The Psychology Behind Movie Poster Designs


A wise woman once said, “If they put as much attention to detail into making a movie as they do into marketing a movie, we wouldn’t see so much crap coming out of Hollywood.”

The statement is pretty spot-on when one considers how much attention is given to every single microscopic detail in the world of movie marketing. Those who are in charge of making sure a movie makes money looks at timing, exposure, press appearances, reviews, and particularly the trailers that get people excited about movies all in an effort to fill theaters for as long as possible.

The most attention is given to perfecting the trailer and setting it for distribution, but a close second is the “visual collateral” associated with a film. The posters, in-theater displays, and DVD box art are all meticulously planned and designed to touch people on the right emotional level. They all must say just enough and not a word more. They have to compel, inspire, and excite the potential viewers in ways that will have them in the theaters, buying the DVDs or digital downloads, or streaming them to their homes.

It’s a complicated endeavor, but one that can prove to be very rewarding to the studios and distributors.

This infographic by Colour Lovers examines the artwork behind the top 10 blockbuster designs of 2011. Click to enlarge.

Movie Artwork