3 top tips for creating a terrifying horror poster

Bill Corbett counts down the top things to remember when designing a fearfully effective horror poster.

horror poster bird thing

Freelance artist Bill Corbett advises to bear three things in mind when designing a horror poster...

01. Fear

First, convey fear. There are many things people are scared of – both primeval and techno – and each person differs in their perceptions. It's important to absorb the story you're portraying and draw out the elements the majority of people find scary. Spiders, snakes and rats are typical for creatures, and the undead, cursed and demons expose people's fears.

02. Relevance

Second, make sure the subject is relevant. Ensure your poster keeps within the boundaries of the film or book that it's depicting. Of course, if this is purely a design exercise then you can pretty much do whatever you please!

03. Generate interest

generate interest

A typical technique for conveying horror is a curtained effect, where only a glimpse of the horror behind it can inspire fear. Even a parting of hair is curtain enough!

Third, inspire a feeling of morbid attraction. Horror is a unique art form on its own. As human beings we all have a sense of morbid fascination, be it large or small. Typically, red, black and white can 
be incredibly poignant when thinking in colour.

If applicable, twisted anatomy, gore and putrid discharge are the props that help create a feel of both fascination and repulsion in the viewer.

Words: Bill Corbett

Bill Corbett works as a freelance artist producing illustrations for media groups, public relations companies, small businesses, bands and private clients.

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