Analysing Movie Posters

Pirates 4 poster

Posters occupy a space between art and advertising. They have a clear commercial purpose - to promote an event or product - but they also have artistic value. People buy them and hang them on their walls. Museums have whole galleries devoted to poster art. When analysing a poster it is important that you evaluate both how well it fulfils its purpose (ie promotion) as well as its aesthetic value.

First steps

When analysing a poster, you should consider the following broad questions before you start to focus on the details:

Given that all movie posters have the same purpose - to get audiences to go see a movie - what persuasive techniques are used by the poster?


The Mechanic poster

The poster can also give you important information about the production context of the movie:

Critical Evaluation

Finally, you have to pass judgement on the poster.

Further Reading