Hey, remember that movie poster with the heads staring out into a collage of elements from the story?
Of course you do, because I’ve just described a large majority of movie posters. There’s a certain style which works, because it’s expected and visually recognisable. That will come later.
This teaser poster works exceptionally well because:
– It uses negative space to its advantage (draws your eye to the main character title and date).
– It stands out due to that same use of negative space (as a comic book writer I have to think about how a book teaser looks and also how the actual book stands on the shelf, and thus spine design is important to stand out. With movie posters it’s similar; imagine a corridor of movies posters – usually you’ll get a similar colour palette for most: greys, browns, generally dark colours, unless it’s a kids movie). Put this one in a theatre and watch it pop out thanks to a stark use of white and red.
– It uses the central concept to create visual humour, which is important to the movie itself.
You’ll remember this teaser poster because it’s a concept driven poster. The main one will be much more standard, but by then more people will be familiar with the movie. For comic book fans, Ant Man is a known character. For 80 to 90% of people outside of us, this may as well be a totally new IP. You have to make people smile and remember, which is what this poster does.
I think it’s easy to underestimate the thought that goes into posters like these. Yes, sometimes they write and design themselves, but generally they take a lot of time to make sure they hit the right chords – deliver a message, concept and stand out. Sadly, the teaser trailer’s rather ‘by the numbers’ style kinda undoes this a tad (almost trying to recreate the humourous beats and style of the far more successful Guardians of the Galaxy teaser trailer, sans any distinguishing sense of directorial style) – but there’s hope that Ant-Man will be far better than it’s expected to be since Edgar Wright’s departure.