art & design

I Designed A Film Poster For Harry Potter

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For my contextual studies project we had to redesign 3 of our favourite movie posters into specific design styles. First I had to do a Harry Potter poster in the style of Saul Bass. I also designed posters for Snowpiercer and Wall.E. This was such a fun project because I got to work with films I love.

Saul Bass was a graphic designer and was well known in the 50s and 60s for his cut paper style. He designed the posters for over 30 films, created title sequences for many films and designed logos for major businesses like AT&T, United Way and Continental Airlines. I started out by doing some visual research. This is all collated on Pinterest because it’s a very easy way of finding imagery.


The Saul Bass posters are very simple, most having one element or object which is important to the story. Since I was redesigning a poster for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone it made sense that this one icon be Harry’s scar since it is so recognisable.

But I didn’t like the poster I ended up with. It seemed too off balance. My lecturer actually told me this was good enough to hand in but I wasn’t happy with it and started again.


So I went back and started the Harry Potter poster again. This time staying with the same icon (Harry’s scar) but this time I included a full portrait. I really liked how it turned out. Though Harry’s glasses do look a little John Lennon-y. One thing I found really interesting about this was how adding the credits made it feel more like a movie poster.

Maybe it’s one of those things where you’re so used to seeing the credits on a poster it’s now an integral part of what a movie poster looks like.


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