Movie Poster Artist Breaks Down Composition and Color Schemes

I do not think I have heard this many great tips for visual control and storytelling in such a short video before.

In the above video from Vanity Fair, James Verdesoto shows how color schemes and composition is used in movie posters. Within the first minute, he has already explained how a white background draws attention to the subjects of the poster. How the color of their clothing and expressions explains the personality types, and how the size of the subjects within the frame of the poster creates different kinds of tension. I especially liked when he mentioned how negative space draws attention. Something I use a lot in my photography.

Verdesoto goes on to explain how the color blue is used in thriller posters and a silhouetted character is running down a street. If they want an action oriented thriller they add in yellows to contrast the blue, if they go for a sci-fi feel they add greens to the blues etc.

It is generally interesting to see how trends have shaped the look of movie posters, and what tricks the movie poster artists use to catch the viewers attention. Why does so many indie and small budget movies have a yellow background?

Check out the video above. It is very interesting and let me hear your thoughts below.

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Joe Black's picture

Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

Mads Peter Iversen's picture

You're very welcome, Joe! :)

Rod Kestel's picture

Terrific stuff, I'll have to watch it a 2nd time. Glad to recognise some elements in the book design I'm doing.

Studio 403's picture

I have wanted to make a “fake” move poster of a client , just for fun , have not done it yes, this is helpful , thanks

Ngaere Woodford's picture

That was bloody awesome! Smart man with an amazing talent and eye for design.

rohit rahulvirat's picture

Thank you very much for sharing, i can see the similar concept of movie posters on catmouse -