How To Design Your Movie Poster
By filmmaker and graphic designer, Ela Gancarz
Having a good movie art is very important if you want to sell your film. Visual design which represents your product should compel and excite the potential viewers to influence their buying decisions and to create a good perception of the film. To improve your results, your movie art must create an immediate impact and touch the audience on the right emotional level.
The starting point of your overall brand strategy is your movie poster design. But before designing any graphic elements you should decide on the message you want to communicate.
Here are three aspects of a great movie poster design that you should consider:
Part 1 – STYLE
Decide what kind of movie your poster is going to represent. You should try to convey the general mood of your film to its graphic design. For example, if you work on an action or horror movie poster, you should create an intense or dark atmosphere – if it’s a comedy, it would be better to choose a funny and light style. Your poster should be striking, memorable and focused on a single, clear message. When you are working on your graphic design, always make sure you think about your target audience!
Part 2 – TEXT
The next thing to focus on is the text. Apart from the movie title, your film poster must also contain a tag line (a striking sentence or branding slogan the conveys the movie’s message), the name of the director, names of main actors or characters, the release date and a billing block (credits at the bottom).
If you need to emphasize a presence of someone famous in your movie, or highlight some other particular aspect of the film, you may write it on your poster, along with making sure this information is really indispensable. Your movie poster must say just enough to make the sale and not a word more!
Part 3 – IMAGES
The most difficult step is choosing images. You should hire a great graphic designer. And your designer should help you with this. But even with the professional assistance, choosing the correct graphics can be difficult. So the best way to find out what to put on your poster is to look at other similar works or to watch some films in the same genre for inspiration.
If you don’t have any good pictures of your actors or movie scenes, you can try to substitute them for some more symbolic images. On the Internet you may find many interesting photographs that would express the mood of your film. Otherwise, you may choose to forgo photos for representative drawings, which would make your poster illustrated rather than photographic.
Although the need to print a poster may seem secondary in digital distribution era, you should always consider that most video on demand marketplaces will require your art in a relatively large format. That’s why anything you do should be created using a high resolution!
Lastly, you should use a consistent graphic design in all areas of your marketing, including website, DVD cover and all other visual collateral associated with your film. Good design is a complicated task, but can be rewarding when you see your sales increase!