Movie Posters, the Original Trailers
What would movies be without movie posters? Movie posters are great promotional materials and contribute significantly to box office sales. Movie poster prints as large, graphic formats serve as the earliest form of teasers and trailers. Over the years, aesthetic styles and direction of movie posters have changed to reflect artistic genres and artists', directors' and moviegoers' preferences. The course of these creative changes has produced some of the greatest and most memorable posters of all time.
Movies Come Alive through Posters
It's hard to document an actual list of the best movie posters of all time as a lot may argue over this point. What merits a great movie poster may depend on varying factors. Some though, have made it to the "best" list due to pure artistry, iconic imagery and graphic design. Below are two of my all time favorite poster prints, worth collecting and posting on my wall.
Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds - This poster features a bright red background with a white feather running the entire length of the poster at the center. The feather is not exactly drawn as wispy and delicate although it does not portray an overtly frightening image either. The film's title is printed horizontally at the base, the text cut by a frayed edge of the feather. The poster for me is pure Hitchcock. It only suggests or hints at the suspense, letting the human psyche complete the horror.
James Mangold's Walk the Line - A movie tracing the life of 1940's American music legend Johnny Cash. The movie poster is simple yet magnetic and engaging. Drawn in the graphic style of the 40's and the 50's the poster features a back view and profile of Joaquin Phoenix who plays Johnny Cash, with his flaming red guitar against a backdrop of stylized golden flames framed in red and black. The actor's profile is characteristically attractive and the actor is well suited to the character's brooding, cool, rock star manner. This for me is an example of how great graphic design can set the tone and artistry of the film using poster printing.