5 Simple Steps to Designing Your First Movie Poster

Even in today’s increasingly digital world, traditional print and video marketing still lie at the center of any major advertising campaign. No one knows or understands this concept better than graphic design students at a leading design college like FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, which is located in the heart of the entertainment industry.

Although it’s impossible to teach the fundamentals of design in a short blog post, we’ve shared some of the basic elements of poster design below and have included five easy steps to help you get started.

Step 1.  Conduct Research and Generate Conceptual Ideas

First and foremost you will need to decide what movie you will be designing for or come up with a name for your fictional movie. Use your imagination! What genre is your film? Perhaps it’s a documentary, a comedy, or a horror film.

Next, think about how your poster will answer the following questions:

  • What is the message you are trying to communicate?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What mood do you want to communicate?

Step 2.  Create Thumbnail Sketches to Present Poster Design Concepts

After determining your title, target audience and what to communicate, the next step is sketching out various ideas for both the title design and overall layout. What visual elements need to be represented in your movie poster?

How will you lay out the images and typography to emphasize the right visual elements? Sketch out some thumbnail sketches of what your poster will look like. See examples drawn by FIDM Graphic Design Program Director, Steve Reaves below.

Movie poster thumbnail sketches by Steve Reaves, Director of Graphic Design at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Movie poster thumbnail sketches by Steve Reaves, Director of Graphic Design at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Step 3. Design the Title

Now that you have sketched out ideas and decided on a layout, it’s time to decide on how your title is going to be designed. What typography will you use? What effects will you apply to the type to communicate your message? What color or texture combinations will be used?  Sketch out 8-10 ideas. We’ve provided a selection of typography options for you to download from Lost Type below.

 

Download High Quality Fonts

Download High Quality Fonts

Click here to download: high quality fonts provided by Lost Type

 

Looking for something other than what was provided in the download? Don’t worry. We have you covered! Below is a short list of great resources for all things typography.

 

Step 4. Gather Imagery

The next step is acquiring imagery to help support your sketched layout, the higher resolution the better. This might include photos of the main characters, landscapes, textures, etc. Please remember to always give credit to the original source if you decide to pull images off the internet.

If you are having trouble finding imagery, we have gathered dozens of high resolution photos from a recent fashion show that you are more than welcome to use. Click here to download those now.

Movie Poster Billing Block

We also recommend downloading the movie poster billing block seen above. This will give your poster a more realistic look and feel.

Click here to download the movie poster billing block seen above.

 

Step 5. Layout The Poster

Now that you have decided on the title, target audience, message, layout, images, and fonts, it is time to design your poster. Using your sketch as a guide, load the assets into your favorite image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop and let your creativity run wild. The recommended size for your poster is 10” X 15”. If you don’t know how to use a specific feature of your program, websites like Youtube have an endless amount of software tutorials that will help you.

Movie Poster Inspiration

Inspiration is a key component in the creative process. Check some poster design concepts created by recent FIDM Grads.

Movie poster concept designed by FIDM Grad Katy Jacobs.

Movie poster concept designed by FIDM Grad Katy Jacobs.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM grad Angel Beas.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM grad Angel Beas.

Teaser poster design concepts by FIDM Grad Angel Beas.

Teaser poster design concepts by FIDM Grad Angel Beas.

Movie poster design concepts by FIDM Grad Giovanni Perez.

Movie poster design concepts by FIDM Grad Giovanni Perez.

 

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM Grad Patrick Lee.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM Grad Patrick Lee.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM Grad Liliane Lathan.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM Grad Liliane Lathan.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM Grad Aubree Beltran.

Movie poster design concepts designed by FIDM Grad Aubree Beltran.

 

graphic-design-branding-rocketStart college and kickstart your career in graphic design.

FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising isn’t just a recognized leader in the study of design and creative business– we’re a training ground for the exciting career in graphic design you’ve always dreamed of pursuing. No other graphic design program has the same unique focus on the fashion and entertainment industries, teaching creative expression in all aspects of print media, logo development, corporate identity, product branding, packaging, apparel graphics and more.

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FIDM: Creative Careers Begin Here

Creative careers begin here.

With four California campuses located in the heart of the fashion and entertainment industries, FIDM is a leading, accredited college offering specialized Associate of Arts and Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. FIDM has been educating students with creative and leadership skills for the global industries of fashion, visual arts, interior design, and entertainment for more than 45 years. Learn more at www.fidm.edu.

The FIDM Digital Arts Blog is dedicated to professional and aspiring graphic designers and filmmakers, illustrating the range of career opportunities within these fields written by FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. See more at www.fidmdigitalarts.com.

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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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