The 5 Elements Of A Great Movie Poster Design

Movies, or films (depending on how you decide to call them), are products that also need advertising. When promoting a film, they showcase the actors’ talents, crew’s hard work, and financial capabilities of the studio that gave the green light to the project. Aside from TV spots, interviews on TV shows, traditional and digital word-of-mouth, this is how advertising photography comes into play. Studios dedicate time, effort, and more money into creating posters that also endorse their production to potential viewers.

In advertising, movie posters also incorporate similar methods that can summarize the movie through pictures and words or also affect them in certain ways. Some posters have visually unpleasing designs, but there are a handful of gems that have captured the attentions and imaginations of observers. Without further ado, here are five elements of a great movie poster design.

  1. Simple, but striking imagery

Movie posters don’t need to go all out and show the entire cast or have a lot of visual noise in the background. Simplicity is key. Designers opt to use a logo or a highly stylized marking that is unique only to the movie. Sometimes, all it takes is a symbol to summarize what the film is all about. Posters of movies such as Inglorious Basters, The Amazing Spiderman, Alien, The Dark Knight and Man Of Steel.



  1. Portrait shots

Movie posters with portrait shots introduce a specific character to the viewers first-hand. It introduces us to their state or gives us a window into their personality. The 40-Year Old Virgin, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Thor, Hancock, The Great Gatsby, and Black Swan have portrait shots of the main characters as movie posters.


  1. Play of colors

When simplicity won’t do, another eye-catching approach would be a mix of colors that blend well together. That’s why movie posters by Bob Peak such as Apocalypse Now, Modesty Blaise, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, In Like Flint, and animated movies like Dreamworks’ Rio and Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy and Finding Nemo are so nice to look at.


  1. Art style

Back when digital technology didn’t exist, traditional mediums such as painting were used to create movie posters. This promotes the artist’s unique style, such as Drew Struzan’s predominantly acrylic and colored pencil and art on films such as the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and both Indiana Jones  and Back To The Future trilogy as well. Even Disney’s early animated films like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid stood out because of their brilliant and lively application of traditional art.


  1. Presentation of characters

Other movie posters decide to do an organized collage of the main characters and some supporting cast. This is a way of flashing one’s feathers, as they say, proudly displaying a line-up of Hollywood’s who’s who in their film roles in their film. Movie posters like the original Star Wars trilogy , Iron Man trilogy , and the Wizard of Oz  utilized this to great effect.


Categories: Advertising Photography.