Pixel8 Look at the Best Movie Posters Of All Time
Movie posters are a much loved way of remembering and celebrating our favourite films. Some stand the test of time as great pieces of art in their own right, but all also having a marketing purpose to fulfil. They are the shop window to a new movie so they need to look great, but they also need to let you know what the movie is about, without giving too much away. They have become a big part of fan culture and something to celebrate. These are Pixel8’s favourite official movie posters, in no particular order. Let us know what you think…
Perhaps not the most imaginative poster from a design POV, but definitely the most iconic. Its simple design with a monstrous shark approaching an unsuspecting swimmer gets you on an almost primal level. If anyone is inclined to see a film because they like the thrill of being frightened in a tangible and relatable way, this poster quickly sells it to you in an obvious and unashamed way. A great piece of marketing for a great film.
Despite being replaced by the famous ‘E.T on a bike’ silhouette poster in later years, the original poster for this film was beautifully designed and very clever. A rework of Michelangelo’s famous piece, The Creation of Adam, the poster shows two outstretched hands gently touching each other, one a boy’s and one clearly an alien’s. The sparkling glimmer between the conjoined fingers speaks of a powerful connection, a coming together which is special and meaningful to both of them. There is no threat in in the tentative touch, which sets the viewer up for the tone of the entire movie. The dark backdrop showing a distant earth throws the hands into contrast making them seem more isolated from everything else and thus closer together because of it. If a picture can tell a thousand words, this one fills the quota.
This poster is wonderfully simple. The image of the naked female cropped below the navel and the red rose could not be any more overtly rooted in romance, sexuality and seduction. It could be the cover of a third-rate romance novel, if not for the sub-title American Beauty…Look Closer, which throws the whole image into a different context. Look closer at what? What am I missing? Is it not simply a story about an American Beauty? Complex contradictions are difficult to achieve in artwork that is so minimalistic, but this one firmly delivers in its execution.
Star Wars Epsiode 1: The Phantom Menace
It is the context of the poster which makes it so great. Episode 1, was one of the most widely and eagerly anticipated movies ever; the saga had had a hiatus of decades and with the original series being so well loved by fans, it was important that the initial teasers hit the mark. This poster did it perfectly. The young figure of Anakin casting a Darth Vadar shaped shadow linked the films chronologically and introduced a character who the fans knew about but had never seen before. The concept was perfect and the execution was brilliant. Showing the familiar landscape of Tatooine further linked the old with the new, wetting the appetite of Star Wars fans around the world and providing a new context for the saga as a whole.
This may seem like an odd choice because the styling is nothing special and the content is fairly basic, but as a marketing piece this is an inspired poster. What they have effectively done is create a logo which not only represents the ‘Ghost Buster’s’ team in the movie, but also the movie itself. Logos are designed to be iconic and instantly recognisable and it often takes years of dedicated marketing to get to that point. But with the simple strength of the logo and the title of the film matching the clear visual message on the poster, they have effectively created a ‘brand’ which remains one of the most iconic and recognisable in cinema history.