We are all aware that type is a form of persuasion and is highly influential within the media industry. Recently, I learned that our eyes are more focused on the shape or rather the typeface as opposed to the word itself. This allowed me to become more self-aware of the fonts I use for everything and began to analyze as to why certain fonts are used for certain things. Formal essays often have a serif font, such as ‘Times’, whereas Helvetica is highly used and widely recognized in everyday life. Helveitca is a sans serif font, and I suppose it is so highly utilized due to the fact that it is simple, readable and perceivable by everyone in the same manner, much like an everyman protagonist in a film.
On the topic of films, here are three posters that utilize highly different styles of typography. Firstly, visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Interstellar has taken a rather ambiguous undertone to its poster. Evidently, the poster heavily relies on the visual aesthetics of the photo rather than special effects or even typography, however it is indeed of paramount significance as it accentuates the mood of the poster and the film. Unlike Nolan’s other posters, Interstellar’s poster seems to have a sort of Speilbergian vibe to it.
INTERSTELLAR SUPER 8
Although Super 8 wasn’t directed by Spielberg, it was J.J.Abrams homage to Spielberg, and the commonality within themes of these posters are highly prevalent.
The simplistic nature of the font allows us (the consumers) to feel comfortable and relate to the film’s poster rather easily. Interstellar, however has used Baskerville (perhaps?) which is serif font for the film’s title thereby illustrating that the film does have a serious tone to it. At the same time, it attempts to make you feel comfortable with the other caption writing, which is in sans-serif. I believe this poster has been crafted rather intelligently, as the visual aesthetics, the tagline, the typography have all culminated in attracting a wide array of audiences, ranging from adolescents to 40-50 year old adults.
Secondly, Silver Linings Playbook, seems to have a more playful and fun tone to it as opposed to Interstellar. Although I can’t seem to recognize the font, it does seem rather informal due to it’s messy and playful-like nature. Considering that the film predominantly focuses on humanity, their imperfections and their issues, the film stresses that at the end of every dark tunnel, there shall be light. With that in mind, the poster acts as a snapshot for its themes. Moreover, the playful style of the poster attracts once again a wide array of audiences, adults, teenagers, possibly even children.
Finally, Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction has adopted a rather unconventional approach for their poster. Unlike most film posters that try to make their poster universal and reach out to multiple demographics, Pulp Fiction has a sort of niché market. Their gritty dark magazine cover styled poster provides a rather vintage and retro look. Additionally, sexual undertones are highly prevalent and thereby asserts the notion of having a selected market and is not a film for everyone. The poster also manipulates its audience through its bold use of colors with their words. Colors such as black and red often have a dark undertone to it thereby referencing to the film’s themes. Furthermore, the title is in a serif font, and thus provides us with the idea that the film has a serious tone to it, however this contrasts with the caption in front of it, “A Quentin Tarantino film.” It’s in a cursive font thereby juxtaposing to the serious nature of the serif font. This makes sense as the film is a dark thriller comedy.
Until about 3 years ago, I never gave much thought to typography. However, when I had to make my first poster for The Calling, the longest section of making the poster was selecting the font for the title. It was then that I realized the importance of typography and paid a lot more importance to it. It’s one of those things that accentuate the mood and themes of a poster immensely, however it isn’t given much attention and taken for granted by the audience. However, I believe subconsciously it plays a major role and can greatly influence one’s decision.
Sahil Lulla 🙂