Film or movie posters are prints used to advertise a film, as, hopefully, you had it figured out by now. Usually there are several versions for the same film and most of the time they differ from one continent or country to another, which makes sense if we think of the cultural differences or the various expectations of the audiences. There are also variations on the same theme with regard to size and more recently, mediums of representation.
But there is another category of film posters out there which is not directly linked to promoting a particular film, and these are the tribute posters. They can be created by fans or function as creative exercises for graphic designers and artists of all backgrounds.
Of course, not all films receive this special treatment, that’s why we’ll narrow our conversation down to one film director and his films: Stanley Kubrick. For those born yesterday, he was one of the greatest film directors of all time. You can’t talk about the history of cinema and its major creations without mentioning at least one of his films, major landmarks for any film fan, the kind of life changing experiences you encounter every time you watch a masterpiece.
Everything he did was memorable and iconic, and his film posters had always been doing justice to the product they were promoting. He would spend years on one film, and his perfectionism was translated in several other aspects connected to his films, like the posters. There are many stories about Kubrick and the way he would reject perfectly beautiful prototypes for film posters. For instance, for his 1980 psychological horror “The Shining”, graphic designer Saul Bass proposed as many as 300 different designs before one was chosen. He would send a letter with every poster where he would explain his choices. Thus, creating film posters can be a demanding process. Only when done with the right people. If you think to print your own posters we suggest overnight prints.
So you can imagine that by making some awesome graphic posters of one’s films is a great way to honour an artist. Kubrick’s films have been more frequently honoured with posters ‘in memory of’ than any other film director, accentuating the importance of his work not just for generations of filmmakers, but also designers. Like in a ritual, looking back at his films comes with a new set of posters. Encapsulating his complex productions in one scene has always been a challenge even for designers, like Brandon Schaefer, who never worked with Kubrick, but created posters just to pay tribute to his remarkable films. Or take for instance this set of pictogram by poster-maker Viktor Hertz to remember the iconic director. To mention just a few.
Of course, it is possible that in some cases, the posters are much better than the film itself. The opposite is also valid. However, tribute or originals, Kubrick’s films are honoured by great posters and the genius that started all this influx of creativity is to be blamed.