Good Design Thursday - Entry #2

This week I'm showcasing teaser one-sheets from a few comic book movies of the late 80's and early 90's - Tim Burton's Batman, Dick Tracy and The Rocketeer.


Movie posters have one purpose - provide some sort of image and/or message about the movie that will entice people to want to see it. At the most basic level, most posters succeed at this, but sometimes a poster will come along that goes a bit further than the rest and becomes something that can be enjoyed on its own. (In rare occasions you can even have a poster that is appreciated more than the movie it was created for and is a topic that will be explored in a future entry). For me, the testament of a great movie poster is whether I would want to frame it and hang it on my wall. These three posters achieved that for me (and one of them does indeed hang in my home).  

When you look at posters for comic book movies today, the vast majority of them are photoshopped images of the actors portrayed as their comic book personas. Which is fine in most cases, because that is really all most moviegoers need to see. Back in '89, '90 and '91, when these three films were released, respectively, they all went another direction. Aside from the regular-release poster for the Rocketeer, none of the one-sheets for these three films featured photos of any of the actors, which is unheard of these days. The bat-symbol dominates the Batman poster, even breaking through the edge. All of the posters for Dick Tracy played up the comic-strip origin of the characters with bold colors and catchy taglines. The design for the first poster for the Rocketeer went with a colorful Art Deco approach, in keeping with the 1930's setting for the film. In each instance, a stylized approach, using a minimal number of elements, is used to capture the essence of the character and movie.