The Secrets to Great Key Art

Ideas feat. Paul LaFleur, Design Director

We’re always looking for inspiration to elevate our design game, and this month, our team’s tapping into movie posters with Muse by Clio and Creative Bloq. From the desk of our Design Director Paul LaFleur, here are the do’s and don’ts of design, drawing from this year’s Best Picture nominees and some of the most iconic film posters of all time.

Starting with the Oscars’ Best Picture nominees, Paul details which posters hit the storytelling mark and which ones flopped, along the way distilling takeaways for effective visual storytelling. Of those takeaways: successful key art is all about balance. Check out his thoughts on Barbenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things and more here.

They've got to stand out and convey both message and meaning—or risk getting lost in the churn.

Paul LaFleur, Design Director

Meanwhile, a trip through cinematic design history reveals the 24 most iconic film posters ever created. For Paul, the vintage illustrations of the 1968 film are one of a kind. “The poster is almost more art than design in a way, and is memorable because of the striking imagery created.”

And 1982’s The Thing comes second to none for human-alien visuals that pack a punch, and with only a 24-hour notice for the design. “With a high-fidelity of craftsmanship, Drew painted the poster in the short timespan and perfectly captured the sense of paranoia, dread and suspenseful mystery that this movie entails.” Read his full take and see the other top posters here.