Creating My Own Minimalist Movie Poster

Every week during my childhood, I would eagerly wait for the weekend to come so I could watch movies with my family. Being transported to a world that I never had imagined before was something fantastic and amazing. I would look at movie posters ahead of time and decide which world I wanted to go to. While others may consider it just a piece of paper, a movie poster includes major symbols and keys to the storyline of the movie that helps captivate people’s minds.

Graphic design class is currently one of the most interesting and challenging classes I am taking. It requires a lot of imagination and allows me to be more creative and thoughtful. The challenge of “creating my own minimalist poster” was tough since it had to include minimal information from the movie while representing it clearly. Learning how to use different kinds of tools, inserting or tracing an appropriate image, and coming up with my own creative ideas was challenging, but it was a process that improved my ideas and helped make my poster look better.

The process of making a movie poster took about two weeks. Each class period I had to ask myself many questions about text, color, gradients, and background to improve my draft. After each class, I would then continue to work on how I could make a minimalist poster that would include important symbols from the movie in a creative way.

Selecting a movie to create a poster for was the starting point of this project. The movie Up is undoubtedly one of my favorite movies ever, so that was the obvious choice for me.

Next I had to think about the symbols of the movie Up. What do people conceive or picture in their minds when they hear about this movie? In order to answer this question, I first brainstormed my own ideas and conceptions about the movie.

The movie Up has a serene and peaceful feeling which comes from the quiet music and soft background colors of the movie. That is why I chose and created a background color of sky blue that matches the scenery in the movie; I placed it on a larger white artboard, which allowed me to create a white outline around the blue background.

Another thing that came to mind right away was balloons. The scene when a lot of colorful balloons spread across the sky was impressive and memorable for me. Therefore, I decided I would emphasize the balloons in the center of my poster to highlight this significant symbol.

Creating balloons was pretty convenient using the shape tool, which is a tool used to create different shapes such as circles, squares, stars, etc. Selecting my desired shape (a circle) and creating a perfect circle was my next step. Then I had to pull the circle down a little using the different points that surround each shape in order to form the shape of a balloon. I then created five more balloons by copying and pasting the first one I made. I made them different colors: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

Next, I created the shape of the house with a pen tool. I made the house white since it matched the outline. Finally, I added some small details such as the date and the phrase “Coming Soon.” My first draft was complete.

After completing my draft, Mr. Hanson gave me some feedback and advice. He told me that the colors of the balloons were too strong and there were too few of them. He also suggested that I update my trace of the characters to include the iconic things they wear.

Now I had to add more balloons and change the colors to blend in more with the background. I figured out that using gradients was one of the ways to make the balloons look soft and smooth. Therefore, I tried different colors of gradients in the balloons to see which color fit the best. The color I ended up choosing was orange because it best matched the background color as well as the theme. I also traced the symbolic things that the characters wore: glasses and a scarf. Despite the difficulty of making them smooth, I traced the man’s glasses and the boy’s scarf from the pictures of the movie. I also made the items white to keep the look minimal and simple. This was the final version of my poster:

After going through the poster critique in class, I learned what my classmates liked most about my project: the gradient of the balloons that matched nicely with the color of the background; the arrow on the word UP, which they thought was creative; and the background color combined with the house color which gave a soft, bright feeling that fit with the tone and theme of the movie.

There was some critical feedback as well: the tracing of the house wasn’t as clean as it could have been and it turned out sharp or warped in some places. The “Coming Soon” text was something I should’ve deleted to make the poster more minimalistic and clean looking.

Overall, it was one of the projects I enjoyed doing the most at Blair, and I learned a lot. I plan to continue studying and learning more about graphic design in the future, so I am excited to start new projects in my class and learn even more about illustration.

Christine Jeong

Christine Jeong '23 is a sophomore at Blair Academy and a writer for the Oracle. She enjoys traveling, listening to music, art, writing, and watching movies. She hopes to be an enthusiastic writer and write about various topics in Oracle.