Graphic Design – Research Portfolio
Access to HE. Media Studies
Course Code: CJC3H001A
Tutor: Philip Shakeshaft
Unit Title: Graphic Design
Unit: Creative Imaging
Assignment: Graphic Design Research Portfolio
By Ian Hunt
PowerPoint Presentation Slide Notes
The original Blade Runner Movie Poster produced in 1982 by the Artist John Alvin whose work also included designs for posters for the Star Wars Trilogy and ET. Poster shows the main characters in the Film and the futuristic cityscape of Los Angeles in the year 2019 with its flying Police car. The images used make sure that there can be no doubt that this is a SciFi film set in the future and is therefore targeting a movie audience seeking this genre. There are other visual links to the film, the light from the slats from a window blind which features in the opening sequences of the film. The poster works well but some elements are missing such as the Pyramid shaped building and the Owl which feature prominently in the film and in particular none of the Replicants are represented.
Another design for the Film Blade Runner this time by the artist Drew Struzan. The poster features many more elements that make this SciFi film so unique and ground breaking that is the main characters and now including the Replicants in particular Roy Batty the Replicant whose image did not feature in the original film poster. The mix of cultures depicted in film by the use of Chinese and Japanese characters and glyphs on the poster. The poster does not make the link to the futuristic setting of the film as obvious as the previous poster but seems to rely on the audience being already aware of this SciFi link most probably as this is the Final Cut which came later in 1992 and again released on DVD in 2007. As before the images used are definitely targeting the adult SciFi audience.
Artist/Digital Animators un-attributed but was produced by the film advertising agency Art Machine (Part of Trailer Park) – Animated Movie Poster for Terminator Salvation originally appeared on the website of the same name promoting the film and the DVD release in 2009.
Design is of a destroyed cityscape but with a representation of the head of the T-800 Terminator superimposed over it. The Skull of the T-800 Terminator has itself become an iconic design and everyone who sees this immediately recognises it and identifies it with the Terminator films. The audience for this film would expect to see this image represented on any poster or DVD cover in the terminator series. The graphics of the destroyed cityscape informs the audience that for the first time this film is set post apocalypse unlike the preceding films in the series. Poster is targeting a SciFi audience but in particular the Terminator series fans.
Film poster design for the Movie Silence of the Lambs 1991 – Artist un-attributed but produced by BLT & Associates although there is also a reference to the original design being produced by the agency Dazu (Now defunct). Looking closely at the Deaths Head Moth positioned on the image of Jodie Fosters mouth you can see that the Moths image is made up from the bodies of 7 naked women. Reference to Salvador Dali’s gouache Female Bodies as a Skull painting. An instantly recognisable poster because of the film itself but a better poster design which included an image of the Mask that Hannibal Lecture wears in the film would be a more significant design. The Film is more for fans of Horror Movies but the poster design does not make this clear purely by its design. In fact there are few cues to the subject matter of this film only the tag line at the bottom ‘from the terrifying best seller’ gives the audience an clue.
Film poster design for the Film Pulp Fiction 1994. Artist un-attributed but produced by Indika Entertainment Advertising. Design looks more like a Magazine front cover rather than the movie poster that it is. The poster even has a price tag on it for 10 cents which further develops the idea that it’s taken from the cover of an old magazine design. This classic graphic design is taken further by depicting a femme fatale in a typical pose with additional visual links to a Film Noir. The design incorporates the appearance of a well read magazine with its creases in the cover. The title of the film ‘Pulp Fiction’ also refers to a type of publication e.g. ‘hero pulps’, Director Tarantino is known to be a fan of what is known as trash movies and publications of the 60’s and 70’s which incorporated these images. Identifying the typical target audience would be difficult using the poster design only as a guide as it does not target anyone specifically except fans of Tarantino Films.
Secretary a 2002 Film with a Poster produced by Dawn Patrol a Los Angeles Graphic Design Agency. A provocative design linking the title of the film with the image of the rear of a sexily dressed women/secretary bending over in an obviously sexy position. The inference from this image is that the film could be all about kinky office sex. This poster design has a link to the subject matter of the film but appears to be more obviously based upon an advertising agencies age old tag line i.e. ‘Sex Sells’ and it relies on this to get its message across. As to target audience it would adult and be those movie goers looking for a film with some sexual content.
Jaws 1975 Poster design by Roger Kastel who also designed the poster for
Star Wars the Empire Strikes Back. The Shark graphic is totally out of proportion to size of the swimmer. This is very much an iconic picture of the Shark which is about to attack the swimmer which it does in the opening sequence of the film. It’s also a strong image of death coming from the depths of the sea which before this film came out was previously relatively unthoughtful-of, now you cannot think of swimming in the sea without briefly considering if a Shark is out there waiting for you to take the plunge and about to attack. A poster that worked extremely well back in 1975 and still instantly recognisable today. Audience definitely adult but somewhere between those looking for a thriller and a horror movie.
The Graduate 1967 a Movie poster designed by Diener Hauser. An excellent poster that neatly encapsulated the entire film. Featuring Dustin Hoffmand as the Graduate and the legs of Anne Bancroft fixing her stockings a strong graphical representation of the mature femme fatale who eventually seduces the young graduate. Poster targets its audience very well reaching both the younger audience with its title of The Graduate and the potential to see some sex on the large screen. The bared legs of Anne Bancoft would appeal to the more sophisticated and mature cinema goer. Centrally though sex sells and that’s what the poster is doing. In the period that this poster was produced films were much more censored than they are today so this poster was somewhat risky as was the film at the time.
The Rocketeer 1991 A Disney Film. Poster designed by John Mattos. A real homage to Art Deco design and a good representation of the era that the film is set in that is pre world war II. The image strongly suggests movement/flight with its flowing lines and aerodynamic shape. The clouds in the background and the sphere at the bottom left suggest flight from the Earth and into the sky. However Disney decided the Poster did not clearly represent what the picture was about and so a replacement was commissioned which featured the stars of the film. It was felt that the original did not reach its targeted audience and that people may have been confused and thought it was a Disney Animation. The original poster does seem to target a very young audience which most probably confirms why Disney commissioned a replacement to target a more adult audience although the film itself still feels like a comic book.
American Beauty 1999 an instantly recognisable Film poster by Pulse Advertising. A relatively simple poster with a picture of a female torso with a rose held across the stomach. What makes the image is the tag line ‘American Beauty’ look closer, which implies beauty in America is usually seen as being skin deep and that you should look beyond this. Image can be viewed both as a vision of innocence or vision purely of a sexual nature. The Rose also plays a significant part in the film, featuring in dream sequences by the main character and the object of his desire. Targeting mainly an older audience the design seems to offer something sexual in nature and so the target audience will expect the film to have sexual content.
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