It’s pretty clear that posters are an awesome medium for design. Whether it’s a gig poster for a band, a movie poster or an advertisement, there’s always potential to make something compelling. So with that in mind, here’s 5 posters that spring to my mind as great design.
1. Drew Struzan’s ‘the Thing’
I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Not only does it look great, but knowing the story behind it cranks the wow factor up to 11.
If you don’t know the story, Drew Struzan painted this gem in one night. He received a phone call one evening to make the poster… Due the following morning. So he put on a parka, got some reference photos, and painted all night. The paint probably wasn’t even dry by the deadline.
2. Josef Müller-Brockmann’s 1955 Beethoven
This one’s another classic you’ve probably seen. Of all of Müller-Brockmann’s posters, this one has to be my favourite. It’s hard to say precisely what makes it so, but it really resonates with me.
The circular pattern of the bars remind me of the layout of an orchestra. Perhaps they are a visual representation of Beethoven’s sometimes claustrophobic sound. Either way, it’s a simple design that says so much, and that’s why I love it.
3. Movie Poster for
‘The Last Temptation of Christ’
This poster is what inspired me to write this post in the first place. From the moment I saw it, I wanted to share it, simply because it’s so tastefully done, especially considering what else could’ve been used.
Think about it. The movie is about if Jesus decided he didn’t want to die on the cross. So there’s already immediately recognizable imagery that could’ve been used. Jesus walking away from a cross, an elderly Jesus, or his hypothetical family. So to use the Crown of Thorns in such an abstract way is brilliant. It’s still tied to the crucifixion story, but it also gives a sense of tension, which the film is full of. This poster is one of my favourite pieces, both in concept and in execution.
4. Alan Fletcher’s
‘Glass of Beaujolais’
Alan Fletcher is one of my favourite designers of all time. His work has a very playful feel, but is also immensely clever. His personal piece ‘Glass of Beaujolais’ is a perfect example of that.
When it comes down to it, this poster is no more than 3 circles and a line. But with some context, it becomes a glass of wine. This is just one sample of the visual wit that Fletcher had a knack for.
5. Mieczyslaw Wasilewski’s Polish movie poster for ‘War Games’
This is a very recent addition to my list. After watching this movie the other day, I came across this poster design, and really loved just how it relates to the movie.
If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a boy who hacks into a government computer which plays through simulations of World War 3. So as a visual representation of what’s going on in the movie as a whole, this poster does a stellar job of it. In essence, the fate of the world is really at someone’s fingertips, and the colour scheme matches that of a radiation warning sign.
How about you? What posters inspire you?