20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    written by Tom Walker

    If you’re looking for typographic inspiration, look no further than the posters hanging in your local movie theatre. Such posters can make or break movies. So central are they to promotion in the run up to major releases that everything about them has to be eye-catching, original and engaging. Other promotional products are generally useful, but hardly have the impact that the poster can.

    Rather then rely solely on images, many designers bring typography centre stage when creating such posters. It is, after all, the movie name and release date which are the most important messages to convey. You’ll find typography at its most cutting-edge and stimulating in the 20 examples below. The movies themselves weren’t necessarily critical successes, but each poster is a classic.

    This post is sponsored by Uprinting.com, a company that provides affordable poster printing services.

    1. Ex-Lady (1933)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Designer Daily

    The strong, glamorous Helen Bauer, played in the movie by Bette Davis, rests against a set of wonderfully stylized art deco fonts, typical of the era.

    2. Bunny Lake is Missing (1965)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Asaka

    Simple, but striking, the thick brush-stroke-like font employed in this poster, reminiscent of a homemade sign, matches the movie’s missing child storyline.

    3. El Condor (1970)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Designer Daily

    A stone fortress sits atop the words “El Condor”, which taper towards the top to underline the building’s impenetrability- a theme central to the plot.

    4. As Good as it Gets (1997)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: I Am Gabz

    Those who have seen this terrific movie might not feel that this poster represents its story and mood that well. Nevertheless, the ribbon-like font, which dances across, is truly stunning.

    5. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: ViceLand

    A Snellen chart has been chosen as the subject matter for this poster for a movie about gradual loss of sight. While somewhat unimaginative, the way in which the letters darken, as they approach the key information at the bottom, is very effective.

    6. Gangs of New York (2002)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Jason Cypret

    Bill “The Butcher” Cutting’s top hat is ever-present in Scorsese’s 2002 epic. It’s only right, therefore, that it should feature in the movie’s poster. The letters are shaped to recreate the hat’s tall, concave form.

    7. Big Fish (2003)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Joblo

    What Big Fish lacks in script and acting prowess, it makes up for in creativity. Its poster is every bit as inventive. The film’s title sprouts tall, wiry branches.

    8. Walk the Line (2005)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Steve Jencks

    The vector graphics method has been used here to make a poster that’s bold, slick and striking.

    9. Vacancy (2007)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Movies.si

    Dark, moody and textured, this poster sets the bar very high for Nimrod Antal’s horror/thriller, which doesn’t even come close to matching the success of this design.

    10. The Invisible (2007)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Al Finite

    If you want to remain invisible, you need to stay away from two things: flour and water! Going out in the rain is never advised as your form will instantly be revealed. The letters which make up the title here are white and wispy- the next best thing to being invisible in cinematic terms.

    11. Charlie Bartlett (2007)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Owl Pellets

    The words “Charlie Bartlett” make up the sunglasses in this Warhol-esque arrangement.

    12. The Spirit (2008)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Seat42f

    Lit perfectly, this is a poster every bit as cinematic as the movie itself. The words “My City Screams” are “built” from weathered bricks.

    13. Taken (2008)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Filmwad

    The typography in this poster perfectly reflects the film’s dark atmosphere with words lurking in the shadows. The film’s title, printed in bright orange to stand out against a gloomy backdrop, is upstaged by a gleaming gun.

    14. Burn After Reading (2008)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Fata Culture

    The somewhat misshapen, irregular font used here harks back to movie posters of old, such as the classic example for Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Vertigo.

    15. Blindness (2008)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Scrape TV

    This, the second film about blindness here, also features a Snellen chart-type layout with one large letter at the top and smaller letters below. Everything’s a blur except for the key info.

    16. Flow (2008)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Princeton Water Watch

    Negative space typography has been used to great effect in this poster for a 2008 documentary about the privatization of water infrastructure.

    17. 2012 (2009)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Diet Rich Thrall

    Less is more in this terrific poster. A chink of light in the “1” of 2012 symbolizes the light at the end of the tunnel and hope for the human race as we know it.

    18. The Limits of Control (2009)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Trailer Tracker

    Thanks to the superb typography and other imagery in this poster, you can be forgiven for thinking that this film dates back to the 60s. In fact, it’s a new film, albeit a flop that you probably missed at the cinema.

    19. Watchmen (2009)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Forbidden Planet

    Forget about the main image in this poster, which is absolutely dazzling in itself, the font and color used in the film’s title is perfect. So clean, so clear and so instantly reminiscent of the comic book on which this movie’s based.

    20. Zombieland (2009)

    20 Eye-catching Examples of Typography in Movie Posters

    Image: Horror Challenge

    Zombieland is clearly a place you don’t want to visit. The orange, glowing typography, set against a spherical world, is reminiscent of the Planet Hollywood sign.

    Any favorites?

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    Authored by

    Blogs and designs for a provider of cheap HP OfficeJet ink, toners and paper print accessories. You can read more of his writing about print media and advertising on their blog, CreativeCloud.

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19 Comments
ADD COMMENT
  • Hesham @ FamousBloggers says:

    May 3, 2010

    Amazing! I have no idea from where you guys get these awesome stuff ;)

  • Simone D'Amico says:

    May 3, 2010

    Thanks for post! :)

    Nice showcase of posters!

  • jared thompson says:

    May 4, 2010

    Dancer in the Dark is a genius idea for a movie poster!

  • jared thompson says:

    May 4, 2010

    Walk the line, sin city and zombieland are also great favorites! Brilliant selection of posters here :)
    Not seen zombieland would people recommend btw?

  • Digital Art Empire says:

    May 4, 2010

    awesome love film posters cheers Tom

  • Anne Ashley says:

    May 4, 2010

    Great collection. Since the introduction of lithography allowed multiple colors to be printed repeatedly on large sheets of paper, the commercial poster has been a primary beneficiary of the technology. Advertising for the circus, politics, products and later, movies. Lithography is not all that old. Nor is printing.

    Thanks for the memories

  • rod rodriguez says:

    May 4, 2010

    I’m a huge fan of movies, and movie posters… I like your selection… thank you very much for sharing.

  • Logo Design says:

    May 4, 2010

    I think half of the message about movie is given through these posters. So if the poster is entertaining, definitely people will come to watch the movie.

  • Matches Malone says:

    May 4, 2010

    Would’ve liked it better had the individual fonts been identified, where possible…. Still a good lesson in font design.

  • Pablo G says:

    May 4, 2010

    The “Dancer in the Dark” poster is fantastic. I’d never seen it before. Can’t believe that was ten years ago…

  • Holly says:

    May 5, 2010

    Great stuff!!! I love the Gangs of New York one and the Big Fish one!

  • sriganesh says:

    May 5, 2010

    the zombie island and invisible is fav ! nice collection and good inspiration .

  • flip says:

    May 8, 2010

    Nice list. I like your all poster so much.

  • Michael says:

    May 9, 2010

    Great collection. Since the introduction of lithography allowed multiple colors to be printed repeatedly on large sheets of paper, the commercial poster has been a primary beneficiary of the technology. Advertising for the circus, politics, products and later, movies. Lithography is not all that old. Nor is printing.
    +1

  • Sergei Tatarinov says:

    May 14, 2010

    Great post! My top one is Zombieland, the film is low for me but the poster is mega..

  • Image Masking says:

    May 19, 2010

    It was really gr8 post!
    thanks for sharing…
    I love it! :)

  • Label printer says:

    July 6, 2010

    It should be very difficult to get the right typology for a movie, I guess that only with the right expertise you could get that exact type.

  • Las Vegas Web Design says:

    July 29, 2010

    Nice movie posters! Worth of my time. Las Vegas Web Design

  • lzkim says:

    November 13, 2010

    Nice Collection…. I love the Ex-Lady posters.. :-) looks Hot!!