Enrich your design: leaflet printing from Solopress

5 March 2013

Avengers Assemble - TueVie Day

The Avengers movie poster successfully advertised one of the biggest blockbusters of 2012 with the help of previous Marvel franchise movies that had short teaser clips after their credits - all of which were leading to Avengers Assemble.

Today we're going to analyse some of the design choices made within this movie poster to better understand the relevance of it to the movie content.


Character Fame

Each superhero in this poster had feature movies created for their character's storyline, except Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and all of the original cast from these previous films were kept with the exception of The Hulk who was played by Mark Ruffalo (played in two previous Hulk movies by Eric Bana and Edward Norton).

The popularity of each feature movie character most-likely lead to their apparent visual rank in the poster: Iron Man stealing the most focus (as the most famous character in the franchise) leading all the way back to a more discreet Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who has been cleverly positioned in the centre of the poster - this is an illustrative representation of his relevance to the other characters as the one that brings the superheroes together.

The Scene

The scene presented is almost lifted straight out of the movie content, featuring a beam of light above Stark towers (a focal point in the plot) and the destruction of a city - an expected setting for almost all Marvel movies.

Interestingly the good guys are all featured within this illustration but the enemy is not - a deliberate choice to add mystery to the enemy’s identity or to avoid confusion the potential confusion that the enemy is a part of The Avengers?


The poster does look a bit unimaginative by just placing all of the superheroes standing together, almost as if they were photoshopped straight out their feature movie scenes and placed together. 

On the other hand, what the poster lacks in imagination it makes up for in quality of appearance as the filters applied give it a hand-painted look - a homage to the paper format this story originally came from?

In all honesty you wouldn't expect as good of a poster as this is to have been produced for such a big name franchise anyway as you'd presume that the Marvel company would've generated enough hype through trailers, entertainment media, and their fan base that a poster wouldn't have provided anything more other than a pin up for die hard Avengers fans.


If you have seen the Avengers then you will agree that the poster gives good insight into the storyline minus an appearance of the archenemy, which adds mystery as to who it is unless you follow the films and their end of trailer clips.

Overall I admire the artist's attempt at re-creating the hand-painted medium that historic poster artists previously used but in a digital format, giving the poster more association with the illustrated comic books.

The film itself is very entertaining and worth watching if you are a fan of big action scenes and previous Marvel movies. Just for your entertainment, here's the official Avengers trailer:

28 February 2013

UK Print Illustrators - 3 of February's Favourites

February has been a quick month but I’ve managed to find 3 favourite illustrators for the month whose impressive artworks have been brought to life through print. I wanted to share their work because their creations are very imaginative, which should help if you’re in need of some “outside the box” inspiration. Also, they’re based in the UK - a bit of patriotism is always fun!

Illustrators have a competitive industry to battle within whilst remaining cool-headed and creative so help these artists out by sharing this article if you’re as impressed by their illustrations as I am.

James Oconnell

Mr Oconnell is a professional all-round creative based in Manchester and his website bio makes you imagine him as the Spiderman of the illustrative world: “I'm a firm believer of using my skills for good”.

Oconnell Be Good Together

The first of his creations that appealed to me is titled Be Good Together and is intended to provoke non-collaborative creatives into working with one another to form something collectively awesome by presenting the message that it does.

His design reminds me of a dream catcher that has been hung, which almost ties in with his theme i.e. the dream that all creatives will one day work with one another.

Carl Koch

I’m a great fan of visual artists who have imaginations that can create an entire fantasy world within a single piece of art. One type of scene that has always appealed to me, since my love of the anime movie Howl's Moving Castle, is the floating island.

Koch High Rise Livin

What I admire most about Koch’s floating island, titled High Rise Livin’, is the realistic appearance of this imaginary house he has created - similar in appearance to a child’s tree house with the characteristic charm of a vintage potter’s shed.

Created with watercolours, this artwork reminds me of the Disney film Up because of the childhood contraptions created by the movie characters - an association that Koch may or may not be happy with.

Daniel Schooler

I’m not sure if the anime side of my life is running this article but my reason for showcasing this illustrator’s work is because of the connection it has with my adoration for Dragon Ball Z. Rather than explain the plot I’ll leave it for you to research and find out the relevance of giant monkeys.

Daniel Schooler

Schooler’s bio gives great insight into some of the design choices he’s made within this illustration, for example he’s added a depth of field and focus element that you’d usually find in photography by making the larger plantation, which is seemingly closer, blurred and out of focus. Within his bio he explains that he “has a curious relationship with photography” which would explain this combination of the illustration and photography forms (http://www.danielschooler.com/about.html).

Graffiti and tattoo artistry also spring to mind when analysing this piece of art which Schooler again explains are his influences and aspirations.

19 February 2013

The Matrix Movie Poster - TuVie Day

Today we’re taking a look at the promotional poster for a movie that transformed many people’s perceptions of reality and left many questioning the validity of our existence. Starring Keanu Reeves & Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix is going under the microscope in today’s TuVie Day!

The Matrix is one of the must see films that made an impact in the 90s when it was first released because of the way it took what you’d perceived as real life and made it appear like a piece of software in a complex computer program (The Matrix) - a virtual reality.

One of the reasons for The Matrix’s massive impact at this time was the boom of computer usage in households in addition to the fact that there had been no movie made like this before its birth. It was therefore inevitable that forum user handles began appearing over the internet as Morpheus, Neo and Trinity - the lead characters from the film, after its launch.

The Storyline

Without giving too much away, the basic storyline involves a hacker named Thomas A. Anderson (Reeves) who moonlights as a hacker whose alias is displayed as Neo. His online quest for “The Matrix” leads him to connect with Morpheus (Fishburne) who is initially described as a terrorist in the virtual reality, however, he is later discovered as the leader of a mercenary group who have been searching for Neo outside of this virtual reality.

To explain The Matrix Morpheus compares it to Alice In Wonderland and gives Neo the choice to remain in this virtual reality by taking a blue pill or find out what The Matrix is by taking a red one (chasing the rabbit down the hole to Wonderland).

Actual reality is a much poorer world in appearance where hard graft is needed to survive against technology that the humans had initially created. In this world where technology is self-maintaining it still needs human life as a source of power, which leads to humans being manufactured by the machines - a complete reverse to our current situation where we manufacture machines for use.

As I said I don’t want to give away too much about this film and its a hard one to explain, however, all I will say is that the story continues to show Neo as “the chosen one” who has been woken from the virtual reality in order to help save the human race from the machines that rule that world.

The Matrix Movie Poster Critique

The Matrix movie poster designed by Concept Arts

In overall appearance The Matrix movie poster is very striking with the lead character or Neo given primary focus alongside his leather wrapped colleagues. Almost none of the plot is given away in this poster, however, themes within the film are presented e.g. the falling lines or text that look similar to binary code are placed on the background to the characters. In the film we realise that this virtual reality is made from this code, therefore, the designer’s choice to place it on the walls (an element of this virtual world) is a subtle hint at what The Matrix is.

The fragmented logo of the movie has a similar appearance to an image that is loading on an old PC line by line but also looks like it is struggling, which subtly displays the technology theme. Additionally, the clear evidence of guns gives away the fact that this is an action movie, confirmed by the subtitle containing the word “fight”.

The photoshop cutouts of the characters is somewhat laughable when you consider the budget that would’ve been spent on the film’s content. You’d think that a slightly more exciting and imaginative representation of The Matrix could have been created rather than just having the characters standing around with guns, however, action film posters of the late 90s followed a very similar format so you can’t entirely knock it.


To summarise I’d have to say that not only is the movie well made but the poster is well structured for its time. I’d like to see a more imaginative representation of this poster created by an artistic fan as I feel with the current technology available to graphic designers there is something more impressive to be made that will give this film justice.

This week The Matrix gets an 8 out of 10, mainly because the poster’s design isn’t as imaginative as I feel it could be to present the great themes within the story.

If you haven’t seen The Matrix before, here’s the movie trailer for your enjoyment:

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