The best movie posters tell a story and it certainly is no easy job to create a visualization of a movie and capture it accurately on a page.
Seasoned and new designers take the best vintage movie posters, historical movie posters, and classic movie posters to showcase their design expertise.
The history of film posters dates back to the first silent film posters where the imaging told the story much as the poster does. Filmmakers have special budgets to get the best designers to create out-of-the-box poster designs.
We collected several of the best movie posters
One of the old movie posters which is one of the best 1920 movie posters, is the 1927 Metropolis. Only four of them exists and this iconic movie poster was valued in 2012 and reached more than $1 million. The designer of silent movie posters like Metropolis used a font that is close to a century old, yet the ideas were strong enough to be relevant today.
As one of the most famous movie posters, the redesign of Wonder Woman features a minimalist design of a woman who you can identify as a woman of power. The W remains the main element and the designer didn’t take anything away from the main protagonist who is the wonder woman.
The Rocketeer (1991)
The 1991 Rocketeer is another minimalist design using art deco. It is direct and elegant and while the movie wasn’t as great, moviegoers could identify the poster through the art and design work.
Jaws is one of the most iconic movie posters and audiences know immediately what awaits them when they see the movie poster. The exaggerated size of the shark with its massive mouth and teeth with the human swimming unaware at its top is terrifyingly real. Roger Kastel is the designer of the poster as well as the book cover for the book that preceded the movie.
When you see the poster for Oblivion featuring Tom Cruise, you immediately identify with a lone man’s rebirth, isolation, and loneliness. Everything is captured brilliantly in the poster. It is a graphic poster while it is strikingly simplified.
The ‘Empire Strikes Back’
The best posters of all time have always included the posters for the Star Wars franchise. You will immediately recognize a Star Wars poster and the Empire Strikes Back is another good example of one of the most iconic film posters.
Vertigo (1958) poster
Vertigo is an iconic movie poster that stood the test of time. Saul Bass who is legendary for his Hollywood designs is the creator of the poster for the Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller. Any viewer can identify the poster with the movie. It disorients and draws viewers at the same time, and it combines simplicity and complexity at the same time.
One of the cool old movie posters is that of Casablanca which is a black and white simplicity, featuring the main characters Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman and Humphry Bogart in the foreground and other undiscerning characters to the back. Simplistic with only the title bringing in a shot of color.
The Walk is based on the true story of a tight-rope walker. It follows the walk that Frenchman Philippe Petit accomplished by walking between the World Trade Center towers. There are two designs, the original and a remake.
This first show the towers with a thin line far above while the latest clearly show a frontal view of the tight rope walker on the rope between the buildings. The latest is a far more minimalist design and appears to be the favorite.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
This is one of the classic Hollywood posters and it was issued with 1982, a remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The original poster was much simpler. The image of Harrison Ford as leader of the Raiders with a whip slung over his shoulder has an old-world feel to it that captures the movie brilliantly.
Anatomy of A Murder
Due to its simplicity while it clearly shows what the movie is about made Anatomy of a Murder one of the best movie posters of all time. It is no wonder as it comes from one of Hollywood’s top designers, Saul Bass. It makes the list of cool old movie posters with an animated body in pieces with simplified colors and fonts.
Mean Streets (1973)
Another one of the best movie posters that indicate what the movies are about is the poster for the 1973 movie, Mean Streets. A smoking gun against the city skyline is a clever design that captures the essence of the Martin Scorsese film.
One of the best movie posters from top designer Drew Struzan. It is an iconic movie poster, hitting the proverbial nail on the head as moviegoers can feel otherworldly energy pouring from the mirror face of the Thing.
The decision to leave the Thing as a mystery figure without identification was a great move from the designer. Something few people realize is that the picture is actually a photograph of the designer in a snowsuit and adjusted with its terrifying mirror face. An uncomplicated design that works perfectly.
The Arrival is about aliens entering earth’s atmosphere. Their message to humanity is impossible to decipher. Originally the poster showed the three main characters, helicopters and the spaceship, while the latest is a minimalist design that shows the message as a smoke circle and the space ship.
Blade Runner (1982)
A classic movie poster is the Blade runner from designer John Alvin. It is a hand-painted illustration which has been a favorite decades ago. It has been popular to combine hand-drawn elements into movies with fantastical elements. It is a combination of sci-fi imagery with a futuristic city, plenty lines of light to create a falling effect and Sean Young and Harrison Ford’s faces.
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo is excellent as it is clinical, cold, elegant and sleek making it one of the coolest posters of all time. Since it is a popular book too, viewers will be able to identify the minimalism of the poster with the story.
Gone with The Wind
One of the best movie posters which is a clear example of what classic Hollywood posters contain is that of Gone with The Wind. The original movie was released in 1939 and it encapsulates the sheer drama, fire, and passion it deserves.
While this current poster captures all of that, the original designer only had the two main characters kissing with a white background behind them. This iconic is a classic remake from a designer that used the inspiration of the story behind the characters.
When you compare the original movies poster to the updated, your eyes are immediately drawn to the classic movie poster which was redesigned in 1968.
The initial poster of Borat shows him visiting America with his suitcase and the American flag, however, the second poster which is the remake is one of the coolest movie posters. With the pink background and green shape over the top, it might look weird, but it depicts Borat wearing a mankini in the USA on a beach. Beautiful and minimalist are great ways to describe it.
You might get dizzy if you stare at the poster for the Moon too long and here is another perfect example of one of the coolest movie posters that capture the story. The protagonist in the story is cloned constantly, and it is brilliantly done with the seemingly endless growing rings in which he stands like a lone moon man.
Other designers might have thought to draw zillions of little Sam Rockwell’s on the movie poster. But the rings and Sam standing on his one is simply brilliant.
More great movie posters
As you would notice with the best movie posters that we collected, these posters add credibility to the storyline and are how audiences are attracted.
The Shining (1980)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Alien (1979) – my favorite of these best movie posters
Taxi Driver (1976)
Lord of War (2005)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Isle of Dogs
The Social Network (2010)
Summer of ’84
The Parallax View (1974)
The Jungle Book
The Shape of Water (2017)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Under The Skin
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
If you enjoyed reading this article about the best movie posters, you should read these as well:
- WW1 Posters: Recruitment and propaganda posters from the first world war
- Concert posters: Design, Ideas, and Inspiration
- A Beautiful Collection Of Fan Made Movie Posters
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Source: Household Tech