You’ve seen it on ads and most recently on movie posters. You know those character movie posters with ominous text running down the front. We at inSing first saw it on The Social Network last year and surprise, surprise, movie poster designers seems to be catching on with the trend. Since then we have been seeing a slew of movie posters with text-over-face-poster bandwagon.
“I do think the directness of the design works well,” says Little Ong, founder and creative director of multi-disciplinary creative communications company, Ffurious. The company’s expansive portfolio of work includes posters for movies and film festivals, websites, advertising campaigns and photography. “I find that it gives a direct implication that the person under the typography is the main character,” Ong explains.
In contrast, independent movie reviewer and writer Dave Chua is quick to dismiss this trend: “I think it's a striking poster design but on the other hand, it grows stale with overuse. These days with internet trailers and all, posters probably aren't as important as they used to be in informing audiences about a movie.
“I don't think they have much of an effect on the actual movie, as I believe poster design is probably handled by guys who have never even seen the film,” Chua adds.
No one can deny the effectiveness of the trend. When done properly, the treatment works in capturing the attention of potential movie-goers—that is if the copy if punchy and picture striking. But like the proverbial saying goes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
“I hope I've seen the last of it,” says Ffurious’ Ong.
Here are some of the recent (and some not recent) text-over-faces movie posters:
This one caught our eye when it popped up last year. Possibly the one poster that has struck a chord among the movie-loving bunch as well as the one that started it all. The poster featuring Jesse Eisenberg mug sums up the whole premise of the film. What could make it more apt will be to add more FaceBook page elements to the treatment (at the top of the poster rather than the side…just saying).
The Social Network
The latest movie on the text-over-faces bandwagon. Newcomers to the Thor comic-lore will instantly know the characters once they see these—The God of Thunder, The King of Asgard, The God of Mischief and our personal favourite, The Woman of Science (Natalie Portman).
No, it’s not a promo poster for an Oasis revival but about Rachel McAdams’ sugary-sweet TV-set romp Morning Glory. McAdams fans were probably a tad cheesed off that her sweet face is covered by the offending text (there’s another meaning to the phrase and it’s quite risqué). Nevertheless, the treatment works and you can’t deny that the cheeky text over the three leads certainly stir your interest for this hilarious flick.
Off all The King’s Speech posters out there, this one really grabs you by the balls. Colin Firth’s handsome face juxtaposed against ‘God Save the King’ gives surety of an engaging and vivid feature. If you haven’t watched this multi-awarded historical drama, we think it’s time that you do.
Men in hats that can teleport through doors and change your fate and destiny. Sounds ominous? Of course, if it’s by Phillip K Dick. This George Nolfi-directed quasi-theological thriller starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt sees the pair running circles around NYC. The posters alone summate the premise of the movie with the protagonist, Damon and another major character on it.
The King’s Speech
We totally dig the double take. Yup, like The Adjustment Bureau poster, this 2007 drama featuring George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack has that ‘adjusted’ word emblazoned on it. But unlike the Matt Damon-Emily Blunt outing, there are no otherworldly forces at play.
Alright, before you go all ARGHHH on us. We want to show you the origin story of this trend—the movie character poster. Just washed ashore is a boatload of new posters from the new Jack Sparrow outing Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Ok, we admit. It’s more of a shameless plug. But doncha think that Johnny looks really cool up close as the salty seadog?
Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides