Gold

    "Each was unique. Eastwood was always fantastic. He’d give very little direction and would let me do what I wanted. He trusted my marketing judgement. On a couple of occasions, he’d ask me to go back to the drawing board and re-think things. He was always complimentary and appreciated everything."

    Bill Gold on working with Client Eastwood.
    Bill Gold is arguably the master of the movie poster, having created well over 1000 in his time. He worked with Clint Eastwood many times, but the image he created for the film, Dirty Harry was his first ever collaboration with Eastwood. Before computers, Gold rendered every poster he created by hand, which meant that if a client needed any changes, he’d have to start from scratch. This makes the Dirty Harry poster even more of an achievement, especially with it’s ahead-of-its-time graphic design, with all type and imagery drawn and painted meticulously by Gold himself. Making the gun and cracked glass the focal point of the imagery, and not just focussing on the star’s face or profile as many film posters at the time tended to do, Gold was able to convey that Dirty Harry was a different sort of film and a force to be reckoned with, and in turn, contributed to its ultimate success.
  2. Jurassic World Alternate Poster (2016)

    "You have to get into the head of the audience. I think if I wasn’t into illustration and design, I would be into advertising." – Janèe Meadows
    Janèe Meadows is a Los Angeles based designer and illustrator, who recently created this alternative poster to mark the release of the new Jurassic World film. More of a hobby and fun side project for Meadows, her version of the film poster showcases her masterful skill in using digital brushes and a tablet, whilst her use of negative space to signify the presence of the T-Rex is an incredibly effective tool in building atmosphere and linking the creature with it’s landscape.
  3. Drive Official Alternate Movie Poster (2011)

    “I was quietly sitting at home contemplating my design career and what I truly wanted to create for myself. Up until that point I had been following trends and art styles that others were doing but nothing really felt like “my own”…Everything snapped into place when I realised I am the person I am today because of my wonderful childhood, and the excitement I got from all the stuff I was into. I wanted THAT excitement in my art.” – James White on his passion for a 1980s aesthetic
    The film ‘Drive’ starring Ryan Gosling became a cult sensation due to it’s distinctive visual flair and quality soundtrack reminiscent of 80s action films. After creating this poster as part of a self-initiated project and releasing it online, it soon turned viral and subsequently, artist James White was granted the official license in order to turn the image into an endorsed piece of ‘Drive’ merchandise. As with most, if not all of White’s work, the poster bears a strong 1980s quality, not just evoked by the vibrant neon colour palette, but also the use of line, gradient, texture and type.
  4. Rosemary’s Baby Original Poster (1968)

    “A spot with no words at all was unheard of then, but it didn’t stop Frankfurt…He used stop-motion and borrowed from contemporary art — he saw no barriers to where you could go to make a commercial.” – Andrew Cracknell on Stephen Frankfurt
    Stephen Frankfurt revolutionised the way films were marketed with his innovative and groundbreaking style, first seen within the titles he created for ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in 1962. His approach was to create a completely cohesive marketing ‘package’ to deliver to audiences – the poster style always visually linked to the aesthetic of the trailer (seen here), and this is best seen within the collateral created for Rosemary’s Baby. The graphic overlay of the pram is echoed in the trailer, as well as the soft superimposition/double-exposure of Mia Farrow’s face, resembling the hill’s terrain. In terms of style, this poster would still stand up in today’s market which is testament to Frankfurt’s talent as a designer and art director.
  5. The Jungle Book Alternate Poster for SXSW (2014)

    Artwork: Olly Moss
    "I think it’s a mistake to differentiate typography from illustration from concept. It’s all the same thing, it’s about making marks on a page." – Olly Moss on his design process.
    Originally created for the Disney Art Show held at SXSW 2014, Olly Moss’s interpretation of the classic film beautifully captures the age of the film (first released back in 1967) without making the poster seem dated or overly ‘retro’. His subtle, striking and yet slightly jarring colour palette (now synonymous with Moss’ style) is borrowed directly from the film, and his clever interplay between the jungle landscape, trees and the body and stripes of the tiger create a visually concise yet evocative image.
  6. The Royal Tenenbaums Alternate Poster (2015)

    “From start to finish, each poster has taken around two weeks. The first week is spent analysing the film and rummaging through pound shops and charity shops trying to find objects that I can alter to appear like the objects in the film. Once I’ve got all the objects I’ll start putting them together on a background and try figuring out the design.” – Jordan Bolton on his design process
    Wes Anderson’s films have become synonymous with subtle vintage styling, stunning pastel colour palettes and quirky, offbeat dialogue, so it’s no wonder that so many artists and designers have chosen to reimagine his film posters in their own way, with such a wealth of subject matter and imagery to work with. This alternative poster designed by Jordan Bolton creates a narrative that hints at the film’s characters just by carefully hand crafting replicas of the original props (designed for Wes Anderson by Annie Atkins), meticulously arranging them and then photographing them from above – a win for the ‘things organised neatly’ movement.