Tag Archives: Graphic Design

ITC Serif Gothic: The New Sci-Fi and Horror Font

For approximately a year, I’ve been seeing a new font pop up in movie posters and promotional materials, amongst other places. It drove me crazy trying to find the name of it because it’s more of a retro typeface, clearly used primarily in the late 60s, 1970s, and early 80s. Finally, I dug a little deeper and found it. It’s ITC Serif Gothic, and it invokes all sorts of connotations of 70s horror and sci-fi. Sure enough, that’s exactly how it’s being used today- to inspire warm, fuzzy retro feelings of nostalgia about a very specific genre and era of films. It may sound like I’m busting the chops of poster designers, but I actually kind of love this. I think it’s a great font that serves its exact purpose to a tee. After drowning in years of Trajan, Gotham, and Gill Sans, it’s a breath of fresh air. Here are several examples of ITC Serif Gothic in recent use. Continue reading

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Infographic: The Life of Ballparks

LifeBallparksHeader

I’ve always loved Major League ballparks. It’s easy to wax poetic about your first trip, when you can smell the grass, hear the crack of the bat, the sound of the beer vendors and the ballpark organist, the hum of the crowd, and take in the scent of ballpark fare wafting off of the grill. Every game, all 162 of them for your hometown nine, represents an unforgettable experience for a witness in the stadium, and it’s been happening since the middle of the 19th century. There’s nothing else like it, and each city’s baseball cathedral has its own special fingerprint. All of this is what inspired me to create today’s visualization. I’ve put together the history of MLB ballparks for active franchises into a single graph, going back as far as each franchise has existed, including a breakdown of ballparks opened by year.  Enjoy! Continue reading

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The Genius of Saul Bass

For decades, movie studios had no clue how to promote themselves. Movie trailers and posters were cookie-cutter affairs, and film title sequences were bland. Enter Saul Bass. At this point, you’re probably wondering who I’m talking about. Continue reading

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Font U: A Guide to Recognizing Popular Fonts in Films

By night, I’m John- the crime-fighting proprietor of a movie and TV site. But by day, I’m the mild-mannered John, a graphic designer and editor. Since I get paid to pay attention to words and the way they’re presented, I get a kick out of combining my day job and my hobby. I like seeing which fonts are being used in films and film posters. There are several that are very popular and I’d like to clue you in on which ones are which. Let’s start with a rather obvious one: Continue reading

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Movie Posters, Graphic Design, and the Art of the ‘Z’

One of the first things that I learned about graphic design is the power of the “Z”. Allow me to explain. Typically, readers’ eyes will gravitate to the top left of something that they’re reading. The natural flow for them is to go from left to right. Then their eyes typically go diagonally through the center, down to the bottom left of the piece, and then left to right again. And graphic designers will exploit these natural reading habits by placing calls to action or strong visual elements in the path of these steps. Here’s an illustration of how this works, using an advertisement I found at tsunamimarketing.com. I’ve placed a bright red path to show the ‘Z’:


Once you see the ‘Z’, you’ll never miss it. Designers don’t always use it (there are tons of ways to build effective graphic design), and sometimes the ‘Z’ goes backwards. But make no mistake- there are Z’s all over the place in a lot of graphic design. Except for web, which is an ‘F’… but let’s not get sidetracked here. Why do I bring all of this up, you ask? Movie posters. You can’t miss the Z’s in movie posters. And thanks to Ruth at Flix Chatter, who recently wrote about movie posters and design, I’ve been inspired to show you a bunch of movie poster Z’s. Some examples (and I’ve placed the bright red ‘Z’ on top of these):

Continue reading

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