These days, we pretty much know what to expect from a big budget movie poster. Floating heads, dodgy Photoshop and cluttered composition are hallmarks of the modern one-sheet, but 2023 is giving us hope for a return to a more classic style.
This week alone we've seen two beautifully illustrated poster designs land online, for David Fincher's The Killer, and familiar-friendly horror flick Zombie Town. And they're by no means the first we've seen this year. (Looking for design inspiration? Check out the best print ads of all time.)
Fincher's The Killer stars Michael Fassbender as a killer who, while waiting in the shadows for his next target, finds himself unraveling. It's a simple premise with an appropriately simple poster - Fassbender points a gun at the viewer. But the moody, hand-painted poster, illustrated by James Patterson, is proving a huge hit on Twitter.
we need to bring back hand painted movie posters instead of the MCU orgie poster with every single cast involved https://t.co/JBE1vNdXdqAugust 28, 2023
Best poster of the year just dropped? https://t.co/9b701nRiCFAugust 28, 2023
Also revealed today was the poster for September's Zombie Town, written by R.L Stein (of Goosebumps fame). Illustrated by Matthew Therrien (below), the design is a decidedly Stranger Things-esque affair, leaning into an 80s retro style. "As a lifelong Stine fan, I can't even begin to express what a dream project it was be a part of this," Therrien shared on Instagram.
It's refreshing to see a move away from the 'floating head' collages that the likes of Marvel are so keen on churning out. Indeed, 2023 has been a brilliant year for poster designs – while the film itself was a little underwhelming, the hand-painted Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny poster by Tony Stella is a delightful nod to the Drew Struzan designs for the original films.
And it's not just painted posters that have wowed us over the past few months. We've seen clever concepts for films from Scream 6 to John Wick 4 in recent months. But not every design can be a winner – take a look at the worst movie posters of 2023 so far.