The world of cinema has undergone a revolution, and movie posters have followed in their wake. Instead of turning out detailed pinups and elaborate broadsides reminiscent of the ’40s movie theaters, graphic designers these days have learnt to do more with less, packing more punch into a minimalist design. If you are in the industry of filmmaking yourself and want to learn from the best, you likely have noticed the trend of clean movie poster designs.
Here are some poster ideas designed for some popular blockbusters that you can take a page or two from. Download them, study them, and leverage the principles in your own movie posters. (Or, advertise a movie screening at your workplace or school with the ones you like.You may also see Poster Templates.
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Minimalist Movie Poster Template
Retro Minimalist Movie Poster
Disney Minimalist Movie Poster
Minimalist Movie Car Poster
Minimalist Horror Movie Poster
How to Design a Minimalist Movie Poster
Minimalism is a relatively new phenomenon, though you can see some examples of vintage movie posters following the minimalist precepts. These days, the trend is taking the art and design world by storm.
Here are some principles to keep in mind before you can create a great minimalist movie poster of your own.
Understand the Core of Your Story
What elements or symbols are the most recognizable and do most of the work in your plot? What props are used in the most famous scenes? These are the things you will show in your poster, even to the exclusion of everything else.
- The Alice in Wonderland Disney Minimalist Movie Poster uses the teapot from the Mad Hatter’s tea party as well as Alice’s silhouette.
Use Colors That Represent Your Story and Genre
Symbols, outlines, and colors will be doing most of the work for you. If your movie doesn’t have a signature color, think about the mood you want to evoke with the story and lean toward that side of the color spectrum.
- The Daredevil example in the Minimalist Horror Movie Poster goes with the classic black and white with blood-red overtones showing crime, danger, mystery.
As Much as Possible, Use Silhouettes
When designing a new poster for a well-known universe, the characters can be recognized from just their outlines. Use this to your advantage. If yours is a new story, only use this if your representative/main character has an iconic outline—someone with a top hat, a kid with spiky hair, a trailing overcoat, a kung fu pose, etc.
- The Avengers Minimalist Marvel Movie Poster uses the outline of the Hulk towering over the city skyline. Even if you don’t realize who he is, the telling army green (see principle 2 of representative colors) will remove all doubt from your mind.
Harry Potter Minimalist Movie Poster
Minimalist Marvel Movie Poster
When Not to Use Minimalist Movie Posters
Minimalism has become popular for good reasons:
- It allows you to do more with less. (This doesn’t mean it’s always easy to put together.)
- It gives more power to the few elements you do use.
- It sells the story better because you are not trying to push the story too hard.
- Showing less in the poster means you are confident the story is strong enough to stand on its own merit.
These are all good reasons to use the technique. But it won’t work for you if:
- You don’t understand your story well enough to present it in as few elements as possible.
- Your colors, themes, symbols are complete rip-offs of another, more popular movie.
- Your main characters have boring, indistinct outlines.
Think you can still pull it off?
Download your favorite examples from this page and study what makes them effective, what makes the elements come together. Don’t forget to check out our other collections of minimalist poster designs for more inspiration.