Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Typography and Design in Modern Genre Movie Posters

This recent article in PASTE took on the simple task of how to help readers sort out the genres of movies on NETFLIX by looking at the posters. It soon became a more interesting meditation on how modern movie marketing has taken on its own set of tropes when it comes to what viewers expect as far as typography and design elements in posters for various movie genres.  The one almost-universal in current movie posters is the use of the Trajan / Trajan Pro font.  Another is that studios try to create a quirky individual image for "indie" films with the use of cartoony graphics and hand-drawn fonts, but end up making their poster indistinguishable from every other indie movie's.
Here are a few of the genres, but follow the link to see many more.

Hunter Communications original news source:

Link to article:
Type on Screen: Use Movie Poster Design to Pick A Flick on Netflix Instant

Excerpt: " Unless you want to spend your time on Netflix Instant like this, you have to judge a movie by its cover.
There are hundreds of movies to scroll through in your queue, and it’s time-consuming to sift through descriptions. To solve this problem, we looked for movie poster type and imagery trends in 10 popular movie subgenres over the past 10 years. Instead of spending the runtime of a movie trying to choose something to watch, you’ll be able to tell if it’s a movie you’re in the mood for at a glance!
 1. Psychological Thriller: These movies are all about the smoke and mirrors, so it’s not surprising that the majority of the film covers we looked at incorporated smoke or fog into their design. Type usually takes a backseat to imagery. It’s relegated to the lower or upper center, is white, and is usually a sans-serif like DIN Next or Akzidenz-Grotesk Std. The characters shown in these posters have part of their faces obscured or have their backs turned looking over their shoulder. All of these design elements combine to create a cold, suspenseful, and cerebral mood.
Superhero:  Superhero posters feature the hero or the hero’s symbol front and center. Pretty much every single member of the supporting cast with dialogue will be pictured in the background, arranged in accordance to the popularity of the actor. Preferably, something will be on fire or glowing. Typography includes a whole lot of Bank Gothic or 3-D versions of sign-painter typefaces like Avengeance and American Captain

Indie Romance:  Hand-drawn type equals Indie is practically the industry standard. It’s interesting to note that handwritten typography is meant to make the movie seem unique and alternative, even though every other indie poster is doing a variation on the same theme. There will often be quirky illustrations to accompany the hand-written type."

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