Here is one way to stand out in a crowd. Take the imagery right out of the poster and go almost entirely with text. Looking like a paperback novel from the 1960s, the key art for Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird only graphic elements are a small crow on a white cross and a series of warm colour bars along the sides. It’s bold in its own way for avoiding the usual faces of the stars of the film (Saoirse Ronan has a particular striking visage). I doubt you will ever see this as a trend – note the missing credit block, which makes this more of a teaser poster than the ‘real thing.’ Nevertheless, I applaud the restraint and taste here. It works.
Text is a powerful tool in the poster design arsenal. As I mentioned with last weeks poster, so is a single iconic token. Here we have Colin Firth’s tortoise-shell glasses, missing a lens, and text implying that the sequel to the sleeper spy movie of 2014, The Kingsmen will indeed feature Firth back in some role. The text serves the role to remind folks exactly what when down in the last film regarding the biggest British star in the cast.
If you want the flip side of care or creativity, look no further than the posters for Gus Van Sant’s still unreleased Sea of Trees, which is just a few bordered stills of the actors (concerned, bored?) faces overlayed on vaguely coloured or sepia toned backgrounds. Ouch, this is walmart sales-rack bad. If you must: Here, here and here. I would still very much like to see the film, which is set in Japan’s ‘forest of sadness,’ and got booed at Cannes a couple years ago (this is usually a good sign for me), but man, the marketing campaign is doing the film no favours.
I don’t know who started the trend in movie posters of splashing big font text across the front of the movie posters. Was it the Italian movie, I Am Love? Was it Michael Clayton or The Social Network? Certainly these three films popularized things to the point where it is quite ubitquitous at this point. Nevertheless, As trends go, it is one of the better ones, and I dig how Sundance entry The Kings of Summer handles the characters jumping thru the text, as it were. Also, isn’t the green palette here kind of magnificent? Here is some fine key art that just got me to buy a movie ticket.