12 Classic Movie Poster Designs


12 Classic Movie Poster Designs

Most designers don’t think all that much of movie posters, and for good reason. The few posters that aren’t Photoshop disasters tend to follow the same dull template – a series of faces placed in front of a full, spacey background. There has been a lot of commentary about the lack of creativity in movie posters recently, and it all seems to boil down to one point: posters are designed to sell, not to stand as creative feats.

Of course, there are always examples that buck the trend. Look at any indie film festival and you’ll see hundreds of posters that don’t stick to the conventional ‘must-sell’ approach. But amongst major releases, it’s rare to see anything other than the norm. Poster design has become stale, particularly when it comes to blockbuster movies.

We’ve picked out twelve posters that showcase the best of movie poster design, ignoring the clichés now common to posters and instead focusing on the movie’s personality. Unlike indie films, which often have no expectations of a large box office gross, many of these posters are from successful releases. If you want inspiration and a little reassurance that good design sometimes is financially appreciated, let these twelve classic (and modern) movie posters do the talking. Note: Please click on the posters for a larger view.

1.    Little Miss Sunshine, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine uses a fairly standard indie-style poster, but the film itself was far from the commercial flop most independent films are. Thanks to quirky design and endless positive word-of-mouth coverage, Little Miss Sunshine grossed over $100 million worldwide. Not bad for an indie movie, and certainly not bad for one that dodged conventional marketing materials design.

Several promotional posters were made for the movie’s wide release, all of which incorporated the yellow background and stylized character figures. Unlike other cult design hits such as Fargo, Little Miss Sunshine used yellow as its standard background color, highlighting the fact that it’s a comedy and eliminating the cleanliness that ultra-white poster backgrounds can create.

2.    Alien, 1979

Alien is the prototypical space horror, and its poster is one that’s been endlessly copied amongst other science fiction movies and shock horror films. The lone central alien egg figure, complete with chilling tag line and black background, set the standard for the hundreds of science fiction horrors that came out during the next decade.

But what makes Alien’s poster design so fantastic is the consistency it shares with the film. Almost all horror movies use their posters as a device to bring viewers into the cinema, often at the expense of any real consistency once they’re in the seat. Alien does things a little differently, giving potential viewers a complete picture of the movie’s style without giving away its plot. Leer más “12 Classic Movie Poster Designs”

Box Office: Inception Schmacks the Schmucks

Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception
Melissa Moseley / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The dream goes on. Inception won the weekend box office at North American theaters, according to early studio estimates. Christopher Nolan’s labyrinthine thriller, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the leader of a team that invades a man’s sleep patterns, earned $27.5 million in its third weekend. The film thus joins Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Shrek Forever After — all movies whose protagonists fall or leap into alternative-reality dream worlds — in 2010’s three-time-winners’ club. Inception should cross the $200 domestic mark by Tuesday, and has already taken in $170 million abroad.


Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

The dream goes on. Inception won the weekend box office at North American theaters, according to early studio estimates. Christopher Nolan‘s labyrinthine thriller, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the leader of a team that invades a man’s sleep patterns, earned $27.5 million in its third weekend. The film thus joins Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Shrek Forever After — all movies whose protagonists fall or leap into alternative-reality dream worlds — in 2010’s three-time-winners’ club. Inception should cross the $200 domestic mark by Tuesday, and has already taken in $170 million abroad. Leer más “Box Office: Inception Schmacks the Schmucks”