With on how they have coped with the

With the movie industry constantly growing and changing
to fit in with the trends of the times, Posters for these films need to grow
along side them in ordr to stay relevant. This has caused film posters to grow
along side the changing field and the big factor of creating these movie
posters is the genre they are depicting. Thus, Within this academic writing, it
hopes to research into and investigate how poster design in influenced by the
genre its promoting and how it dictates the overall design layout. This means
looking into what the role of a poster is both historically and in modern times
to see how it has changed to keep with up with trends while also looking into
what design rends have been constant within these posters. Along side this, it
will touch upon movie marketing and how film posters play into the motion
pictures distribution, were genre came from and what it is and examples of
genre driven posters.

To help with the research, it ill cover key artists and
designers over the course of film poster design to help gain an understanding
of what was required from them at the time and there views on the changing
world of their craft. Artists such as Saul Bass, Bill Gold, Rynold Brown,
Renato Casaro plus a few more will shed light on how they have coped with the
changing of times and how they go about their design process

In retaliation to the findings of this essay, the
practical element will hope to be informed by the research gathered to create a
few pieces based upon the effects of genre on the design process.









Marketing in the movie


There are a few things unique about marketing within the
film industry. Timing is incredibly important to bring people to the cinema,
the industry must build up as much hype for a film in the short amount of time
leading up to and around its launch as possible.

Another unique factor is that movies, by their very
nature, are content gold mines – a huge privilege when it comes to crafting a
powerful content marketing strategy for an upcoming film or TV show launch.

Seth Godin, one of the biggest names in
the world of marketing, summed it up when he said: “by definition, remarkable
things get remarked upon”.  Alongside of
using  the likes of posters and ad
campaigns, movies are using viral marketing 

‘I am a strong
believer that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. If you want
to leverage viral marketing of any sorts, you must begin by doing something
worth talking about.’ (Godin, 2017)

For a movie to get its name known it must promote itself
and reach as many people as possible to encourage them to go see it at the
cinema.  This
usually occurs alongside the process of the films distribution and any
promotional material that goes with it. The way a film is promoted can have a
gargantuan effect on its success, along with film junkets, advertising
campaigns, franchising, press releases, merchandising, and interviews with the
directors of the movie. These factors are an important part of any launch of a
new film due to the large financial risk of its success and ensuring the public
buy tickets to come and see it. Movie studios have invested their time and
resources into expensive marketing campaigns to maximize revenue early in the
film’s release. With this being the norm in the industry, the marketing budgets
of movies both big and small tend to equal to around half of the production
budget for the film

Movie marketing is a constantly changing
field. It wasn’t too long ago that having a website for a movie was a fairly
innovative practice. Just 10 years ago a movie’s primary social media
presence was using the likes of MySpace pages, however, the film industry, like
most others in the creative field, are constantly changing with the times to
keep up with the pace of innovations and current trends. This can be seen
within current movie marketing of the latest Marvel film, Thor: Ragnarok, which
has taken a different direction than its predecessors within the Marvel
franchise. There are a few ways in which Marvel are tapping into what is unique
about the film and what has worked within the previous films in the Thor
franchise. The problem the Thor franchise had was the last film, Thor: The Dark
World, had taken a darker direction than the other films made by Marvel
Studios.  This dark tone was translated
into the posters advertising the film. By contrast, Thor: Ragnarok’s campaign
has been filled with psychedelic colour throughout its marketing life cycle.
The posters by Mondo and created by artist Matt Taylor feature bright oranges,
greens and blues and the title treatment looks like it was pulled right out of
the 80’s with its design enhancing the tone-shift the movie was going for. Even
before the actual marketing started the studio gave the audience a sense of
tone-shift by releasing a short video called Team Thor depicting the God of
Thunder living with a roommate in a fun style while other events occur in the
Marvel cinematic universe.


The posters used in the marketing campaign
are a colourful effort that stand out against darker tone films of the same
genre. Each poster has an animated motion version that can be seen used on the
likes of bus stops and within cinemas to name a few. The poster depicting Thor
shows him with short-cropped hair with helmet in hand as he stands in the
middle of an arena of onlookers, almost gladiatorial. The swirling debris and
bright light at the top are meant to show this is taking place somewhere other
than Earth, which is important.  A
slightly animated motion version of that
poster­­­ was released later on.

A whole series of character posters put each
member of the ensemble on their own, set against a bright and colourful
background that is coming at them like a wave. Everyone from Thor to Odin,
Grandmaster to Valkyrie and to Hela get their own posters, selling this as a
real team movie. INSERT IMAGES






Genre. What is it? Why


Genre, which comes from the French word type, is a form
of communication with socially agreed upon conventions that have developed over
a peroins of time. This form of categorizing can be seen across the likes of
Litriture, film, tv and music which is important for both media producers and
consumers. These film genres are formed by certain narrative or aesthetical
element’s that have become common place in certain film categories. For
instance, if the film follows the star running from the government then it
falls within the confines of a thriller while a movie based on a goof ball cop
in the force is most likely a comedy. By the end of the silent era, many of the
main genres were established such as the westerns, the horror films, comedies,
and action-adventure films . Musicals were inaugurated with the era of the
Talkies, and the genre of science-fiction films wasn’t in the mainstream until
the 1950s. One problem with genre films is that they can become stale,
cliche-ridden, and over-imitated. A traditional genre that has been
reinterpreted, challenged, or subjected to scrutiny may be termed revisionist.

Tom Ryall, a notable name in the field of
genre theory, Has distinguished three levels of that which people should
understand genre within cinema. There is the generic system which is the
relationship of individual genres and to movie production in general, then
there’s the individual genres which are defining each of the genres and their
common elements, and finally there is individual films  Toms gave his views on this matter and


‘Genre provides a framework of strturing
rules in the shape of patterns, forms, styles and structures, which acts as a
form of supervision over the work of production and the work of reading the
audience’ (Ryall,1978)


Tom Ryall contends that some genres such as horror,
comedy or thrillers may be better conceptualised considering their effects on
the audience for example how they make the audience feel. Tom Ryall also
provides a list of the categories that he considers to be proper genres
(westerns, gangster films, musicals, horror films, thrillers, comedies,
melodramas and women’s films )


Posters – What role do
they play? Historicaly and now?


The role of a film poster is to grab the attention and
interest of a huge audience and encourage them to go and watch it.  An eye-grabbing design can have a phenomenal
effect on people and the stars of the film create attention with their names
usually appearing in larger print. Movie studios often create and print
numerous posters that will vary in their size and content to cater to various
international and domestic audiences. These posters will normally consist of an
image based upon the movie its advertising with large lettering on top to give
the film’s title and occasionally a line from the movie or a slogan, alongside
this they will contain the big names of the film.

Film posters have been around and used since the earliest
public exhibitions of movies. They began as placards used on the outside of
picture houses that list the programs of films to be shown inside the theatre. Film posters have always been and will always be
designed with the commercial intent of various audiences to buy a ticket. It is
generally thought that the first movie poster was created in 1890 by French
painter and lithographer Jules Cheret for a short film called “Projections
Artistiques”.  Most of the early film posters prior to 1910 were simple
signs with block text announcing the title, producer, and director.

Motion pictures popularity drastically increased
throughout the U.S. and Europe. As a result, they soon required advertising to
alert people when and where they would be shown. Films were shown at amusement
parks, fairs, and music halls, and eventually in specially established
makeshift theatres called nickelodeons. By the early 1900’s movie posters went from being
typography driven to featuring illustrations of overlaid images form the
picture or an interpretation of a film scene which was represented in a wide
variety of artistic styles. As the movie
industry grew, studios began to realize the value of creating colourful
artwork that depicted scenes from their movies to promote the films and bring
in more viewers. These posters were printed on inexpensive paper and not meant
to be collected or preserved. Originally, movie posters that were made
and produced this way were to be used exclusively by the theatre showing the
motion picture and were required to be returned to the distributer once the
film had finished showing and left the picture house in order for the next
theatre to have them put up.

From the 1920’s to the 1940’s, movie
studios were keen to develop their own artistic styles for their movie posters
and hired well-known artists and illustrators such as John Held Jr, Al
Hirschfeld, Ted Ireland, Hap Hadley, Louis Fancher, and Armando Seguso. 
MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios inc.) was known for having highly polished
posters that used pastel colour schemes on white backgrounds for movies like
Ben Hur, and Casanova. On the other hand, 20th Century Fox used rich and
vibrant colours in their posters to promote their movies which at the time
where mainly musicals. With this increase of public preference for colour
photographic quality prompted Columbia Pict­­ures to pioneer the “fake colour”
process which colourized black and white still photos with the likes of
Metropolis and King Kong. It was not long before every studio adopted this
process to keep up with the trends.

Very few film posters from this era
survived the years of the Great Depression and World War Two where owners of
theatres would often receive credit for returning the poster due to their being
restrictions on the use of paper during the war which kept movie posters out of
circulation for this time. It is estimated that less than 20 copies of
most film posters that were produced between 1930 and1945 exist today making
them extremely collectible. Today, collecting film posters is a popular hobby
and studios typically print extra posters for the collector’s market.  Old
and rare posters are extremely valuable, and many are auctioned off for
hundreds of thousands of dollars. The current record-holder is the “international” version of the
Metropolis poster, the same Heinz Schulz-Neudamm design as number 3 minus the
German writing. The clean lines and delicate shading make this a wonder to
behold. It sold for $690,000 in 2005 and the rumoured purchaser was Leonardo
DiCaprio Insert image here

Up until the mid-1980’s, the NSS
(National Screen Service) printed and distributed almost all movie posters and
related advertising material for most of the big name film studios. The
evolution of multi-screen cinemas meant that studios could cut back on
distribution and the need for production, thus the distribution by the NSS
was eliminated.  During this transition period, many poster exchanges
still had large inventories of products and some evolved into the business of
re-selling the posters to collectors

Designers galore are still fanatical about the poster for
the 1958 film Vertigo.  Saul Bass, an
American graphic designer and Academy Award winning filmmaker enabled the
transformation of film advertising into an art form.  Usually, film posters showed key scenes of
the film with its characters, however Bass made more simple posters with
symbolic elements.  For example, in
Vertigo, figures where shown in a spiral, evoking feelings of anxiety and
disorientation which were both key points of the film. When asked about his
view of poster design for film he said

‘My initial thoughts
about what a title can do was to set mood and the prime underlying core of the
film’s story, to express the story in some metaphorical way. I saw the title as
a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film began, viewers would
already have an emotional resonance with it’ 
(Bass, 1996)

As the costs of modern printing rises, many studios are
opting to promote their films online with the like of social media and through
television. With this change many cinemas are going digital and replacing
their back-lit poster frames with video screens that can display film posters
alongside its motion graphics counterparts with little effort. Whether this
means that studios will reduce the amount of money spent on that uniquely
created, iconic film poster, in favour of less expensive alternatives is yet to
be seen.  Artistic creativity in promotional materials, whatever the
medium, will continue to be an important aspect of those films that strive for
originality and artistic quality.

Bill gold is a former graphic
designer who is best known for working on thousands of film
poster designs or over 6 decades from the 1970’s onwards states that he
approaches every movie poster he would work on as a chance to advance the
storytelling of the film. He told the Hollywood reporter that when he visits
his local cinema he practically shudders as he passes the rows of posters for
the new movies. Having spent much of his life designing and defining the art of
movie posters, he feels a sense of disappointment. “I can’t believe they are
doing so little,” Gold says. “I can’t believe they’re not marketing the movie.”
(Gold, 2004)




Posters + Genre –




Horror films are a genre of films that seek to frighten
its viewers and bring out negative emotions and phobias that people may suffer
from. The first horror movies were made in the end of the 19th century. The
main reason for people to watch horror films is probably the thrill it gives.
When the audience gest frightened, adrenaline is released. This can be quite a
rush. And it is entertaining. Horror films are divided into subgenres
consisting of mockumentaries movies where fictional events and characters are
displayed in the style of a documentary such as rec. and the blair witch
project. Gory films that concentrate on the amount of violence and gore in the
film than the plot itself), post apocalyptic films where the world has
succumbed to a virus or disaster of some sort and has a plot revolving around
people trying to survive in the remnants of the world) among others.

Movie posters are an art, and horror movies have had their fair share of
artistic triumphs. Some horror posters, in fact, are more entertaining than the
actual films.

Movie poster designers don’t seem worried
about their work feeling derivative and often they are actually counting on
your sense of déjà vu to promote their new movie. So it’s not surprising that
some movie posters end up looking similar to one another. Even with that
in mind, most people are aware of just how little diversity there is within
movies of the same genre. 

The most commonly used trope within posters
within the horror genre is a single large face. Posters using this trope are
typically aiming to evoke fear or unease in the viewer. These designs that use
these large faces that seem to be looking directly at the viewer draw the
prospective audience in by placing them in direct interaction with the
protagonist, whether it’s the films victims or its villain.

This trope of using a large face of its
character is notably underused in the horror comedies sub genre, perhaps due to
the lack of comic potential, with the exception of horror comedies such as
Scream (1996) and Braindead (1992), directed by Peter Jackson.

In the vast majority of cases, victims and
villains are far more likely to be used within these tropes than heroes. This
is a direct departure from most films, which highlight the hero. Eye colour is
often used to provide a clue as to whether the owner of the face is a villain
or victim, with black or red eyes often indicating the face’s malevolent
intent, blue indicating a victim and green the supernatural.

Take, for example Stanley Kubrick’s movie,
The Shining (1980) INSER IMAGE.
When released, this movie was depicted in its poster by having the title of the
film is in the center of the poster in order to catch the eye of the audience.
The colors, yellow and black, are bold. There is a face unrelated to the film
inside the title, which is a little confusing at first glane but becomes more
and more intriguing as people look at it. As yellow connotes danger because of
warning signs used in everyday life that are typically yellow, the genre of the
film is made clear to the audience. The comment, “A Masterpiece Of Modern
Horror”, implies that it has got positive reviews from the critics which
inturns gets more and more people on board to go watch it and to cause a buzz
amongst conversations.

When Saul Bass, a poster designer who was
very close with Stanley Kubrick made drafts and concepts for The Shining
(1980), Kubrick would personally take a look at the drafts and concepts and
rule out ideas he wasn’t too fond of. He even made notes and sent them back to
Bass. (Marshall, 2014) This example shows that even the director of the film
contributed to the making of the poster for his film. I just cannot see this
scenario in modern time. We can only assume the director of The Avengers (2012)
has a slightest clue of how the poster is going to look like and probably has
not got the time to get involved in the marketing.

since advertising has become such an
important element of the whole marketing process in the film-industry, the
budget doesn’t stretch out to the poster department anymore. In the 1920’s,
films presumably got attention by word of mouth, adverts in daily newspapers
and the posters. One must also keep in mind that in those days competition was
meaningless compared to the present day. It seems to me that today horror
movies with badly written scripts and B-actors seem to be released a lot more
often than they should. The producers are probably wiping the sweat of their
foreheads while looking at the costs. When it comes to posters, the easiest way
to get something “satisfying” seems to be contacting a mediocre
design agency and have someone put together something in a day or so. This way
the production companies save time and money.

In the book The Principles of Psychology
(1890), authors William James and Henry Holt talk about how the human eye and
mind can detect different kinds of threats. These threats include insects and
animals that might be hostile, venomous or unpleasant in general. What makes
the theory about threat detection interesting is the fact that these
revelations have been used while branding and marketing horror movies. If you
type in “horror movie posters” in google image search, you will see
that the majority of designs include a portrait of a face on the poster. Some
of the posters put more weight on the visibility of the eyes giving off a
‘happy valley’ vibe to the audience looking at the poster.

‘People are born with automatic visual
detection mechanisms for evolutionarily threatening stimuli, such as snakes.
These threatening stimuli are detected more quickly than nonthreatening stimuli
and are thought to have evolutionary origins; efficiently detecting threats no
doubt provided a selective advantage for our human ancestors’ (James, 1890)

( /  Need to go into this  / )

The Exorcist (1973) has been classed as one of the
greatest horror films of all time.  This
very dark poster with a single image of Father Merrin arriving at the MacNeil
house creates the scare factor that every horror fan craves when watching a new



Comedy movies have been one of the longest running movie
genres alongside the likes of musicals. With this, the has been many trends
used within the poster design over the years. An
obvious trend used in the very early 1900’s were borders. From oddly shaped
yellow borders in ‘Hearts and Planets’ to green triangle patterned borders used
in ‘His Picture in the Papers’. It was clear a lot of effort went into these
early movie posters.

The posters of the 1920’s we see a bit of
everything, from minimalisticism in ‘Woman-Proof’ and ‘The Cohens and the
Kellys’, monochromatic images in ‘Along Came Ruth’, to basic comic drawings in
‘So This Is College’.

Although typography strokes were used
prior to the 1930’s, they were taken to the next level in this decade. Strokes
were used to make text appear three-dimensional in movie posters such as ‘Check
and Double Check’ and ‘The Devil is a Sissy’.

The 1940’s seems to be the year when
comedy movie posters actually had a fun and energetic feel to them. Oversized
heads were used in the poster ‘A Night in Casablanca’ and there are smiles all

Experimental compositions started to
come into play in the 50’s. Prior to the 50’s, most posters were made up from
individual images and some typography, whereas in the 50’s posters are composed
using several different images – a huge step in the movie poster world, giving
it’s viewers more of a feel for the movie.

As colour was becoming easier to
process, more bright and vivid color schemes were being used in movie posters
of the 60’s. Bright blues, pinks and oranges were used in ‘Once More, With
Feeling!’ as well as what looks like real developed photographs instead of
illustrated paintings.

The 70’s saw hand-drawn sketches being
merged with photographic portraits in Walt Disneys ‘Boatniks’, early use of
grid-based design in ‘Trafic’, and simple two-color color schemes such as that
used in the ‘Outrageous!’ movie poster.

Minimalism became a big trend in movie
poster design in the 80’s that posters such as ‘They All Laughed’, ‘Fast
Times’, ‘Private School’ and ‘Bad Medicine’ all followed. Grid-based design
continued to grow, with more and more elements in the posters being aligned to
one another to create an easy composition for the eyes to scan.

Minimalism was still a huge
factor of movie poster design, as well as grid-design. However, the posters do
look much more adventurous, using different techniques to attract the viewers
attention. In 1995 ‘Toy Story’ was released, along with it came several superb
animated film posters using handfuls of technology. ‘American Pie’ broke the
rule of the grid, purposely tilting the grid sideways to create a unique look

Now days you can tell the
comedy film posters as they have become more of the same with each poster
looking similar to on another. This could be that most comedies are cheap to
produce and distribute and as an effect means that having posters that people are
already familiar with will make sure they know what their getting into.


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