Design: Favorites – Film Posters

I’ve posted about my favorite book covers and now it is time to post about my favorite FILM posters. Since I was younger, filmmaking has been a passion of mine—sort of put on the back burner in life, but it’s still there, simmering away. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a film director and I would watch movies over and over and over again, trying to write my own and plan to direct it (usually remakes of those movies I watched so many times over).

So I may write and/or direct a film one day, but I will probably design a poster for one much sooner than that. And because this blog is all about design, here are my top five favorite film posters, in order:

#5 – Oblivion


I have never watched this movie. But I know exactly what it’s about from this poster: Tom Cruise travels to a futuristic, abandoned Earth. Am I close? AM I CLOSE? Probably. Because this poster was well designed. (Also, the tagline is ‘Earth is a Memory Worth Fighting For’ so I am probably very right.)

First of all, the scale of this poster is enormous. The angle the shot is, looking up at Tom Cruise staring at a giant waterfall spilling over a huge cliff of rock and old skyscrapers. It’s just beautifully composed. Ever since seeing this poster, I’ve wanted to watch the movie. But I heard it wasn’t that great—but still, A+ marketing because I REALLY WANTED TO SEE IT. The contrast between the lighter and darker elements make it look ominous and dark, but with a glint of hope thrown in there with the sunlight above. It’s just a nice poster. Really solid.

#4 – JAWS


So, like, this movie terrified me as a kid. But I watched it all the time anyway. I can’t swim in a LAKE by myself because of it, but hey, I’ve watched it like 300 times, and that’s an accomplishment.

This poster is just as terrifying. You don’t even have to watch the movie. Just look at this poster and all of it comes flooding back. I don’t actually know if this is the ORIGINAL, original poster, but it looks close. It really just instills that fear of the water and what’s below the surface, adding to the terror of watching Jaws. It’s one of the most iconic film posters of all time, being countlessly redesigned in interesting ways and parodied enough times that a slideshow of them all would probably be longer than the film itself.

#3 – Interstellar


I have not seen Interstellar. But I’m sure I’d love it, and I certainly love this poster. The black and white is striking, it’s interesting, and has you asking “Why is an astronaut wandering around in a blizzard on a mountain?” But most of all, I love this poster because of the title design. “Inter” being white and “stellar” being black with the white (rocket engine fire/exhaust??) fading in. It’s just really nice.

#2 – Gladiator


Not only is this one of my favorite films, this is one of my favorite posters (my second favorite, obviously.) It’s just…it’s just…it’s just SO GOOD. It’s dark and mysterious and powerful. And I love how timeless it looks. If it was of higher quality, a little clearer, it would look like a film for today.

I love the use of shadows here. I love the colors. I’m not even being really specific here, I just love it a lot.

#1 – Gravity


Okay, I’m going to just say it. This should have been titled Anxiety. And even just this poster gives me anxiety. Like, for real, I’m more terrified of being lost in space like this versus a giant shark. Floating in the dark abyss completely alone and then dying from lack of oxygen is the most terrifying thing to me.

And that is what this poster says. The completely black background and the tiny little astronaut floating barely even scratches the surface of the scale of the universe, but it makes you feel—well, anxious. The simple type, white against the black, doesn’t distract from the focus, even if the focus is much smaller. Well designed and has been my favorite since I saw it before the movie came out.

That’s all, folks.


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