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How to Make Movie Style Posters

written by: KateG•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 10/31/2009

As a desktop publisher, you may not often have projects that allow you to go above and beyond the standard task list. But if you're looking for something new to try, how about adding movie style posters to your bag of tricks. This article shows you how to add that trick easily.

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    We have all seen them when we are out and about. They immediately attract your attention. They make you want to find out more about their product. They are movie posters, and even if you are not making a poster specifically for a movie you can still make a great movie style poster for your clients. Just follow these helpful tips and you will be creating great posters in no time.

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    Ditch the Borders

    If you look at movie posters you will notice that elements are not separated. That means that borders are out of the question. Stay away from lines and shaded boxes while you are at it. Any element that gives you the feeling of separation is off limits.

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    Photo Quality and Style

    Only photo quality images will do for your poster. Even if you are using a cartoon style image it needs to be of a high quality. That means nothing that smacks of clip art. Most importantly, you will need to have high image resolution to your picture.

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    Layer Your Elements

    One of the most impressive and most challenging aspects of a movie style poster is the layering of elements. You may be used to working in zones of the page with sections for images and separate sections for text, get away from that idea and be up for layering. Of course, where you put those layers matters too. Avoid using layers:

    • Over a face, hair, or hands on a body
    • In the middle of a shape or area the same size as the text, unless it is at the bottom

    Where are some common places that you may find words?

    • At the bottom of the poster
    • At the top of the poster

    * On the sides, vertically oriented

    * In the layer 1/3 of a poster over a characters torso or legs

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    When dealing with layering you are going to have to make it blend. The best way to make this seamless is with a solid understanding of transparency. While it is largely a judgment call, and you have many great piece written on its proper use, when it comes to this project you need to be most concerned with edge transparency.

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    Now you can make a great movie style poster without having to compromise your signature style.