How To Design Your Movie Poster (For The VOD Age)

How To Design Your Movie Poster is a guest post by film graphic designer, Ela Gancarz

Having a good movie art is very important if you want to sell your film.

And although the need to design your movie 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.

Anything you design to market your movie should be created using a high resolution!

Taking time to design your movie poster is a good first step in your overall branding strategy. 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.

Before designing any graphic elements you should decide on the message you want to communicate.

Design Your Movie PosterHow To Design Your Movie Poster

Part 1 – STYLE

When you set out to design your movie poster, you need to first 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 when you design your movie poster 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 have to forgo photos for representative drawings, which would make your poster illustrated rather than photographic.

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.

Designing your movie poster may at times seem less exciting than actually making your movie, it is essential. And taking time to design your movie poster the right way can be rewarding when you see your movie sales increase!

If you’d like more information on how to design your movie poster, reach out. . .

Logo Design For Filmmakers Part 2

Designing a logo is no easy task and it is always better to hire a professional graphic designer to do it. However, if you’d like to know how to design a logo for your filmmaking business, this short tutorial will show you some basic steps to follow.

As an example, we are going to create a production company called “Byway Films”.


First of all, we need to do some research on font style we want to use with our logo. We have two words: “Byway” and “Films” which we can write in two different ways. Using a maximum of two fonts of different weights in a logo is standard practice. Sometimes it’s possible to separate words from each other by keeping the same font, but changing their size or color. However, we should consider that seeing too many typefaces at once causes confusion!

Let’s try to write down the name of the company using different fonts:

When you’re designing your own logo, the tip you can use is to go on some websites with font libraries. If you’re not a graphic designer and you don’t know how to create your own customized font, you can go on where you’ll find thousands of free fonts which you can easily download.

This website also allows you to type the name of your company and preview it across many different fonts available in the library. It’ll also help you to check quickly what looks good or not with your logo.


Once we have some possible fonts selected, we can also try to add an icon to the logo. First of all, we need to search for some images, pictures or shapes that symbolize cinema or filmmaking. Here are some examples:

Now, let’s try to find a shape or a symbol that represents the company’s name…

Finally, we need to match the shape of the road to one of the film symbols. In my opinion, the best solution is to merge the square shape of the film with a curved line of the road. I also suggest keeping the icon as clean and modern as possible — the more simple it is, the more memorable it will be to the audience!


Now the next step is matching a font to the style of the icon. We need to make sure that the icon and the font do not compete with each other for attention. Otherwise, the viewers won’t know where to focus! For this reason we’ll choose a very simple font.

Once we’ve selected the font and matched to the icon, the ultimate goal is choosing a color. The best decision is to choose one or two colors that will facilitate recognition of the brand. But we should remember that a good logo has to be readable also in black and white!

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Ela Gancarz is an art director and designer who specializes in branding, entertainment advertising, commercials and web strategies across a variety of media including film, photography and installation art. Find out more about Ela’s services by visiting

How To Brand Yourself As A Filmmaker

How To Brand Yourself As A Filmmaker (Part 1)
By filmmaker and graphic designer, Ela Gancarz

Everyone’s talking about personal branding these days, but not everyone understands what it does and why it’s important. As a filmmaker, you might be thinking to yourself, “do I really have to care about my brand?” In today’s Internet focused world, personal branding is no longer reserved solely for celebrities.

If you’ve been using social media or your website, you have probably already developed a brand!

A personal brand is the entire perception of a person. It’s all about who you are and what you want to be known for. It refers to the way other people see you. A ‘personal brand’ is in many cases synonymous with your reputation. It’s so much more than a simple logo!

As a filmmaker, you can use personal branding to build trust with your target audience. When people readily know you and they associate your brand with your face, it will be much easier to raise money for a new production or to sell your movie.

If you’d like make your personal brand stronger or to create a new one, you need to set goals for your public image. Your first task is to find your brand identity and develop a style guide. Here are three essential steps to do this:

Step One: Your Identity.

First of all you should ask yourself a few questions to find your personal brand identity. For example: what words would you use to describe yourself? What do people usually say about you? What makes you different from everyone else? What kind of films do you like? What do you want others to think of you? Then write down your answers.

Step Two: Your Audience.

Your personal brand is not only built from your thoughts but also from reactions of other people. That’s why you should determine the audience you want to target. Once you have established a niche, it’s important to reflect what those people want or expect from you. Write down your thoughts.

Step Three: Your Style.

Now, compare two lists and identify some qualities that you want others to associate with your brand. Remember that personal branding is how we market ourselves to others. After figuring out your brand attributes, try to match a corresponding style. It can be expressed visually with a logo, colors, forms, images (I’ll give more details about that in another post) or in the way you act or talk. Think about your personal brand each time you interact with someone.

Your style should be:

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  • Simple and memorable. Your personal brand has to communicate clearly who you are. People will remember only a few things about you so focus only on elements that really contribute something to your brand.
  • Unique. Your style should be distinctive and unique. But you don’t need to sit down and study how to be different! You ARE special! Try to take your life as the basis of your expertise.
  • Modern. Keep your brand modern, fresh and actual. It should always feel inspiring to you and to your audience.
  • Personal. Try to be yourself – it is your PERSONAL brand. Stand strongly behind it. Don’t apologize for it. And don’t be afraid to speak your mind!


Finally having your personal brand identity, you need to apply it consistently across many activities. Create a website or blog, participate in social media. Whether you like it or not, the world is turning digital at very fast pace and you need to manage your reputation, both online and in real life.

Remember that your personal brand may add value to each new product, film or campaign you create. People will follow your brand from project to project but only if they feel connected and attracted to it. It’s time to take control of all those impressions!