Check This Out: Hollywood's Most Common Trends in Movie Posters

November 8, 2011

Movie Poster Trends

If the revelation that Hollywood consistently uses the contrast of orange and blue color palettes on dozens of movie posters ruined your enjoyment of seeing stylish one sheets in theaters everywhere, then you may want to stop reading right now. A French blogger by the name of Christophe Courtois (via has put together a collection of fourteen popular design trends in movie posters. While some you've seen already like floating heads, there are some other interesting observations like the predominance of blue in both action films and movies about animals and nature as well. See the various movie poster trends below!

Here are the fourteen movie poster trends via (click for larger images):

Movie Poster Trends - Floating Heads

Movie Poster Trends - Backs Turned

Movie Poster Trends -Back-to-Back Couples

Movie Poster Trends - Couples in Bed

Movie Poster Trends - Eyes

Movie Poster Trends - Blue Action Movies

Movie Poster Trends - Legs Spread

Movie Poster Trends - Mosaic Faces

Movie Poster Trends - Red Dresses

Movie Poster Trends - Faces and Text

Movie Poster Trends - Orange and Black

Movie Poster Trends - Blue Nature Movies

Movie Poster Trends - Copycat Posters

There are some TV posters thrown in there every now and then, but we'll let that slide. Notice there's now an orange and black trend to go with the aforementioned contrast of blue and orange on movie posters. It's interesting to see the predominance of close-ups on faces with text superimposed on top. Out of all these, I think the most diverse of the trends seems to be the close-up faces created using some sort of mosaic pattern as with The Truman Show, Lord of War and The Next Three Days.

Meanwhile some of the worst posters are featured with couples being placed back-to-back or simply laying in bed together, and there aren't too many good movies with a poster featuring the spread legs in the foreground either. And obviously, Neo from The Matrix isn't the only person interested in a woman wearing a red dress. As for that last batch which tries to point out copycat posters to "trick" viewers, some of them like The Good German and Australia are merely respectful homages intended to evoke nostalgia and a certain style from the past that is rarely seen in today's Photoshop heavily advertising world.

Discussion: Do these poster design trends have anything to do with a film's success?

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Reader Feedback - 26 Comments


woww that thing is great, thumbs up to guys who did this !!

Alex on Nov 8, 2011


This is great. I was expecting to see some orange/blue themed posters too.

Tendonin on Nov 8, 2011


i did too...ill just shrug it off as they ran out of room.....

Jericho on Nov 8, 2011


Well that's the one that most people know about, and this guy wanted to highlight some of the other lesser publicized trends I guess. But that's why we mention the orange/blue themes posters right off the bat too.

Ethan Anderton on Nov 8, 2011


i noticed that Nicholas Cage likes fire....

Jericho on Nov 8, 2011


Matthew McCahougney likes leaning on people.

The_Kid89 on Nov 8, 2011



Jules on Nov 8, 2011


Interesting compilation! Sadly, it show's Hollywood's lack of originality! 

Blue Silver on Nov 8, 2011


Ok, seriously, no montage of posters with dirt/sparks/debris in the foreground? Come on, people!

Brian J. Roan on Nov 8, 2011


in the 2nd pic, whats the poster between unforgiven and cowboys and aliens?

Liran Ravich on Nov 8, 2011


Arthur and the Invisibles 2. I have kids.

Liverhead28 on Nov 8, 2011


Some og these shouldn't be mixed in with the others but then alot of them are very similair that it makes me sick.

The_Kid89 on Nov 8, 2011


Who cares?  They're movie posters, not works of art.  If you think there is anything left of originality, take a look of fashion......all recycled versions of the past.

Jules on Nov 8, 2011


Exactly. Trends exist everywhere. The same can be applied to magazine covers. Many of them are similar. Later on the trend is going to change again then theyl have something new to follow. On a side note, a lot of artists and designers take inspiration from others which isnt necessarily a bad thing.

Meki22 on Nov 9, 2011


Academia is more exciting then you Hollywood. 

Brandon on Nov 8, 2011



Jules on Nov 8, 2011


You can add Inception to that 6th set of posters.

happy camper on Nov 8, 2011


From top to bottom: The Beach The Back Back to Back The Bed  The Eye The Runner Between the Legs Face Time Lady in Red Tag Line Orange and White Blue The Copies

Armeetapus16 on Nov 8, 2011


The Illuminati ones creep me out...

David Banner on Nov 9, 2011


Damn, I hit enter before posting my breakdown(yeah, bored at work): 4 beach22 back2 back to back0 bed25 eye2 leaning14 the runner10 legs14 face time42+lady in red12 tag line11 orange and white2 blue11 the copies

David Banner on Nov 9, 2011


^----that didnt go as planned

David Banner on Nov 9, 2011


I love the ones with a close up of a face and then all text written all over it. That's kinda my favorite type of posters out of these.

Davide Coppola on Nov 9, 2011


This is really lame. If they all were good posters, maybe but you can see so many half-rate ones in there that are attempting to replicate the better ones. Obviously nature movies are blue when they are about water, undersea life, whales etc. and action movies use fire which is orange and yellow.  Shitty movies use the figure of a woman, I mean so many of those movies there are meant to suck so who cares? I don't think this was as good as the orange blue thing.

lame on Nov 9, 2011


I think it is worth pointing out that many of these are either posters for foreign films or non-domestic posters for Hollywood films - I am seeing a lot of French posters, for example. The range of influence is quite interesting. 

Sarah on Nov 13, 2011


The man who created this is a French blogger... Read the introductions first, they give you a little background.

Daniel on Nov 27, 2011


At, see how the poster for "The Next Three Days" resembles a Detective Comics cover.

Carlos Nicolini on Jan 18, 2012

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