Monday, 21 February 2011


Inception. Directed by Christopher Nolan.

In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job to date: Inception.

Design: Ignition Print
This is the studio who created the excellent print and poster campaign fort District 9 

This movie poster just screams "special effects blockbuster!" It follows the tried and tested Hollywood formula. I don't think we need to go through the checklist again, save to say that Leonardo DiCaprio is such a global entity that we don't need a headshot, a simple glimpse of him from behind is enough to convey who it is!
The dictionary defines Inception as;   
The beginning of something, such as an undertaking; a commencement.
I don't think that this evident in the poster. We have Mr DiCaprio standing with his back to us, (gun in hand) facing what looks like a serious leak in downtown New York, now either he is out to track down a dodgy case of plumbing, is tackling rising sea levels single handedly or something's amiss! It is only as the rest of the poster series arrives that we can start to piece the theme of the film together.

What I do like about this poster is the typeface used for the title. At first look I thought that it was Labyrinthus Regular but on closer inspection and after reading through a few forums it seems that it looks more like a customised version of Gotham which ties in with subsequent posters that use a solid red Gotham probably due to legibility which is a bit of a shame. The layout leads our eye neatly down from the tag line "The Dream Is Real." or "Your Mind Is The Scene Of The Crime", through the image and the central figure of DiCaprio to the main information, title. credits, logos etc which are neatly blocked together. DiCaprio's billing spans that of the eight other mentioned actors in a widely kerned uppercase that is only matched in girth by the movies title.

The colour palette is carried out through all the poster set, the red and white text sit on the mainly blue dominated images that give us a feeling of a cold, looming fate. All of the imagery for Inception shout 'big budget', 'special effects' and 'nothing appears as it seems', they are really well executed photoshop constructions, there is definitely no hint of the documentary feel that we saw in The Fighter inspite of sharing the same typeface.

As with most of the films I've featured so far, a series of posters are released to give us an expanded idea of the films themes as the release date gets closer. Inception takes this further giving 7 characters their own posters. These employ a similar layout to the main posters just ranging the text block right or left depending on the image and blending the folding city-scapes with the charters headshots.

All in all so far this movie has the most posters, (I have come across 12 but I'm sure there are a few more out there). This is pretty common place especially when it's a blockbuster, wait till you see Toy Story 3. There are the teaser posters, the week of release posters and then the post release posters, with this explosion of versions it is always possible to loose the feeling of unity but this set sits well together, the colour palette is consistent but there are a few inconsistencies in type positioning, size and weights etc (see the last two posters) but the over all feel remains the same even in the poster sub-sets.

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