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Monday, December 12th, 2011 | Written by:

Movie Poster Design Basics


A movie represents a genuine pleasure for cinema-goers, but nowadays, it is mostly an item belonging to a very powerful industry. The movie ‘Avatar’ is the perfect example to complete this statement: the initial takings reached 500 million while the profit was over 100 million, so it was a big and profitable affair.

When a movie critic comments on a movie, the following things are taken into consideration: the screenplay, distribution and effects. However, there is one more element mentioned, meaning the budget.

Creating a movie poster is a nice project for any designer but the challenging aspect is that its success may represent a part of the total profit. Obviously, if you are not putting too much effort into such a project, then you stand a high risk of losing money. When it comes to such projects, the imagination and talent of the designer are very important; however, one has to respect some basic rules and work with seriousness, so as to create a movie poster that is really great. By following the tips presented below, you will create a good movie poster, but you should always keep in mind how important are the experience and the hard work.

A movie poster needs a complete research


As with any other type of graphic project, one has to perform a thorough research, especially if that person is interested in a positive result in the end. A designer, before any action is taken, must see the respective movie and understand the characters. Depending on the movie category, a poster must borrow some elements from various backgrounds, i.e. it’s almost impossible to see a pink theme chosen for a horror film (but no one should exclude such a solution).

In conclusion, before starting the actual process of creating a movie poster, it is for the best to do a careful research, a good source being the showcases from web design blogs or movies presenting websites as IMDB.

Pay attention to the preferences of the public


Any screen player starts his work with a specific public in mind and the entire movie is based on their preferences. The science-fiction films have specific patterns and scenes while horror movies have other standards to uphold; anyway all movies have some mandatory elements that have to be present in order to be catalogued as thriller, action, documentary and so on. A designer must deduct these and apply them in the poster; this approach will allow him reach a targeted public and this will be very useful in the creating process.

It must make people curious


A poster that is plain won’t attract attention. Any creator of movie posters must have, in his brain, the image of the common person who stares at some posters on an advertising wall. A good design is one that attracts the eyes of the viewer and makes him or her curious. No matter which methods are used, a poster must be a good reason to make someone interested in seeing the respective movie.

Let the fonts work for you


A common mistake among amateur designers is the insertion of many fonts in a single project and this is also valid when designing movie posters. The fonts are common and they may be neglected but, when studying them more carefully, their power is truly amazing. What everyone must retain is the fact that the selection of a proper font is time consuming, but it is all worth it in the end.

A movie poster must transmit a message


Every city is bombed with various and sometimes-obtrusive advertising materials so any citizen is almost immune to these; only something interesting could attract attention, exactly what a movie poster should do.

Presenting a movie, an hour and half story is pretty difficult to resume in just a few square centimeters, but it’s necessary to realize it in such a manner that it must look as a whole, it must transmit a message. Cool elements of design are nice but good design means more than the sum of the components, it‘s also about beauty and usability. Briefly, a poster can be nice and well designed but if it lacks usability, then it doesn’t provide information about the movie and is probably quite useless.

What is important must be bolded


A movie poster can be seen from a meter or from a respectable distance, but no matter the circumstances, it must be understood by everyone. Consequently, the most important parts must be bolded or very visible. The idea is simple: a beautiful poster that doesn’t highlight the title of the movie or the name of the best actors is a non-profit creation. Thinking from this perspective, it is clear that a poster is more than the design, it’s a marketing product.

Making everything bolded is another mistake, somehow opposite to the previous situation, hence the middle way is the ideal choice, sending an obvious and clear message.

In the end, a movie poster is the kind of project that is like a double-sided sword: it offers to the designer the freedom to create whatever he considers cool and eye-catching. At the same time, the result may be a way to make profit, the reaction of the viewers being strictly related to money; hence any mistake or bad design is a pure disaster.
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About Lief

Lief is one of the creative designers at Design Article Writers, he loves to play with tools commonly useful for designers and media lovers. You'll find him playing with Photoshop, logos in his free time. Ping if you’re looking for custom logo design.

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6 Responses

December 13, 2011

I like to know the director and screenwriters. but as the first chart to be a nice graphic impact. Care of all details. Good post with good analysis of all. Thanks for sharing.