This week I'm looking at book design, specifically those from Chip Kidd. An author, editor and graphic designer, he is one of the most prolific book jacket designers of the last several decades, whose work has spanned every genre.
Warner Brothers released this wonderful Asian-inspired poster design for the new Fantastic Beasts film. Featuring the magical creatures from the movie, the layout was designed to allow for the image to be split into six individual posters.
The London Underground has been around for over 150 years and has produced countless posters to promote it. Many of the posters are specific for each station and showcase a nearby local attraction or landmark. Here are a few I really like, produced in 1912, 1924 and 1927, respectively.
A few weeks ago the theme was 80's fairy tales, this week I'm revisiting that theme, but this time focusing on one filmmaker - Jim Henson. Not only did he produce some of the greatest fairy tale movies...yes, the Muppet Movie is a fairy tale..., but they also all have some of the best poster designs.
This week, those who exercised their right to vote received a sticker acknowledging their participation. While many voters received a generic flag sticker, some states handed out their own personalized stickers. Here are some really nice designs from Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada and New York.
This weekend is the opening for the new movie version of the classic fairy tale - The Nutcracker. The 1980's not only produced some of the best fairy tale movies, but also received some of the best posters to accompany them. Here is a really nice poster for the new Nutcracker, along with a few classic posters from 80's fairy tale movies.
There are a lot of great designs for Halloween related movies. Picking the images for this week’s post was actually harder than I thought it would be and could have gone in a lot of different directions. In the end, I settled on three that can be described as iconic, creepy and scary.
I love designs that utilize negative space well and one of the best at using it is the artist Banksy. With his recent auction house stunt that shredded one of his paintings, moments after being sold, it made me think of some other designs I really like that use negative space - a Daredevil cover by Paolo Rivera, a really nice color and black & white piece by Mathiole and an unused concept for Star Wars from 1976.
Sometimes even bad movies end up with some really nice posters. Here are a few I really like. First up, Army of Darkness from 1993, which got this wonderfully painted homage to Frank Frazetta. Next up is Dungeons & Dragons from 2000. A really nice poster of the cast and the titular dragon, for what was unfortunately a forgettable film. Last is Sucker Punch from 2011. The movie made no sense, whatsoever, but the poster has got everything...swords, guns, a giant robot, WWII bomber, a fire-breathing dragon and I love the way the title is integrated into the overall design. Instead of just being text over an image, it feels as though it's trying to punch (pun intended) its way out.
A new documentary is in theaters now that follows the career of Rock & Roll legend Joan Jett. The film got an awesome one-sheet to go along with it. Here are a few other music documentary one-sheets I really like as well.
This weekend is the annual Baltimore Comic Con, so let's look at cool logos for some comic-con's from around the country. I love the bold text and fun graphic elements that make each of these distinctly unique. In addition to the Baltimore Comic Con logo we have here the logos for All Star Comic Con from Northern Virginia, Awesome Con from Washington D.C., Dragon Con from Atlanta, Emerald City Comic Con from Seattle and San Diego Comic Con.
I really like these posters for the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody movie - one for each member of the band. It's impossible to look at these and not immediately hear these songs in your head.
This week I'm showcasing a few logos that I really like. The first is from this year's Oscars. This year was the 90th presentation of the award and the designer came up with a simple and awesome way to link the text. The icon of the statue also fits nicely inside the "A". Next is the logo for a James Bond comic book series from a few years back. Designed by Rain Hughes, the text overlaps and links together in a very natural way that leads your eye through the design. Last is the logo for Escape Velocity, the annual convention organized by the Museum of Science Fiction. The designer found a creative way to link the words by using the mirror image in the shapes of the "A" and "V". The varying weight of the font from heavy to thin is a subtle play on the name of the convention, since an object appears smaller as it moves farther away.
I recently came across posters for two upcoming movies - A Simple Favor and King of Thieves. One is a psychological thriller, the other is a heist movie based on a famous real-life robbery. Both poster designs appear to be inspired by one of the greatest graphic designers of the 20th century - Saul Bass. He created some of the most well-known and easily recognizable movie posters and corporate logos over the course of his career, which stretched from the 1950's to the 1980's. Even if you've never heard his name, you know and have seen his designs, many on a regular or even daily basis.
Last week's entry focused on brand-name cereals, this week's entry is focused on store-brand cereals. Every grocery store has got their own generic versions of the well-known brand-name products...Fruit Loops, Cocoa Puffs, Captain Crunch, you name it, there's a store-brand version. These store-brands often have their own mascots, along with artwork and designs as bright and catchy as their more famous counterparts. Even though they may not be as well-known, they are just as fun to look at and appreciate the creativity of the designs.
I love cereal boxes. With their bright colors, bold designs and cool mascots, they are always fun to look at while walking down the cereal aisle of the grocery store. Cereal manufacturers also frequently partner with studios, publishers, toy companies, etc. for various promotional campaigns. In some instances the box art and mascots themselves are even adapted to the specific promotion. General Mills did this several times over the last few year's with some of their cereals. First they reimagined their mascots as Star Wars characters, then as DC Comics superheroes and most recently took on a music theme for a Shazam promotion.
Frank Cho has built a reputation over the last several decades as one of the top writers and illustrators in the world of comic books. He began with his own independently produced titles and is now sought out by many publishers to provide the cover art for their books. It is two of his most recent covers that I am spotlighting here. Over the last several months he provided variant covers for Batman #48 and Harley Quinn #47, using the same technique for both. In each instance all shading and sense of depth was accomplished via incredibly detailed and intricate line work of varying direction, weight and closeness. If you look closely, there are no areas of pure black. The Batman cover is suitably Gothic in nature, which is appropriate for the character, yet Cho adds a sense of playfulness with the inclusion of Catwoman and her feline friends. The Harley Quinn cover shows off her carefree personality. Also, where the Batman cover stays strictly black and white, this one adds a dash of color to the ponytails in her trademark multi-colored hair.
Teaser posters for movies are supposed to do just that, give the audience a minimal amount of information...an image, a recognizable name, or even just a title, along with a tagline line...just enough to catch the viewer attention and pique their curiosity. Here are a few of my favorites. First, from 1982, is this gorgeous illustration by John Alvin of the spaceship peaking through the clouds. Next is Dune, by Tom Jung, from 1984. The double moons, over the desert landscape, together with the tagline hint at the epic story being told. Last is Dances with Wolves, from 1990. It omits the name of the film, relying instead on the star power of Kevin Costner's name and an image of buffalo stampeding through the mist and fog, with a tagline that gives a glimpse into his character's journey.
The concept of the Triptych in art has been around for centuries, but it only found its way into the world of movie posters a few decades ago. Since then it has been used quite a few times. The idea is simple - one image split into three equal sections, each one telling a part of a larger story. Here are a few of my favorites. First, from 1997, the Star Wars Trilogy Special Editions, illustrated by Drew Struzan. Everything radiates out from the center, with each section focusing on specific characters with their own highlight color. Next is Cars 2 from 2011. This installment takes the characters around the world and each section highlights the different international settings from the film. After that is Tron Legacy, also from 2011. The main center image is reminiscent of the poster for the first film, with both of Jeff Bridges characters on each side. The last two are Alice in Wonderland from 2010 and Oz, the Great and Powerful from 2013. Both of these triptychs demonstrate a different way to be able to feature all of the characters, without squeezing them all onto one poster.
Last week was San Diego Comic-Con and in addition to all of the news, celebrity appearances and merchandise, the studios and publishers also flood the convention with promotional freebies to generate interest in their upcoming releases. One of the most common items given out to attendees are promotional posters of varying sizes. Here are a few that I feel stand out from the pack this year. First is a poster for the sequel to the recent Godzilla movie. Like something out of Dante's Inferno, we are given just a glimpse of several of the monsters as they clash in the smoke and haze. Epic is the first word that comes to mind when I look at this. Next is a painting by Bill Sienkiewicz for the upcoming chapter in the Halloween movie saga. The specks of red splashed in front of Michael Myers is a nice subtle touch to an otherwise simple, yet frightening image. Next is a nice promo image for the Bumblebee solo movie this Christmas. A simple color scheme with an almost hand-drawn look to it, it's impossible to not look into his eyes. Last is a promo poster for the sequel to Fantastic Beasts. Slightly more conventional, in that it uses photos of the actors, I really like the overall Art Deco design and layout.