It’s not just the famous actors adorning a movie poster that makes them iconic. Film posters are designed to grab your attention, whilst instantly demonstrating what the movie is about in a quick visual snapshot. Film poster designers are not just challenged with conveying enough elements of the movie but they also face the task of designing a poster that stands out from the crowd and captivates their target movie audience.
But what makes them really iconic? Well, the designers here at Scratch Posters believe a strong film poster design should resonate with its audience and be instantly remembered whenever the film is mentioned. Film posters should become a timeless piece as much as the movie itself, creating excitement and an instant personal memory of the movie.
Here’s a look at our top 10 most inspiring and memorable movie posters of all time.
[MOVIE POSTER #1] JURASSIC PARK
John Alvin created this iconic poster for the blockbuster movie – Jurassic Park 1993. You may not know his name, but he also created posters for classic movies such as E.T. Batman, and Blade Runner to name but a few.
The simple black and red T-REX silhouette that evokes the movies excitement and tension is what makes this poster a true design classic! We love the use of the poster’s iconic logo design that not only fronted the movie but also cleverly themed the movie sets throughout the film too.
Proof that the poster design was a winner, the basis of the design was used on the 3 subsequent films and merchandise. Recognised instantly by Jurassic move lovers around the globe, this poster is undeniably a great piece of graphic design that will remain with movie fans for years to come!
[MOVIE POSTER #2] RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
This fabulous piece of artwork was created by Richard Amsel, for the trilogy of movies first released in the 1980’s. Capturing the action, adventure and romance of this swashbuckling archaeologist; Amsel took us into a world of fantasy and adventure. Amsel also designed and illustrated the amazing movie posters for FLASH GORDON and THE DARK CRYSTAL.
[MOVIE POSTER #3] BACK TO THE FUTURE
This film poster design by Drew Struzan faced the first of the movie trilogies, with the second and third movie designs cleverly introducing leading characters ‘Doc’ and ‘Clara’ as Marty McFly time travels through his adventures in the iconic Delorian time travelling car!
[MOVIE POSTER #4] E.T.
The E.T movie left us with two very iconic images, Elliot riding his BMX in mid-air, and the Alien and boys fingers coming together as an act of eternal friendship. Who can forget them? The image strike similarities to Michelangelo’s painting of the ‘creation of Adam’ in the Sistine Chapel.
[MOVIE POSTER #5] JAWS
The movie poster for Steven Spielberg’s horror Jaws reveals a striking painting shown on the poster created by Roger Kastel. Timeless and iconic, the image is so strong that hardly anything else needs to be on the poster.
You can almost feel the fear in the poster already without seeing the movie. The sharp shark teeth … eyes looking up to the woman swimming on the surface of the deep sea. This is strengthened by the proportion of the sea compared to the small amount of space of white above it. With a black background and bold red text signalling immediate danger, it very clear to see what’s expected from the movie.
[MOVIE POSTER #6] TRAINSPOTTING
The theme of this film poster was based on a train station departures board, and the caption ‘This film is expected to arrive 02:96’ was included to strengthen the message of the movie title.
The bold orange banner and black and white actor photography captured the tone of the movie. Dark, moody characters immersed in the underworld of the young drugs scene in the 1990’s.
[MOVIE POSTER #7] STAR WARS
There were many attempts to finalise this movie poster prior to the movie launch in 1977. The final pre-launch poster was created but many iterations before this were used as ‘test’ posters in 1976 to promote the movie. These were created before the artists had any visual reference to actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher by Hildebrandt Brothers (who created the painting in just 36 hours!) and Tom Jung who added vibrancy and detail to the Hildebrandt’s original work.
The more recognised version designed by Tom Chantrell, and is THE icon poster we all remember. With a slight advantage over the other illustrators, Chantrell had seen the movie and access to the characters prior to designing this amazing poster!
[MOVIE POSTER #8] SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
When you first look at designer Dawn Baillie’s Silence of the Lambs movie poster, you see Jodie Foster with her mouth covered up by a Death’s Head Hawkmoth, a species known for the markings on its back that look like a skull. Did you notice the skull is made up of 7 dead women!?
This makes the moth covering her mouth and blood red eyes are even more chilling, strengthening the “silence” of in the movie’s title.
[MOVIE POSTER #9] BLADE RUNNER
Blade Runner’s film poster was created by John Alvin, who also created Jurassic park Gremlins and Star Wars movie posters. In the poster, he identifies the replicants and the humans by adding more detail and texture to the face of Harrison Ford’s character, compared to the replicant
The city scape explains futuristic element of the film and the one liner “Man Has Made His Match…Now It’s His Problem” opens you up to the theme of Man vs. Android.
The theme of the movie is also conveyed in this poster and visualises enough information not to leave too much to the imagination…as a first-time viewer you’d get the gist of what the movie is all about.
[MOVIE POSTER #10] GHOSTBUSTERS
When this movie poster was created in 1984 for the GhostBusters movie, its intention was to spark interest and ask questions. It had no title, no stars listed, or even a release date. No one actually knows who created this poster design, but a perfect example of a design that captures people’s imagination.
Here at scratchposters.co.uk, we love our posters! One of our favourite posters we have worked on was our 101 MUST SEE MOVIES scratch poster. From young to old we all have our favourite films we enjoy over and over again. So, we compiled a list of 101 movies from all genres and decades; and created a visually iconic poster that will inspire movie fans to watch and scratch-off the films as they are watched!
Enjoy your movies!