Thursday, July 9, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Movie posters are like country songs. While there are a lot of bad ones, there are always a few great ones that catch your attention.

Most recently, Crew Creative's posters for the Half Blood Prince have caught my attention, these two I saw (very appropriately) in SF's BART station:

"Hr Poe And T Ha Bood Pn"

"H P tt H -Bloo Ince"

At first, I was just mildly entertained by the occlusion of the title of the movie. It wasn't until I got home thyat thought about this choice and how brave and bold it was. To me, these posters are basically saying:
  1. You know what this movie is.
  2. We won't even say when it's coming out. You already know.
  3. See you when it comes out.
While this design may at first seem "risky" one must distinguish between readability (able to be read easily) and legibility (able to be deciphered/understood).

Is it readable? No.

Is it legible? Yes.

Most movies or products for that matter don't have strong enough brand identity to pull a poster like this off, so kudos to the Crew Creative Ad Agency for taking full advantage of this fact and providing a great customer experience: the feeling that you're in-the-loop for "getting" the poster.

The only issue I have with this poster is the fact that they are not minding the gap. These posters are just asking for kids to imitate this pose. And what's even worse is that these posters are placed IN the station where you wait for trains.

**Even MORE design geekiness below**

Take a look at this other HP poster:

The poster is very dynamic despite the subject being completely centered. This is achieved by:
  1. Breaking the grid: by tilting the title
  2. Creating depth: though back lighting and by occluding the title
  3. Composition: bleeding elements off the page to create visual interest (see below image)
  4. (only if you're bullsh***ing in a concept design class) you could say that the epic-ness of the movie is too big to contain in the poster.

"Har tter -Bloo Ince" coming to a theatre near you!

In conclusion, a strong identity + great poster design = I'll see you in theatres (yes, theatREs) July 15th even though it doesn't say on the posters... because you already knew.


PS - a quick look at Crew Creative's website reveals that they are behind some of my most recent favorite movie posters, let's see if you can picture the posters in your head without me actually showing you.

The Hangover

40 Year Old Virgin (Probably my favorite movie poster ever. Ever.)

Yes Man (Didn't even see it but loved the poster)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (As well as the teaser posters)

Good Luck Chuck (People were lining up at comic-con last year just to get this poster.)

PPS - If you want a good country song, take a listen to Lyle Lovett's "If I had a Boat"

PPPS - If you don't understand why I'm even talking about country songs read the beginning of this post.

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