Movie Poster DesignA70-8455.jpg

Movie poster design is a key component of the movie industry.
Movie poster designs are collected as works of art in their own right, and original posters of some movies can sell for $1,000’s of dollars!

Much like book cover design, the movie poster speaks more through visuals and graphics than it does with text.
The visuals must be interesting enough to grab our attention and leave us wanting more (by seeing the movie of course)!
The design must set the tone and atmosphere of the movie, without giving anything away about the story.

The Objective
Students will learn;
  • How to create large format designs properly for print
  • How to create designs with which reflect the atmosphere and tone of a story
  • Digital Photography and scanning
  • Visual storytelling techniques in design

Movie Poster Project

Create a poster design for the fictitious movie title we decided upon in class. Your design must reflect the tone of the story.
You may only use scanned images or from a digital camera, no Internet images!
Project Specifications

You will be working in groups again to develop your ideas.
You must have three thumbnail sketches before proceeding to the computer.
Photoshop 11 x 17 / RGB / 300 dpi resolution

The poster must have the following information;
  • The Movie titleBatmanBeginsPoster230405.jpg
  • Names of main actors/actresses (Use your friends names)
  • Directors name (choose a real director)
  • Release Date (when will the movie be in theaters?)

  • Film production company logo
    (Lucasfilms, 20th century fox, Warner Bros., etc.)
  • Rating of the movie (Choices include: G, PG, PG-13, or R)
  • Dolby Stereo logo

When design is complete, flatten image, Save as a Tiff

Name your file “poster -- with your name. (ex: poster-keaney.tif)

  • Write a one-paragraph summary of what your fictitious movie is about. Is it horror, sci-fi, drama or comedy? Know what your story is about BEFORE you start designing.
  • Create thumbnails for the design – research other poster design for inspiration
  • Start collecting images through scanning or digital photography – you cannot use any images found on the internet!
  • Bring it all together in Photoshop
  • The top three designs will be printed 150% larger to the poster size of 15 x 22.5

Extra Credit
For extra credit, add the name and titles of the production crew.
Production Credits

(you will need both the official titles listed below as well as names for these people):
  • Name of the production company
  • Name of the producercasablanca_POSTER.jpg
  • Costume Designerdeparted_xlg.thumbnail.jpg
  • Film Editor
  • Production Designer
  • Director of Photography
  • Executive Producer(s)
  • Producer
  • Screenplay
  • Director

(NOTE: All of the names of the people in the credits must be names of people within your circle of friends, family, etc. You may not use names that belong to already famous people):

Poster Design tips:

Ide­ally, you want your poster design to have one sin­gle fea­ture item, that’s one thing that stands out and grabs the viewer’s atten­tion. If your design is dragged down by too many col­ors, too many tex­tures or just too much “stuff,” that’s not going to hap­pen.

Look at your design and ask your­self, what is the focus here? Is it clear? Does it stand out?

A poster is all about grab­bing someone’s atten­tion. Don’t get bogged down try­ing to tell a story with text. Instead, rely on graph­ics.
  1. Arrange the design and lettering to attract the attention of passers-by (from around 10 feet)
  2. Text and design should be large enough to be seen from around 10 feet.
  3. Use harmonious color combinations – hold the design together with a background color.
  4. Design and text style must complement each other.
  5. Capture the tone of the movie (horror, action, sci-fi) within the overall design.

Movie Poster Gallery

Great Movie posters

More great movie posters

The process of designing a movie poster