Prior to designing my film festival postcard advertisement, I wanted to review some popular film posters and observe what makes them work and what doesn’t. Doing this will give me a good foundation in terms of inspiration and technique before I proceed to work. Even though a film festival postcard advertisement is slightly different from a conventional film poster, they share a lot of similar elements and serve similar purposes. Looking at film posters is definitely beneficial as it will open my eyes to a broad range of different ideas.
The poster for ‘Moonlight’ is a striking work of art. The poster takes three different photographs of three faces (the film’s lead characters) and combines them to look like one face from a distance. This was a very creative idea, that works tremendously well. The poster looks intriguing and draws the attention of the audience, forcing them to engage. The poster also has a very clearly established color scheme, which makes it very sound in terms of graphic design. The various cool colors – blue, purple and teal – work together well and look aesthetically pleasing when placed side by side. The coloring adds to the mystique of the poster, making it look somewhat surreal and otherworldly. The font and text is simplistic, not distracting from the main image. The title rightly draws the eyes of the viewers by being much larger than the other text. At the bottom, the production credits are featured according to convention. The font is small because this information is relatively less important. On a poster, it is important to prioritize so that the attention of the audience is directed to the right place. The single line of text at the top of the poster gives it a visual balance with the text at the bottom. On the whole, this poster is well designed and visually appealing. It conveys the dramatic genre of the film and successfully engages the viewers.
This poster for ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ is another one that struck me as particularly noteworthy. This is a horror movie, and the main reason this poster is so successful is because it instantly conveys this genre and the theme. The haunting image of the girl’s face is one that is striking and memorable – both important for any poster because you want the audience to remember your poster for as long as possible. The contrast between the brilliant red eyes and ghostly pale skin is jarring, and thus attention-grabbing. The blackness surrounding her face makes this contrast all the more pronounced. The butterfly over her mouth is another unusual feature that is instantly noticeable and memorable. All these bizarre, curious elements in the poster give it a creepy and surreal look, which is very fitting for a horror film. It also triggers the interest of the audience by making them wonder about what’s going on. It will make them want to watch the film to find out. The only real color used on the poster is an orangish red. This color is used three times – the eyes, the butterfly, the title. These three elements are aligned in a straight line on the poster and are distributed at the top, middle and bottom respectively.The red pops out of the frame and brings to focus the three main elements on the poster. In terms of graphic design, this is a solid structure and an aesthetically appealing plan.
This poster for ‘The Theory of Everything’ is simple but effective. At the very center, the two leads of the film – Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones – are featured prominently. Since they are both major stars, it is important to have them showcased on the poster as it will attract the viewers and fans to the film. Their names are also printed on the poster, above the title, to further capitalize on their star power. The photograph of them is charming and pleasant, conveying that they are in love. The math and physics equations faintly printed behind them in the background relates to the life and study of Stephen Hawking. Thus, the poster very effectively presents the genre and themes of the film, highlighting both the romantic aspect and the academic aspect. By looking at the poster, the audience can get a sense of what the film is about, and that is very important. Also, the poster has a positive review of the film printed in large letters at the top. This quote is typed in the second largest font size after the title, which shows what a crucial place it holds. Having such a review on the poster lets the audience know that the film is critically acclaimed, which is likely to entice them to watch the film themselves. This is a very useful marketing technique.