First up is the poster design for 360, a film based on Arthur Schnitzler’s play, La Ronde, and the subsequent films made based on its narrative. Following the intertwining stories of many different characters, the film takes viewers on a round the world trip, apparently full of love and suspense. When I first saw the poster, I thought that the dark colours signified more of the suspenseful elements of the film - in fact, I would never have guessed that it was a romance at all; the moody, pensive images and earthy tones all serve to give it the vibe of a thriller.
You also would’ve thought they’d have used a circular design rather than the angular one they’ve gone with to highlight the cyclic nature of the plot, but ah well. Maybe that’s just me.
War of the Buttons is a story that I would imagine almost everyone will have at least heard of. This particular version hails from France (humorously titled La Nouvelle Guerre des Boutons aka The ‘New’ War of the Buttons), the country that the novel was originally set in - this outing is being re-released by the Weinstein brothers for the American market, complete with a new poster design. I really love it, particularly for its use of buttons to make up the typeface. If I was to be really nit-picky, I would say the white background is a little cheating, as I suspect it’s been used to omit any spoilers. It could’ve served to highlight the wartime theme, maybe through old photos, vintage textures etc. It does seem almost too simple, but I think whoever designed it has been quite clever, creating an effective and interesting composition that makes you want to find out more.
The next one is of Taiwanese origin - a "beautifully imagined and creatively rendered" drama, Starry Starry Night is a tale of growing pains, family dynamics and young love told from the point of view of two young teens; the second film by director, Tom Lin, it’s based on a novel by Taiwanese author Jimmy Liao.
Taking its inspiration for the Van Gogh painting its title was inspired by, the poster design merges child-like paper boats and doodles, placing the two central characters in the middle of the impressionist painting. Charming and understated, the design’s elegance is in its simplicity, and you can’t help but be drawn into the imagined world.
What makes both this and the design for the War of the Buttons most effective are their inclusion of the themes, no matter how small the reference. A great design draws you in - you may find me repeating this, so apologies, but it’s definitely true! - and engages its target market, allowing you to make a connection with the subject matter.
Anything superfluous could subconsciously put people off or be misleading (as in the case of 360) and potentially narrow the intended audience. One thing designers and film-makers need to remember is bad publicity can be worse than no publicity!