As a poster designer, I’ve really enjoyed the resurgence that we’ve seen in recent years of the illustrated/hand-painted film poster. Far from just appearing in alternative movie posters, this style has taken centre stage in a lot of work, often reflecting our enthusiasm for stories with a nostalgic quality.

Which all got me thinking: What other old-time design methods might be ripe for a comeback? Here’s my top picks:

Mank poster

In Glorious Technicolour

Now it might be because colour films were considered a lot more special in the golden age of cinema, but there seems to be a wider use of colour palettes across older film posters. That’s not to say that vibrant hues are going suit every poster design – but I definitely feel that we could learn something from older poster designers’ fearless use of colour.

This Gun for Hire poster


Admittedly, there are plenty of alternative and teaser movie posters that use minimalist design. But, as a big fan of Saul Bass, I’d like to see more of these as the main event. These designs are bold, powerful and don’t waste an inch of their space.

Vertigo poster

The Right Frame of Mind

The contemporary look that takes an image all the way up to the edge of the poster is undeniably powerful – creating an impression of complete immersion in the world of the film. But I’m also a fan of the way frames and borders conjure a sense of ceremony – the feeling that this story is something a bit special.

Putting this style in the toolbox could lead to more variety in future poster design and perhaps we could even have fun with patterns, ragged borders and vignettes.

Star Wars poster

Pull Shapes

Using graphical shapes projects a distinct image that can grab our attention, communicate the film’s style and make the poster more pleasing to the eye.

Clockwork Orange poster

Fun with Fonts

Modern film posters – dare I say it – sometimes take themselves a bit too seriously. I’d love to see a playful return to the sensational typography and font layouts of vintage posters (where appropriate, of course!).

King King poster

What do you think of these techniques? Are there any that you think I’ve missed? What about any design styles that you’d like to see the back of? Let me know in the comments!

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