Movie Posters and Typography

One of the visual design assignments I would give my students was to design a movie poster. It would be for a film of their own invention, so as not o be influenced by existing posters. The assignment required them to use a number of course topics (composition, color, line, etc.). Obviously, fonts were part of the design but I realized after I received my first semester submissions that students had not given enough consideration to fonts.

I would point them to the ScreenFonts series of reviews focusing on movie-poster typography. I especially like the examples that are really type-driven designs.

blow up
UK teaser poster in the U.K.

One poster that I had used as an example that appears in that series is Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up. The one above was a teaser poster used in the U.K. that used a very font-driven design. More traditional are the two posters below. You can analyze the use of typography (Futura Black, Surveyor Fine Bold) and discuss which of the two is more effective and why. And is one more American, one more Italian?

USA Blow Up
(left) U.S. poster and a painted variation used in Italy

Retiring Fonts


Did you know that a font can retire? Adobe retired a group of fonts from their subscription library recently.

Font retirement may happen for a variety of reasons, but is typically at the request of the foundry, when a typeface is no longer available for licensing and distribution. The majority of font retirements are because the font family has been updated with significant changes that necessitate replacing it with an entirely new family. For example, Alverata PE from TypeTogether was overhauled, retired, and replaced by the family Alverata.

If a site is already using a retired font, it’ll continue to display, but once you change the font, you can’t go back to using the retired font.

Here’s a list of the retired ones:
Chemist Rough
Couture Sans
Fanwood Text
Intruder Alert
League Script No 1
Luxi Sans
Luxi Serif
New Cicle
Simply Mono
Vera Sans

More at