je’taime plus haut que ciel – Holly Foster Media

je’taime plus haut que ciel

je t’aime plus haut que ciel!

In case you’re not fluent in French, the title means “I love you higher than the sky.” As the designer of this movie poster, my goal is to grab your attention and entice you to read the details described in the text at the bottom.

Interested in how it works? Keep reading to learn how I used design principles to try and get you — my potential audience — to buy tickets to go see my fictional film. To begin, let’s start with a little geometry to make sure the layout is aesthetically pleasing.

The Golden Ratio (a.k.a. the Golden Section)

Using the geometry in math, the golden section ratio is 1:1.618. This ratio is seen repeatedly in nature. The spiral connecting its points is found in galaxies, shells, and weather.

Using the golden section is a simple and easy way to define a pleasing composition.

(LinkedIn Learning, 2013)

With Adobe Illustrator, designers can easily create a golden rectangle to help them determine the placement of their compositional elements. I used this video to create the magenta version pictured below.

Just remember, the rectangle can be used in any direction. It can also be rotated or used multiple times in a single composition (LinkedIn Learning, 2013). Here’s the poster, shown with the golden rectangle overlay I created.

Let’s talk about how it works.

Three Levels of Dominance

The placement of a dominant element is critical to the balance of a painting or design. A dominant element in the center (horizontally or vertically) creates symmetry, producing a formal, static design.

 A dominant element close to the edge creates an out of balance tension. There is no right or wrong position for a dominant element, but the different tensions created by it should be understood and used to advantage.

(Lovett, n.d.)
  1. At first glance, you enter the poster at the young women’s eye level.
  2. Next your eye follows the spiral shape up and to the left, which takes you to the title and the photo of the Eiffel tower. These two elements combine with each other to become the secondary element of the piece.
  3. Finally your eye lands at the textual information on the bottom of the poster, the tertiary element.

Clearly, the dominant element is the young woman, our main character. Her photograph is placed off-center and channels the intrigue of a possible love affair. Even though we don’t know what the movie is about, one thing is certain — we instantly connect with her.

Is she sad? Is she discouraged? Has she gone through a difficult breakup? We need to know her story.

Balance

The placement of the woman’s image in the upper right section of the composition is balanced by the Eiffel Tower image on the lower left hand side. The film title, which runs parallel to the tower, also helps balance the photograph of the main character.

In traditional fashion, details about the film are placed at the bottom of the poster. The text includes the names of the production companies, actors, release date, and the film’s rating. The information is chunked at the bottom, which creates a kind of “base” for the art.

Contrast and Depth

Take notice of the oil painting effect applied to the woman and the tower. This texture is informational (a nod to Paris with its street painters in Montmartre) and provides a soft contrast to the modernity of the rectangles placed below it. Depth was created by using drop shadows on lettering wherever possible.

Rhythm

The vertical repetition of the primary and secondary dominant elements (character and tower/title) provide a strong rhythm, softened ever so slightly by the waves in the woman’s hair. Rhythm is also created by having the tower’s golden color mirrored in the titles and the five gold stars that shout “great film!”

Typography

I chose Zapfino for the dominant movie title that runs vertically along the left hand side of the poster. A script typeface simulates handwriting, which helps give the poster the romantic feeling I wanted. I considered putting the title in English, but in the end I decided to leave it as is. That being said, here’s what the alternative looks like.

© 2019 Holly Foster

I wanted (and needed) a narrow condensed text for the movie information at the bottom of the poster. I also wanted something with an elegant feel, so after a bit of searching I chose the WAVES typeface. Using different sizes and weights worked well for all the remaining elements. The rating and film festival logos were used in their original format.

It’s a wrap!

Posters are marketing tools meant to grab your attention. In my case, I focused on the strength of my photograph to entice you to buy a ticket. The golden rectangle aided me in the placement of my objects, helping to ensure the composition was attractive. I also left the description of the film out intentionally, to keep you guessing as to what the movie is about.

So tell me, did it work?

until nxt time …

Special thanks to my daughter (for allowing me to use her image) and her fiancé for their advice on this project 🙂 je t’aime plus haut que ciel!

References

Asafti, S. (2017, September 1). How to draw the Golden Ratio SUPER FAST in Illustrator CC [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=311&v=ujLh5ZB3Uls

Landa, R. (2019). Graphic Design Solutions, Sixth Edition. Boston, MA: Cengage.

LinkedIn Learning. (2013). Layout and composition tutorial: The golden section | lynda.com. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH32LujS9Yg

Lovett, J. (n.d.). Design Principle Dominance | John Lovett Design. Retrieved from: https://www.johnlovett.com/dominance

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0 thoughts on “je’taime plus haut que ciel

  1. Holly,

    This poster is great. You used the golden ratio so well. I was able to notice it immediately. Your proportionate use of it allowed there to be a visual flow and the varying sizes created a visual hierarchy to follow. As you mentioned, my attention went straight to the eye and after I found my eyes moving in a spiral rotation. I went to Lauren Carole’s name next then to the title and Eiffel tower, ending my visual tour at the credits below. By reading the title (and looking up the translation) my thoughts lead me to believe that this movie would be a romcom in the making. The woman’s face portrays thoughtfulness, which adds to it. I noticed that you used a patterned brush over her face, as well as the pink wall to the left of her. This was a neat effect to implement, however, I thought that maybe it would have been better contrasted if only the wall had it rather than both. Something else that I thought could be improved was the Eiffel tower. Sometimes less is more in design and while this is absolutely beautiful, I feel as though the poster can do without the tower. While it does add a smooth division to the title section and graphic, I saw it as a distraction. With the Eiffel tower present, the poster seems a little cluttered and would have a cleaner cut without it. But, I do see how it adds symbolism to the suggested plot, I would assume the setting is in Paris at some point or another. Overall, great job Holly! I’ve been needing a good romcom lately, maybe this will be it later on.

  2. Hi Holly!

    I love love LOVE your poster so much. The colors, the structure, the title, the tiny details that belong to every movie poster. You nailed it. Your use of the golden ratio was spot on, and was one of the first things I noticed without reading your blog post. After I began reading through, and I saw that you had a section dedicated to showcasing how you utilized it, my hunch was confirmed. It was clean, and your protagonist was right in the middle of the spiral. I love how you used textual elements such as script and upper case lettering.

    The text meshed well together and everything was easy on the eyes. I do enjoy that you added the Eiffel tower, although I have to agree with Shayla in that it is cluttering the poster a bit. I feel that if you have the title in French, and allude to the fact that the film will take place in Paris, you will be able to delete the Eiffel tower! Overall great work, I can’t wait to see this in the theaters someday!

  3. Holly,
    Clicking on your poster I was at eye level right away, I needed to zoom out to see the rest of it. You understand the “golden ratio” really well, I’m still learning. Your daughter’s eye caught my attention right away it was awesome that she was looking off the canvas it made it more intriguing wanting to know what she was looking at. You say this is a romantic film I don’t get that from this poster. Eiffel Tower, pink in the background with the script font but to me, it’s more of a mystery. Sorry, maybe its just that my heart got ripped out a few weeks ago and I’m not seeing it. I love that you stayed with the French title but also happy for a translation of it. The title of the movie on the vertical is different and it works I just would have maybe done “Introducing and your daughter’s name and left out the mans name below. (Except you wanted to thank your family for their support of your poster) Liking the addition of the Telluride white banner. Your overlay of pattern to give it an artistic feel was only on the photograph kind of wish it was on the whole background it works this way too.

    I like the texture of your Eiffel Tower, maybe changing it to a silhouette and putting it half on the navy side and a half on the pink side to blend the two sides of the poster plus this way you could make your movie title a bit bigger.

  4. Hi Holly! I absolutely love your poster, it’s breathtaking! You truly utilized the golden ratio to the fullest extent, and quite successfully too. I found that there was the perfect balance of both textual and visual imagery, with fantastic use of masking and textual overlay. I found your use of a filter over your daughter to be very unique, and I think that it adds a very cool element to this piece. I also thought that the way Lauren and Christopher’s name juxtapose each other created a nice balance between text and image. It doesn’t look too cluttered, but it doesn’t look that sparse either. The only qualm I have with this piece is that the text on the side is being covered by an image. Although the opacity of the image is lower than the text, I think this poster would have benefitted from the French saying being over the image! Otherwise, your use of masking and the attention to detail in this piece is marvelous. I also appreciate that the color scheme you chose was more muted. I think if this piece were to utilize bright, flashy colors it would be a little overwhelming. I think your use of Blue, Red, and Yellow (the primary colors!!) complement each other perfectly and work to convey a more serious tone to your film. Wonderful work and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

    Best,

    Amanda Kimball

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