Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Poster Trends: The Mondrian Look

Continuing my focus on modern poster designs that pay homage to older styles and artists, I present to you the Mondrian Look (also referred to as, The Disjointed Squares look).

I've called it the Mondrian Look after the artist, Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter, who, in the 1920's, created works such as these:

The posters that recall Mondrian are, whether the designers realize it or not, playing on the design principles he proposed in the twenties. Mainly, principles of organization and color - composing on a grid and making that grid the focal point of the design. The paintings were, in essence, design broken down to the most fundamental elements. It's a fairly cold, antiseptic kind of design.

In the case of the movie posters, the Mondrian Look sometimes, but definitely not always, is an accurate representation of the style of filmmaking in the movie. We see snapshots of characters or scenes from the film set apart in various frames. Like Mondrian's work, it's a very cold, stripped down look and sometimes the movies themselves are cold, stripped down, character-driven stories.

Unfortunately, it has become one of the most grossly overused poster designs around and the meaning suggested by the style itself has been all but lost. It now seems to suggest the same design intentions as the Floating Heads style. Mainly: SELL THE ACTORS.

Next up: The Magritte Look.

1 comment:

  1. Am I too stupid to ever see these themes and tie them together in my head? I feel dumb. Though, I never liked this style. Attempting too much exposition and not enough cohesion and focus. Also, Is it a coincidence that I have no class and I have yet to see any of the movies pictured?

    Sometimes, I feel like Laura McCabe from No Strength in Men.