Week 7: Movie Poster Dissection

Silent Era Movie Selection & Research

An American 1925 dramatic silent comedy, ‘The Gold Rush’ was written, produced and directed by Charlie Chaplin. Set during the Klondike gold rush, the film follows Charlie’s prospecting journey for gold in the Yukon and the finding of riches (romance, friendship and wealth). There are many themes in this film, but the journey, the losing and finding and the types of riches found seem to be the main themes.


I also did a moodboard of contemporary movie/festival/entertainment and concert posters which I felt showed some lateral creativity in them:


Contemporary movie posters which set a style to follow are below. These posters have very similar elements in common:

  • Gridded layout in minimalistic style
  • Title is a large font and usually appears in uppercase, often with wide tracking
  • Tagline(s) contain explanations and selling points and are also in caps
  • Casting is either gridded or out of the way, with most popular actors first
  • Imagery is focused on one main emotion of the movie and uses special effects such as lighting, POV and relational elements to draw the eye
  • All layouts are centered (but that doesn’t mean mine has to be that way)

I have commented on and dissected the posters in my workbook below.


I researched 1920s style typography and watched my movie.


The two typefaces I have decided to experiment with are:

Hurme Geometric Sans No.3, which is a versatile humanist typeface from the Hurme Geometric Sans font family, reminiscent of popular typefaces from the 1920s, with its bolded letters and ability to track in different ways.

Lietz Block, a bold, sans serif font which offers more character and fits with the beginning of the appearance of art deco in the 1920s.


I also made a mind map of the main themes of the film:


The more I research this film the more themes become apparent. My full list of themes at this point are:

  • Lost & Found
  • Romance
  • Hardship & Starvation
  • Riches
  • Friendship
  • Journey/Travel

Ideally I’d like my poster to portray a sense of journey and setting, with the Alaskan landscape blending into other elements to portray the journey/narrative as a whole. I’d also like to experiment with the romance between Charlie and Georgia, showing Georgia’s unobtainability and Charlie’s surprise at finally being able to be with her.

I will create tone and drama across my movie poster by the use of silhouetting and silhouetted collage to create one pictorial element with hard contrasts. Since the setting is in snow, I might use white for a background and/or for framing and add colour into the white. Text will be in a contrasting colour to the white, but may also end up the same colour as the silhouette focal point.

I plan to promote this film as though it were released today by following the style currently used in contemporary movie posters. With the neatly gridded layout, large title font with impact, smaller taglines and the focal point of only one pictorial image all set with dramatic contrast in tones, I feel that this style would make the film look far more contemporary.

Here is the mood board of my film:


I did some concept sketches, but apparently do not have to post these this week.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s