Minimalist Classic Movie Posters

In a world saturated with minimalist poster designs, graphic designer Michal Krasnopolski has developed his own unique take on the subject. His Minimalist Classic Movie Posters are really, em, minimal. Above, Jaws.

Template

All of the 22 posters Krasnopolski designed correspond to a 2 X 2 grid consisting solely of a circle and two crossing diagonals, all inscribed within a square.

Star Wars

At first, Krasnopolski hazarded that the template was too rigid and wouldn’t yield very many designs. But as he got going, he realized that there were "plenty of possibilities."

Return of the Jedi

Krasnopolski had been hard at work on a minimalist poster design project for months, but was getting nowhere. Frustrated and about to throw in the towel, he sketched out two diagonal lines, one red and one green, that would become the basis for the Return of the Jedi poster.

Superman

With that poster, Krasnopolski launched a new project that was both visually clever and abstract. He says that the posters “require some knowledge of movie genre, and [are] a riddle game for movie enthusiasts.”

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Rather than freely employing shapes and geometric motifs, the posters rigorously adhere to the template model.

Pulp Fiction

They usually consist of lines set on a colored background. Text at the bottom of each poster reproduces the credits block seen on theatrical movies posters.

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Asked if he would continue the project, Krasnopolski says that it’s a possibility, but also worries that "some of the ideas were beginning to mirror each other.”

101 Dalmatians

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

The Hunt for Red October

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

The Hurt Locker

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Empire of the Sun

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Singin' in the Rain

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Rosemary's Baby

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Midnight in Paris

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

North by Northwest

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Lost Highway

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

A friend, who thought the grid too stringent, bet Krasnopolski that he couldn’t use it to produce a poster for 101 Dalmatians. Guess who won the bet.

Co.Design

Minimalist Posters That Reduce Your Favorite Movies To Basic Shapes

Graphic designer Michal Krasnopolski creates 22 movie posters that are head-scratchingly metaphorical.

In the future, when the history of the Internet is taught alongside social studies and algebra in middle school, there will be a brief, marginal mention of minimalist posters and how they, for a moment, encapsulated a bit of the late-aughts web. Curious students may do a little research of their own, going on to discover just how much of a hold the design trend once exerted over the popular imagination (or, at least, that of micro-bloggers). They may even come across Michal Krasnopolski’s set of minimalist classic movie posters.

Speculation aside, Krasnopolski’s posters are the latest to crop up in the meme’s short but copious history. The typical minimalist poster combines movie iconography and a pared-down midcentury aesthetic, something we’ve seen again and again and again. But don’t roll your eyes just yet. Krasnopolski’s designs are not just more of the same.

After spending months developing a series of movie posters that was going nowhere, Krasnopolski decided to start afresh. “I was about to abandon the project,” he tells Co. Design. “Then I just drew these two lines, one red, the other green, and had a ready Return of the Jedi poster.” From this scheme, he constructed a two-by-two gridded template that he used to make a batch of 22 new poster designs. The result: The most minimal minimalist posters you’ve ever seen.

The designs rigorously adhere to the same mold: a circle overlaid by two diagonals, all inscribed in a square. The structure seems stringent, but, as Krasnopolski found out, it could actually yield “plenty of possibilities.” His poster for the original Star Wars, for example, consists of a grey circle diametrically bisected by a single line and set on a black background. (Hint: it’s the Death Star.) A diagonal red line, partially dissolved at the bottom end, signifies the Man of Steel’s fiery takeoff into the sky in Superman. A dial of red tick marks, each more faded than the last, references the submarine radar screen from The Hunt for Red October.

Don’t expect every theme to be, well, abundantly clear. Krasnopolski cautions: The posters “require some knowledge of movie genres and are a riddle game for movie enthusiasts.” Still, film buffs might have a hard time deciphering the imagery behind Full Metal Jacket, which, Krasnopolski admits, is “a stretch.”

Krasnopolski is undecided about continuing the series. “I could do more, but some of the ideas are beginning to mirror each other,” he reasons. One of Krasnopolski’s friends, attempting to prove the inflexible nature of the template, bet Krasnopolski that the system would be incapable of producing a legible poster for 101 Dalmatians. Krasnopolski won the bet.

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