Janey Rowe


Poster Work and Philosophy

These poster samples also include the knowledge of how to market a movie.

- not just displaying and designing pretty pictures. It involves writing, sometimes naming, positioning, and the all to important tone. All which is very important to a film’s success.

Headline: The headline is married to the visual. It positions the film. It’s also critical.

Key Art Creation: Single imagery is most effective. If you throw in everything and the kitchen sink, the eye won’t know where to go. That’s why posters like Jaws are so iconic.

Title treatment or logo design: Critical to communicate the feeling of the film. Sometimes a film’s advertising only has room for a logo. In this case the logo bears the weight and responsibility of selling your film - just in a logo design.

Synopsis: On sell sheets synopsis is critical too. Tell us in as few words as possible your story. It has to pull no punches and hook you in about 5 to 10 sentences.

Tag Lines: After title tag can be very effective and a golden opportunity to hook your viewer. Often with comedies it can be a punchline and reflect the tone the film offers.

Billing Block: A poster needs a billing block or credits. All films have credits. Without credits, it will look like a student project. The billing block is important. “Written by” not “writer”. “Produced by” not “Producer”. It has to read professional. A billing block can give away your production’s armature mindset if it’s not handled correctly.

One Sheet design is not a literal translation of the film to poster.

Many times, a film’s poster will have imagery that is not present in the film.

Adhering to the rule of film advertising that once a viewer sees the poster and buys a ticket to the film

or decides to see or screen it, the poster has completed and done its job. No one’s going to run back to the lobby and check the poster against what they just saw to see if it’s all there. It’s not literal. It’s a sales tool.

This campaign below, I designed and composited below for the indy, no-budget film, Machine Head, became contingent upon the sale of the actual film for distribution. If they couldn’t have the art, they didn’t want to buy the film! True story. THAT’S how much it means to have a good poster or cover art. It hinges on the actual sale of the film. Cutting corners here, is only shooting yourselves in the foot.

(Machine Head art here)

It would behoove producers to let us lead them instead of the other way around. Even as far as renaming the film if necessary. That’s what film advertising agencies do. I have been an Art Director at the biggest and the best of them, so I bring all that experience along with me.

Here’s a few oldies but goodies ...

(put Fish Called Wanda Here)

This is my concept and Design (not my illustration) for Land Before Time -

This campaign launched a 7-film multimillion-dollar franchise for Spielberg and Lucas.


(put Land Before Time here)

Here’s my design and illustration work I did for Disney: