Graphic Design

6 Jun

One of the small pleasures of life, for me, is taking the time to look at the new stamp designs when I go to the Post office. With rare exceptions, almost all of them based on children’s drawings, modern stamps are quite good graphic design. Not only are they craftsmanlike art, they are well composed, and usually even the sheets are well composed. Whatever the United States Post Office is doing wrong, they hire good designers to do their stamps.

This isn’t as common as you might think. Hollywood studios spend millions of dollars on publicity, and yet movie posters are often badly designed; cluttered, non-dynamic, and forgettable. Which just makes NO sense. Take THE AVENGERS. Not a great, thought-provoking film, I grant, but it was certainly VISUALLY arresting. The poster?

The Avengers (2012) – IMDb.

 It’s a jumble of figures, kind of standing around. In fact, an awful lot of movie posters are like that. So are DVD covers, and since they are smaller the problem is worse. They don’t catch the eye. The last really eye-catching DVD cover I saw was the Criterion Collection edition of THRONE OF BLOOD.

 

Throne of Blood (1957) – IMDb.

 

And it should be noted that the Criterion people are in the business of lovingly restoring films they feel are classics. They CARE about these films, as something more than income streams.

The Post office is in financial trouble (the Post Office has been in financial trouble as long as I can remember). Maybe they should rent out some of their graphic artists to the film industry. It couldn’t HURT.

 

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