• Becky Clee

Thought Process: Re-Imagined Minimalistic Film Poster - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

One of my favourite projects I conducted during my second year at university was re-imagining a film poster in a minimalistic style. As you may have read in my previous my previous blog post, this is one of the moments where I fell in love with the art style. For one of my designs, I opted to re-create the film poster for 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Though minimalistic, there is in fact, multiple layers of meaning to the design - hence sharing my thought process behind the creation with you today.

When designing a re-imagined film poster for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' using lines and shapes, I wished to draw on the audiences memory of both Queen and Freddie Mercury, alongside the recent film. Yet as an overall concept, I kept the design relatively minimal and self-explanatory due to both the popularity of Queen amongst audiences and as it is a consistent feature of minimalistic film poster designs.

In the production stage, the first element I focussed on was the main content of the poster and this was a silhouette of Freddie Mercury, which I created using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator, to form one continuous line into a shape. I opted to only feature Freddie, as a common aspect of film posters is that they only feature the main character. With regards to his stance, I opted for the iconic pose that Freddie is famous for, which is the pose from Queen's Live Aid performance where he is facing the audience with one arm raised in the air - which I felt worked perfectly in this design. My reasoning behind this is that regardless as to whether or not the audience have seen the film, this particular pose is iconic; but also draws on the content of the film as Queen's Live Aid performance bookends the film - therefore, drawing on the audiences' memory of events and connection to Queen or their viewing experience. In addition to this, due to Freddie's tall stance, it symbolises strength and power, thus connoting the idea of the longevity of Queen's legacy and the strength of their career. Simultaneously, the pose also encourages the audience to look at the elements of the poster from top to bottom, starting with his arm raised in the air then following it down to the other elements such as the film's title and tagline. Furthermore, I felt that due to the ubiquity of Queen, a silhouette of Freddie would be sufficient enough due to being such a recognisable music icon.

My next focus was the background. As I wanted to feature a silhouette of Freddie Mercury as the focal point of the poster, I felt that the background used in the official 'Bohemian Rhapsody' poster was perfect as the purple to orange sky has the appearance of a sunset. Therefore, I re-created this in a minimalistic style using a deep purple to orange gradient for three reasons. Firstly, I felt that it was the perfect accompanying background to the silhouette of Freddie, and as a sunset connotes the end of the day, it also symbolises the end of Queen's Live Aid performance. Linking in with the idea of the sunset, as I used a horizontal gradient, this direction of line connotes a calm atmosphere, thus creating an aesthetically pleasing visual.

The final elements that I included was the film title and its tagline. Yet I wanted to use either the exact or similar fonts to the ones that were used in the official poster. I decided upon this, as the font used for 'Bohemian' called 'Bebas Neue Regular', was a tall, sans serif font - which alike Freddie's tall stance, reflects the strength and power of their music and career. Whereas the font used for 'Rhapsody' called 'Optimus Princeps' paid homage to the font used in Queen's official logo - thus drawing on the audiences' knowledge / memory. I ensured that I used a large font size for the film title, to connote the importance of the information and the same shade of yellow as seen in the official poster as I felt this colour palette worked well together. Finally, as most film posters feature the film's tagline, I included 'The only thing more extraordinary than their music is his story' in the same font as 'Bohemian' but smaller, in bold to stand out, and the colour white for contrast. I felt this tied in nicely with the imagery I created as despite no mention of Queen or Freddie, only 'their music' and 'his story', the audience can piece together the silhouette and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to decode who it is referring to.

In terms of the positioning of the elements, as opposed to placing everything in the centre of the design, I experimented by placing Freddie to the left hand side and the film's title and tagline in the centre of the right-hand side. I felt this was highly effective overall as the way I positioned the elements, it looked like Freddie was looking down at the film's title as though he was looking back at his legacy - which is ultimately what the film is about. In comparison to other film posters, this was an unconventional decision, as the elements are typically placed centrally.

Overall, despite being minimalistic, there are several layers of meaning to the design alongside elements that can draw upon the audiences' understanding and connection to Queen.

I hope that this gives you a deeper understanding of the design that I created and I will be sharing more of my 'thought processes' in the near future!

As always, thank you for reading!


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