Showcase of Minimalism in Movie Posters From 1967 to 2010




Minimalism in movie posters is something that is becoming more and more popular, as you can clearly see from the examples showcased below, there are many more minimal posters from recent years compared to the amount seen in the 90′s and earlier.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It does take a reasonable amount of work and organization to pull of a minimalistic poster, especially as they are typically designed to advertise and sell tickets to huge, multi-millionaire movies, although a lot of people see minimalism in design as pure laziness, or just a way to keep costs low as there isn’t a need for thousands of dollars to be spent on photo shoots. Take a look at the incredible examples below!

Don’t forget to check out our other movie poster showcase posts: Blood & Guts – Vampire and Zombie Movie Poster Inspiration, Trends Used In Comedy Movie Posters From 1915 to 2010, Evolution of Animation Film Posters from 1937 to Present

The Graduate (1967) ↓

The Graduate
This is a very minimalistic two-color poster that uses nothing but typography and an incredibly simple sketch. The two colors – red and black – work really well together and although very simple, this poster stands out very well among others.

Carnal Knowledge (1971) ↓

Carnal Knowledge

Jeremiah Johnson (1972) ↓

Jeremiah Johnson

Harold and Maude (1972) ↓

Harold and Maude

The Valachi Papers (1972) ↓

The Valachi Papers

A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982) ↓

A Midsummer Nights Sex Comedy
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is one of the minimalistic posters in this showcase, using loads of whitespace, three different typefaces and nothing but black ink.

The Accidental Tourist (1988) ↓

The Accidental Tourist

Imagine: John Lennon (1988) ↓

Imagine John Lennon

Proof (1992) ↓

Proof
Proof is a lovely minimalistic poster that uses a subtle-grunge effect that is very popular in the present day, eighteen years after this poster was designed!

Batman Returns (1992) ↓

Batman Returns
This Batman Returns poster from 1992 is one of my favorite posters in this showcase, as it totally depends on brand identity and the familiarity of the infamous Batman silhouette.

King of the Hill (1993) ↓

King of the Hill

Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker (1995) ↓

Red Firecracker Green Firecracker

Antz (1998) ↓

Antz
Antz is an incredibly clever poster that uses a magnifying glass technique to enlarge the ant. The rest of the poster is purely whitespace with very simple typography, focusing all eyes on the title and main character of the movie.

edTV (1999) ↓

edTV

Romance (1999) ↓

Romance

Dancer in the Dark (2000) ↓

Dancer in the Dark
This poster takes on the style of the traditional eye-test poster, using big bold lettering to spell out the movie title “Dancer in the Dark”.

Ghost World (2001) ↓

Ghost World

The War Effort (2002) ↓

The War Effort

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) ↓

Kill Bill Vol 2
This Kill Bill poster is very different compared to the other Kill Bill posters which take on a dramatic black and bright yellow color scheme. The blurred, watercolor style photographic background adds a lovely subtle but interesting background to the background, with a combination of strong and experimental typography.

I, Robot (2004) ↓

I Robot

The Chumscrubber / Glück In Kleinen Dosen (2005) ↓

The Chumscrubber

Gypo (2005) ↓

Gypo

The Thing About My Folks (2005) ↓

The Thing About My Folks
The use of color in this poster really makes it pop, combining over-saturated stock images of an apple and orange to produce very vivid results, merged with a light background and dark typography.

American Hardcore (2006) ↓

American Hardcore

Electroma (2006) ↓

Electroma

Fur: an Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006) ↓

Fur an Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

Madea’s Family Reunion (2006) ↓

Madeas Family Reunion
This is an incredible and beautiful minimalistic movie poster, and one of the most elegant in this showcase. The silhouette and photoshopped hair is a superb background for the simple typography.

Jade Warrior (2006) ↓

Jade Warrior

Children of Men (2006) ↓

Children of Men

Inside Man (2006) ↓

Inside Man

The TV Set (2007) ↓

The TV Set

3:10 to Yuma (2007) ↓

310 to Yuma
One of the most eye-catching posters in this showcase, mainly because of the stunningly bright yellow – the poster is also one of the minimalistic, using nothing but a the title of the film and a fairly simple illustration.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) ↓

Before the Devil Knows Youre Dead

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) ↓

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Birds of America (2008) ↓

Birds of America
This poster uses a handful of modern day trends; repeating patterns in the background, subtle grunge, modern illustration and simple typographic elements. All in all, it works perfectly well.

XXY (2008) ↓

XXY

Blindness (2008) ↓

Blindness

Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway (2008) ↓

Rent Filmed Live on Broadway

You Suck Sarah Marshall (2008) ↓

You Suck Sarah Marshall
A handwritten-style poster using only black ink on white paper. This funny poster works well because it is so simple, using lots of whitespace and a suitable typeface.

Filth and Wisdom (2008) ↓

Filth and Wisdom

Tokyo Sonata (2009) ↓

Tokyo Sonata

Untitled (2009) ↓

Untitled

Voices / Du Saram-Yida (2009) ↓

Voices Du Saram-Yida

Precious (2009) ↓

Precious

Madea Goes to Jail (2009) ↓

Madea Goes to Jail

He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) ↓

Hes Just Not That Into You

Moon (2009) ↓

Moon
Although this poster uses a rather mesmerising spiral pattern in the background, it is still rather minimalistic, using this and one image as its main focal.

The Garden (2009) ↓

The Garden

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) ↓

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

For Colored Girls (2010) ↓

For Colored Girls
This is a rather stylish and beautiful movie poster, taking on a fashion illustration approach by using traditional watercolors to produce an unfinished image.

The Art of the Steal (2010) ↓

The Art of the Steal

Athlete (2010) ↓

Athlete

Your Turn To Talk

So, what do you think? Do any of the above examples, in your opinion, that you think work particularly well, or vice versa? Discuss in the comments section below! :)


Callum Chapman

About the author:

Callum Chapman is a self-employed designer, illustrator & blogger. View his work at Circlebox Creative. He is also the founder of Picmix Store, a store dedicated to limited edition prints, and The Inspiration Blog. Drop him a line on Twitter!

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