Poster Trends: Image within Image

Poster trends are as old as the hills but this year has seen the emergence of a new motif.

Last year saw the text over face trend and in the past we have had such fashions as the red dress, back to back and the leg spread.

But amongst the the more hipper poster designs this year have seen images within images.

After designing the iconic one-sheet for The Social Network, Neil Kellerhouse has swiftly become David Fincher‘s designer of choice.

This year this poster for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo utilised Daniel Craig’s face inside Rooney Mara’s.

Ever since Sundance, Martha Marcy May Marlene has been attracting buzz and it seemed only right that not only should it follow this trend.

It seemed appropriate that another teaser poster should include a QR code for all those hipsters in Brooklyn and Shoreditch to view a trailer on their iPhones  – the film is still great though 🙂

Then if we cast our minds back to earlier in the year, there was this US one-sheet for Jane Eyre, which like the film was tasteful and stylish.

I especially like the big but thin font and colour palette on this one.

As for Michael Fassbender, he also featured in X-Men: First Class, which had a character teaser poster which utilised the image within image idea.

This time it was his younger Magneto in a silhouette of the character comic-book fans are familair with.

Did you notice any other posters that used this trend this year?

> IMP Awards
> Film on Paper

Thor vs The Social Network

What do you get when you mix the posters of The Social Network and Thor?

First, take the now iconic one sheet designed by Neil Kellerhouse for David Fincher’s Facebook drama.

Then replace the font with Trajan and place the text over a picture of Chris Hemsworth as the nordic God, in keeping with the current poster trend of text-over-face.

The end result should be something like this:

> Matt Bury and MUBi on the recent poster trend of text-over-face
> Our Thor review

Trajan: The Movie Font

Why do so many movie posters use the Trajan font?

Designed by Carol Twombly for Adobe in 1989, the old style serif typface quickly found its way into pop culture.

It is was used on the bestselling novels of John Grisham, became the official font of various universities around the world (including Bologna, Kansas and Lausanne) and the Assassin’s Creed game franchise.

Politicians love it too, with figures such as Chris Dodd, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and even Barack Obama using it in past campaigns.

But it became hugely popular with movie poster designers, as this video by Kirby Ferguson demonstrates.Posters which feature the font include Titanic (1997), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) and more recently This Is It (2009).

But check out this slideshow to get some idea of how ubiquitous it has become:

The easy answer as to its success is that it has been used in popular movies, but I think there is a deeper reason as to why it became so popular.

Maybe the old-style classiness projects an image of authority, which might also explain why politicians love it.

This is actually important for upscale mainstream films such as Titanic which are looking for that veneer of class to distinguish themselves from rival fare at the multiplex.

In a sense the font has come to represent a hybrid of commercial success and cultural importance, even if the films using it have neither.

Maybe after the phenomenon of Titanic, it spread like a virus amongst movie marketing departments because they wanted to emulate that elusive holy grail of box office dollars and worthy prestige.

> Find out more about Trajan at Wikipedia
> IMP Awards
> Movie Poster Addict