Selling the Movie has a tagline of the art of the movie poster. Ian Haydn Smith has created a book showcasing the best film posters and the fascinating history behind them.
The book is divided into an introduction about film posters and then sections devoted to the following time periods: 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
The author discusses topics like movie genres, leading designers, the influence of Hollywood and advertising trends. I enjoyed reading about the changing face of graphic design and typography.
Sometimes there are feature pages devoted to studies on the director, an actor, designer or a particular movie.
Each section includes a poster of the century with full colour illustrations.
My favourite designs are perhaps Vertigo, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Grease, Star Wars, Jaws, Batman, Pulp Fiction and E.T.
It’s interesting to see the development of monotone posters like Scarface, Scream, the Blair Witch Project and The Lobster.
Although many of us no longer go to video store and select what we want to watch by the cover. The artwork of a film can still be seen on the sides of buses, transport stops and subways. The film posters need to be adaptable to websites and trailers.
Film posters are seen as works of art by their publicity team, and there are strict rules about copyright and using it on social media.
The book has close to 300 pages, and includes an index.
Selling the Movie is a must-have for film buffs and art students.
Publisher: Quarto UK
Imprint: White Lion Publishing
Subject: Graphic design
About Ian Haydn Smith
Ian Haydn Smith is a London-based writer. He is the update editor on 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and is the editor of BFI Filmmakers Magazine and Curzon Magazine.