“The movie poster is dead. Long live the movie poster. Gone are the days of hand-drawn studio posters that possessed a creativity and artistry matching that of the films themselves. Think of “King Kong,” with its harrowing illustrations, or Saul Bass’s Minimalist design for “Vertigo.” The contemporary studio poster is often a literal, less adventurous affair, like the vision of Julia Roberts on the back of Tom Hanks’s scooter in the poster for “Larry Crowne,” a typical example of today’s photography-driven advertisements.
But an outfit far from Hollywood has sought to recapture the vintage hand-drawn spirit while injecting some contemporary flair. The company is Mondo, an offshoot of the Austin, Tex., theater chain Alamo Drafthouse. It commissions artists to design alternative versions of posters for films considered cult or genre pictures.
The styles range from multi-tiered, character-packed collage (like Tyler Stout’s fanboy-friendly work for “The Empire Strikes Back”) to subdued prints that express a movie’s mood more than anything else (like the simple smoking gun forming Clint Eastwood’s profile in Olly Moss’s “Dirty Harry”).
As wild as the company is about movies, Mondo is serious about its posters, and it is not alone in this sentiment. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has an archive of more than 38,000 movie posters, recently started adding Mondo’s work to its collection. While the archive is diverse, adding a large series of alternative posters from an independent company is a rarity.” (Reprinted from the NY Times)