Movie posters are, in their simplest form, marketing tools. They exist to convince you to fork over hard-earned money for a movie, but in the hands of a good designer, they can become art of the highest order. When I think about Alien, for example, I think about that long, brooding opening shot of the Nostromo gliding into view, and I think about facehuggers and chest-bursting and the long night of terror that is Ridley Scott’s haunted-house-in-space masterpiece, but I also think about the first time I saw that flawless poster with its flawless tagline.
Every aspect of poster design is crucial if you’re going to get it right, but one we don’t often consider is the right typeface. Over at Hopes&Fears, writer Gabriella Garcia has put together a fascinating study of 10 iconic posters and their typography, from the hand-drawn brilliance of Metropolis to the surprisingly problematic history behind the Jurassic Park lettering. If you’re a movie buff, a typography nerd, or just someone who can’t stop staring at the original Halloween poster whenever you see it, you’ll want to give it a read.