The Art of Illustration: Vintage Horror Movie Posters

19 Oct

This Halloween season got me thinking of some of the brilliant horror movie poster designs of years past. I’ll admit I’m not a huge classical film fan but I love the fantastic illustrated posters that were at one time the staple of every horror and sci-fi film. They have so much detail and can communicate so much about a film and it’s a bit of a shame that this look went of out style.

Because of the incredible workmanship many vintage horror posters are not only collectible but also very valuable. The movie poster for “Dracula,” directed by Tod Browning in 1931, set the world’s record of the most expensive movie poster at the price of $310,700 in 2009.

I’ve included some of my favorite vintage horror posters for your design inspiration and entertainment. Even if you don’t want to see “Frogs” or “The Amazing the Colossal Man” you can definitely appreciate the design and the craftsmanship involved in creating these pieces of art. I’ve included posters from as early as 1922 with “Nosferatu” to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in 1984. I’ll feature some more recent poster designs in my later posts leading up to Halloween. Continue reading


Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday: Night of the Living Dead

14 Oct

Happy Tuesday!! I hope everyone had a great start to their week. I’m sure you all are getting excited about Halloween! I know I am so this week I wanted to look at some “Night of the Living Dead” alternative poster designs.

The original “Night of the Living Dead” was released in 1968. The movie poster featured a mash-up of scenes from the movie and the tagline, “They wont stay dead!”…

“They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for HUMAN FLESH!…Pits the dead against the living in a struggle for survival!”

Now lets check out some alternative designs. Continue reading

What Makes a Great Movie Poster

10 Oct

Big movies are a huge business. With so much riding on a film’s success, there are big marketing opportunities for creative designers. Whether a small movie or a blockbuster, there isn’t a film that doesn’t benefit from some good advertising.

During the beginnings of cinema movie posters were displayed in theaters only. They served the same purpose as the menu at a restaurant. What flick can I enjoy today?

Today, posters not only advertise but play a big part in a movie’s memorabilia collection. The informative tone, in many cases, has been overshadowed by the terrific imagery and artistry.

It’s been about three weeks since I’ve started this blog and I feel like I’ve looked at enough posters to compile a list of the elements that make a good movie poster.

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Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday: Gravity

7 Oct

Hey, guys! I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. For this week’s Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday I wanted to check out some “Gravity” posters. “Gravity” stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and this thriller is on it’s way to becoming the highest grossing movie to open in October ever. I talked about the official “Gravity” movie poster in my first blog post, The Movie Posters of Fall 2013 and I found some cool redesigns. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the movie yet so please leave comments if you have and let me know what you thought of it! Which poster concept do you think fits the movie best?

By Daniel Lackey

Gravity 1This illustration is really neat.  I’m sure it was made digitally but the texture and look of paint is really nice. I like that the design looks just a little heavy on the right side with Bullock’s face and the title. It gives that feeling of emptiness on the left. I’m not sure if this is what the artist intended but it looks like her face acts as a close up of the figure.


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The Creative Process: The Thing Movie Poster

6 Oct

John Carpenter’s “The Thing” brought us one of the most iconic movie posters of all time. The poster not only has a great design but it has a super cool story behind it.

In 1982 artist Drew Struzan received a phone call from Universal Studios. They are remaking The Thing and they need poster art…by tomorrow. The publicity department didn’t have any photos to use as reference or even any concept art.

According to an interview with, Struzan got an immediate concept and went to work.

“It was a very odd experience,” Struzan told “I got an immediate concept, which is not unusual for me. I dressed up in a winter snow outfit and my wife took a Polaroid of me.” Continue reading

Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday: Star Wars

30 Sep

Happy Tuesday, everyone!! For this week’s Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday I wanted to look at some Star Wars. More specifically, we’re going to check out some posters from Episode IV: A New Hope. This is one of my favorite movies of the series and I love the original poster design.  I found a really cool selection of alternative designs as well.

By Tyler Stout

starwarsbg (1) The amount of detail in this poster is awesome. The illustration is so well done; that along with the ripped edges gives it a really great comic book feel. Limiting the design to only a few colors was a good choice because there is so much to look at here. I get a sense of depth because there are so many levels and layers. I could definitely stare at this poster for a long time. This guy does amazing work.  Continue reading

The Evolution of Godzilla Movie Posters: From 1954 to 2014

26 Sep

If you haven’t heard there is a new Godzilla movie coming out in 2014! After nearly thirty remakes of Ishirô Honda’s original “Godzilla” in 1954, director Gareth Edwards will put his own twist on the worldwide franchise.

From 1954 through 2004, there have been twenty-eight Godzilla films produced by Toho Studios in Japan. The first was adapted into “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” in the United States. TriStar Pictures produced a wholly American film in 1998.

“Godzilla,” produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, hits theaters and IMAX on May 16, 2014, with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston and Sally Hawkins. Continue reading

Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday: E.T.

24 Sep

Hey everyone! I have some cool news. I’m deeming Tuesdays “Alternative Movie Poster Tuesday.” Every Tuesday I’ll choose a movie and find some cool alternative designs to talk about. I was inspired to do this by one of my favorite websites, which features 1000′s of alternative movie posters from hundreds of artists, graphic designers and illustrators. I will pull many of the posters I choose from this site, as I find it’s often difficult to track down the designers of some posters and AMP always gives credit. You can also view posters by artist if you fall in love with a particular design.

For this week I chose Steven Spielberg’s E.T. This is one of my favorite movies and the poster design is iconic! I found some awesome re-imaginings as well.

By Mike Mitchell

E.T. Movie Poster Alternative Design 1

I love the color here and the choice to use such an iconic scene. The artist captured the sunset so well! The gradients are perfect. It’s landscape orientation is uncommon for a movie poster but definitely the right choice for this design. Continue reading

The Movie Posters of Fall 2013

21 Sep

Between now and Thanksgiving, a rush of potential Academy Award winning films can be expected to overflow the theaters. The end of summer brought us three impactful films with “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,”  ”Fruitvale Station” and “Blue Jasmine,” all front-runners for the 86th Academy Awards according to IMDB’s likely contenders list.  There is also, of course, a long list of winter movies with a high level of buzz. This is the usual as the studios always back-load the Oscar-worthy films so they are fresh in the Academy member’s minds. For now, I’ll stick to the movies coming out between now and November and, of course, their posters. Continue reading