Few shows are as cinematic as the late, great Breaking Bad. Each episode of the tightly paced series was like its own almost unbearably tense mini-movie. Therefore, it’s only fair that each episode should get its own legend-building poster.
A couple of years ago, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles hosted an exhibition of pieces made by some of the best and brightest pop culture artists. Fan art for the show abounds online as well. Hungarian designer Zsutti (Molnár Zsolt), however, is the first to successfully create posters for all 62 episodes of Breaking Bad‘s run. Also, he nailed it.
Zsutti’s posters are minimalist summations of the unspooling story, chapter by chapter. Each one features a single-color backdrop, lightly shaded on the edges (for that weathered look) and a single image in the center that captures the heart of the episode, accompanied by a quote. Some of these images are no-brainers: the episode with the ATM that killed a person? Its poster has a bloody ATM. Also, the episode called “The Fly” is represented by a fly. Others are less obvious–a stubbed out cigarette, or a pickaxe and shovel, for example. The quotes aren’t always the most memorable lines from each episode either; some are more subtle slow burns that succinctly boil down the episode’s themes.
According to an interview the artist did with the Heisenberg Chronicles tumblr, aside from making the posters a minimalist expression of each episode, he wanted to make them “a bit dirty because I felt that Walter White’s character and the whole show was kind of dirty so I ended up using some paper texture. I didn’t want to stick to only one typeface, so I started to experiment with a different font on every poster. I wanted to have fun and experiment a lot. It took creating two dozen posters until I got confident with the style but many challenges emerged later.”
He says the project took the entire five months since Breaking Bad ended its run last fall to finish. Between rewatching episodes, conceiving the posters, and executing them, Zsutti estimates that he spent about 400 hours overall making posters.
Have a look at the posters in the slides above and see if you agree that it was worth it.