It’s long been argued in the poster community that the measure of a successful poster is how well it communicates the relevant show information like title, date, location, and anything else deemed important to the viewer. I mean really, what is the reason for a poster if not to present information to someone in an effort to move them to some specific action?
Some will go so far as to say that if you can’t read the poster from a distance, it is an entirely unsuccessful poster. Period. But, what about the conceptual content of the poster? Does that make a good poster….good? Or conversely, what if you can read the information a mile away but the poster doesn’t tell a story or engage the viewer? That can’t be good, can it?
If you ask me, the conceptual concept should draw the viewer in – then once you’ve earned their attention, it’s time to hit them with the information they need to be moved into action.
At Powerhouse Factories, we have designed and printed posters for more than a decade based on the notion that a poster should maintain a delicate balance between concept and communication delivery. And no poster that I’ve seen does that better than the poster for the new film, “Zero Dark Thirty”. This poster is practically illegible and, at first glance, almost looks like some targeted attempt at vandalism until you get a closer look and realize that the only completely readable piece of information is the small website tucked away at the bottom. It almost forces you to visit the website to investigate, and once you do, you realize that the movie is about top secret intelligence and the covert operation to eliminate Osama Bin Laden, a story perfectly communicated through the visual language of a poster. Never mind that you can’t read it from a distance. You don’t have to. It tells a story whether you’re two feet away or a hundred. The delicate balance between concept and communication delivery made me take a second look. And that’s a pretty successful poster in my book.