Featured DIY Project: Pine-Richland High School Student Elliot Clay’s Movie Poster Design

The movie poster is at the heart of any motion picture marketing campaign. In a single image, the poster captures the tone of the film while captivating its viewer, compelling them to watch the film. Recently, we launched “Entertainment Marketing in the Digital Age”, a do-it-yourself project that challenges aspiring graphic designers to design a movie poster using free downloadable assets that we provide.

As part of the project, we challenge designers to submit their work to our online project gallery for a chance to be featured. Today, we are proud to feature the work of talented Pine-Richland High School Student Elliot Clay. We received Elliot’s poster design concept last week for a fictional movie called “Forbidden” and was immediately impressed with his natural sense of layout and composition. It’s clear that he wants us to focus in on the main character as the focal point, while guiding us to the secondary character and using a subtle cityscape to give it some depth. As a junior in high school with natural design ability, I wanted to pick Elliot’s brain. Scroll down to see his completed project and to learn more about what gets his creative juices flowing.

Q&A With Pine-Richland High School Student Elliot Clay

Featured Poster Project By  High School Student Elliot Clay

(FIDM Digital Arts) Where are you from?

(Elliot) “I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Currently living there too!”

What are your current hobbies?

“…I love watching movies and doing video work paying attention to each detail in what I watch or create. Making conceptual art and designs for dorky things like smart-phones believe it or not is very interesting for me. I’m a total techie and know everything there is to know about computer hardware. I love to read up on every little fact I find that is cool. DIY stuff and design of everything in general I love to do, and along with that I have developed quite a knack for making mixtapes/mixes with just some software on my computer. Music and EDM I love to listen to which basically ties into my love for concerts and hanging out with friends.”

What inspires your creativity?

“…It would have to be the future…The pure concept of the future is what drives a lot of my work. Mostly my goal is to try and show people something that they have never seen before or something that is visually perplexing and awe inspiring. I always strive for my creations to be the best I can do, always learning new techniques and styles to implement into my work.”


Work In Progress Screenshot - High School Student Elliot Clay's Movie Poster Design

Work In Progress Screenshot – High School Student Elliot Clay’s Movie Poster Design


Why did you decide to participate in this project?

“…Two days ago a woman came to speak in my Graphics Design class about FIDM. I was truly interested about what they had to offer but what really caught my attention was that there was a movie poster project being held on their website. Remembering the poster I made for Photoshop class, I felt this could be a great way to show my poster to the world. My concern were the requirements for the poster itself but to my surprise, all I could see is that the file had to be less then 5mb (like seriously thats it?). This really gave me freedom for my creativity instead of modifying the poster to conform for submission.”

We were impressed by the composition and overall design of your poster. Do you have any previous experience designing?

“No actually! This was pretty much done with just my prior knowledge of what will look good. I felt in this case, the typefaces and the overall tone of the poster came together seamlessly. Honestly, I was blown away with how well it turned out especially for just doing small projects with Photoshop. The main thought process I went with here was, there are only two ways a design can look, cheap or expensive….go with the last one.”

What was your favorite aspect of this project?

“It would have to be finding the right images and the story line. As dinky as the process is, I made this whole project with text and images I found online (I added the titles FIDM provided before I submitted it) and it shows that creativity cannot be limited by resources, it can only be limited by yourself.”


Left - Elliot's project for Photoshop class. Right - Elliot's final poster submitted to FIDM Digital Arts.

Left – Elliot’s project for Photoshop class. Right – Elliot’s final poster submitted to FIDM Digital Arts.


What was the most challenging aspect of this project?

“The challenge was hands down, the characters. I obviously knew I would be making the design futuristic, but you can’t make a poster from 2091 with Bill Murray as the main actor. I had to pick ones that looked and sounded right too…It was also by mere chance that I was able to find those absolutely matching pictures of Jason and Adrian to add in. If one of the actors had bad pictures, I couldn’t use him.”

What did you learn from completing this project?

“I learned a heck of a lot, mostly finding out that the blur tool is garbage.”

Any closing thoughts?

“The future is now! Don’t use papyrus font…”

Create Your Own Poster & Submit

Would you like to create your poster like the ones seen here? We have compiled a list of step-by-step instructions in addition to providing you free downloadable assets including high resolution photos, fonts and templates. Click here to get started.


About this Classroom Presentation

The do-it-yourself project described above is part of the “Entertainment Marketing in the Digital Age” classroom presentation by FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for high school classrooms.

“Entertainment Marketing in the Digital Age” Summary: The entertainment marketing industry sets the bar for innovation, creativity, and visually compelling advertising campaigns in the digital age. Discover what it takes to develop entertainment promotional pieces in this presentation that explores the career of the Entertainment Graphic Designer and the Entertainment Digital Media Professional.

This interactive presentation invites students to exercise their conceptual thinking skills while learning detailed film marketing methods and apply their knowledge to develop their own movie poster or movie trailer. This presentation has classroom handouts and support information. Please contact the FIDM Speakers Bureau at 800-262-3436 to obtain handouts and support information. The handouts for your students may include preparatory and follow-up activities, a template, worksheets, quizzes, and vocabulary lists (where applicable). Support information includes state and national standards and a bibliography (where applicable).

Click here to schedule this free classroom presentation with FIDM Speakers Bureau.

Click here for more information about FIDM Speakers Bureau.

graphic-design-entertainmentStart college and kickstart your career in entertainment graphics.

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 entertainment industry, teaching techniques of a successful entertainment campaign including extensive research to create and develop theatrical key art for the entertainment industry.


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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