Our Top 5 Favourite Sci-fi Movie Posters Of All Time
Sci-fi and fantasy movies are known for their elaborate, stunning, and in many cases historic, posters. What may have begun as a traditional and straight-forward piece of advertising, can often transcend that to become an unshakable part of our cultural identity. It doesn’t happen that often, but there are times when simple advertising becomes lasting art.
What makes a good poster? Naturally, it’s all subjective, but there are certain well-established rules of poster design that can be followed if you’re looking to design something to make the most impact. These five examples show these principles in action, becoming some of the most iconic designs in cinema history.
Star Wars is still the main go-to answer of what many people consider to be the most popular, lasting, and defining series of sci-fi movies ever made. It’s hard to think back to 1977 when George Lucas’ original masterpiece still needed to prove itself at the box office. The poster used has become iconic – and it stands in stark simplicity to some of the later posters that would be used in the franchise. The poster has a simple combination of Darth Vader, Skywalker, Leia, C3P0 and R2D2, yet has become a lasting cultural icon.
In 1979 the alien monster movie was going to be re-defined by Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, which many people feel has never been bettered in terms of an atmospheric horror film. Alien follows Ellen Ripley as she battles a growing infestation of fierce acid-spitting aliens, in what has become a cultural masterpiece. The poster, however, indicates next to nothing of what is to come and shows the idea of “less is more” is always effective. The poster shows nothing but an Alien’s egg, slowly cracking, in ominous minimalist beauty.
The birth of the sci-fi film often traces back to Fritz Lang’s cultural icon – Metropolis. The expressionist film has become a part of history, and in 2001 became the first film to be inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Registry. The poster is equally iconic, showing the silhouette of the eponymous metropolis with the Machine Man in the foreground.
Back to the Future
Robert Zemeckis directed Back to the Future in 1985, in a film that almost didn’t get made due to difficulty in funding. The film, and the two following sequels, became one of the most popular franchises in history, however. The original poster is a fantastic symbol of colourful and dynamic 80’s design, featuring two of the lasting stars of the series – Marty McFly and the ever-popular DeLorean.
Star Wars: Episode 1
Many fans of the franchise don’t look back at George Lucas’ 1999 attempt to depict the origins of the Star Wars story. But the original poster used has taken on a life of its own. Before the film’s actual name, The Phantom Menace, was released, a teaser poster was released just depicting it as Episode 1. It shows a young Anakin Skywalker, standing in the shadow of Darth Vader.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.