Saturday, 12 April 2014



For the third studio brief of our 'Design Practice' module we were tasked with creating a poster for a Jack Nicholson film assigned to us during the studio briefing. 


The Jack Nicholson film that I received during the morning briefing is called;

'How Do You Know?'


After receiving the brief I immediately started my research to ensure that I progressed through the project quickly and completed it within the time constraints that I set myself. Research was collected into two main areas using secondary sources. The first body of research focused on the posters already featured on the Alternate Movie Posters website, this research was useful as it allowed me to assess the style and quality of posters featured on the site were our outcomes will be submitted. The second body of research was based around analysing the film to highlight areas that could form the focus of my poster based outcome. 

Alternate Movie Poster Research - Link

Film Research - Link

After watching the film and reviewing the type of posters featured on the AMP website I was able to outline a series of possible focuses that could be utilised as my final outcome for the project. While watching and analysing the film I made note of the most definitive and memorable scenes of the film to ensure that the outcome accurately represents the featured film. 


  • Steak throw.
  • George singing to the lamp. 
  • George bangs head on table.
  • Broken lamp joke.
  • Lisa waiting outside Georges house. 


As I am working to a very tight time scale time management is vital to the successful production and submission of the poster. Currently, I have a number of substantial brief to balance along side the production of the poster. Therefore, as the other brief are far more substantial I gave myself two days to complete the poster project, one day to collect all my research, develop a concept and start creating designs and the second to finalise the design and blog the project. 

To help me achieve my goal of competing the brief within the two days set I created a day-to-day plan to help me successfully move through the various tasks that need completing in order to fininsh the project. 



After watching the film and defining a selection of possible poster focuses I progressed with the project by defining the relevant design decisions such as the colour scheme and typefaces that will be applied to the final outcome. Although the poster submission sent to the Alternate Movie Posters will be done so digitally the final submitted as part of the module hand in will be a printed copy. Therefore, a decision relating to the type of stock the poster will be printed onto had to also be defined.  


As a limitation of the brief we were only allowed to utilise a maximum of two colours plus the natural colour of the stock selected. Tints could also be used, however I decided to keep it simple and use two striking colours relevant to the themes and moods portrayed in the film. 

One of the main themes communicated throughout the movies is that of love, hence the films categorization of 'Romantic Comedy'. To represent this definitive aspect of the movie I decided to select colour synonymous with love and romance. A striking red colour was selected as the primary colour with a supporting yellow hue being utilised as  the second. 


While reviewing posters featured on the Alternate Movie Posters website it became apparent that successful submissions often featured small amount of information relevant to the film such as the title and main actors. Therefore, I decided to also include similar contextual information on my submission and so needed to select a suitable typeface to render it in. 

A font called Bebas Neue was selected as it came with multiple font options with varying weights allowing me to form a typographic hierarchy with a cohesive aesthetic. Moreover, due to the characteristics of the typefaces letter forms the Bebas Neue is eye catching and easy to read making it perfect for using on a movie poster that needs to grab the audiences attention and quickly communicate information. 


Finally, a stock was selected from the choice available at the college library for the physical production of the poster. I decided to print the final submission at A2 in size to ensure that the outcome had maximum impacts and context as a film poster. Therefore, I chose to use the A2 antique paper available as it has a smooth matt surface and is slightly off white in colour. 

(add image)


Once I had defined my design decisions I was in a position to start designing thumbnail designs for the poster. The quick illustrations which are displayed below explore typographic composition variations and image placement. 


After developing a range of thumbnail designs I analysed the effectiveness of the composition and the graphics aesthetic relevance to the film. During this process I outlined a final design and progressed with developing it further through additional pencil based illustrations. 


After creating a final sketch defining the illustrations focus, composition and size I moved forwards with the project by creating an A3 sized drawing of the outcome. I decided to work at a larger scale when creating the illustration to allow me to add fine lines and aspects of detail unachievable at a smaller scale. 

The final pen based illustration can be seen below.


Personally, I believe it is the small details which make a piece of design or an illustration a successful outcome. Therefore, I decided to refer back to the film screen shots featured in my research and add copy the typographic sign placed on Georges building. 

Once I had all of the hand rendered aspects of the design completed I could progress with the digital production of the poster. 


The digital production process was started by first scanning in each hand rendered aspect at 300dpi and using the Illustrator Live Trace option to vectorise the outcome. 

Colours defined in the design decisions stage of the development process were next applied to the outcome.

Before completing the submission process I sized the poster to the correct dimensions to ensure no problems were encountered while sending the file to the AMP email address.


The image below shows the finished poster.


After completing the poster I submitted the design online to the Alternate Movie Posters site as specified on the brief. 

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