CREATIVE BLOQ: Are movie posters in a design crisis?

CREATIVE BLOQ posted this interesting article on the state of movie posters, and Richard Amsel is mentioned in the article. Here is an excerpt:

Last month saw the release of the poster for Spider-Man: Homecoming. The design was – well – pretty crowded to say the least. Featuring Peter Parker, Tony Stark as himself, Tony Stark as Iron Man, new baddie Adrian Toomes and the Vulture twice, plus both fireworks and lasers, and the Manhattan skyline and the Washington Monument squished in for good measure.Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the internet to react, with fans and critics offering a unanimously negative response. Some even took the time to mock up their own versions, arguing that there was no way to make the poster worse than it already was. And while some called it a bad Photoshop job and others branded it plain amateurish, the collage-style it evokes is nothing new.

The likes of Drew Struzan and John Alvin became iconic for their illustrated, collage-style, ‘floating-head’ poster designs, so why is it that posters of a similar style now seem lazy and inauthentic? Is it all down to lazy Photoshop work? Or is it simply that mainstream movie posters are mimicking the apathetic movie industry – producing sequel after sequel, remake after remake – that despite what the poster looks like, the movie will sell well anyway.

Illustrator Sam Gilbey, who has produced pop culture artwork for properties including Marvel's Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Karate Kid and Flash Gordon, argues that the introduction of Photoshop may have harmed the industry by making it easier for inexperienced designers to put together collage-style posters without the design skills to back them up. “Obviously you think of the masters like Richard Amsel, working pre-Photoshop, and you can see how marketing departments have often thought they can now produce something similar internally,” he explains.

“If you’re simply moving photos around though, you’re not going to get that cohesiveness that an illustration can bring you. A skilled artist can take all those disparate elements and weave them together into a beautiful composition, whilst capturing the aspirational ‘feel’ of a movie at the same time. Of course now the fantastic thing is that as an artist you can use Photoshop to aid the process. The ‘problem’ is that you don’t need to be an artist to give it a try, or to understand how good compositions and colour palettes really work.”

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