The Best Fonts for Movie Poster Design
Recent months have seen some really exciting poster artwork for new movie releases. Here we share the insider information on the typefaces used on some of your favorite film posters, so you can create your own cinematic designs.
From quirky display type for The French Dispatch and Captain Fantastic to retro slab text for Justice League, you’ll find a font to suit any genre, from space-set sci-fi and blockbuster adventures to retro comedies and gun-slinging westerns.
1. Indepedent/Wes Anderson: The French Dispatch
What is the font on The French Dispatch poster? The pressing question of font identity always arises when the next eagerly anticipated Wes Anderson movie poster is released. The title type has been custom-created by illustrator Javi Aznarez, but a close match for the style is signage-inspired typeface Evanston Tavern 1893 Medium. The actor captions and body copy is a hand-drawn slab serif. Mimic the look with Geometric Slabserif 703 Std or Beton.
2. Family Independent: Captain Fantastic
A perfectly designed indie poster, the artwork for Captain Fantastic references vintage styles and childlike, naive design. The main title font is a custom typeface, inspired by Woodkit fonts. Bosque also has a similar feel.
Subtitles are set in Bookman Old Style, the perfect supporting font for a vintage-influenced poster design.
Affordable Alternative: Detroit
Detroit is an almost western-like slab serif that carries many of the characteristics of the font used in Captain Fantastic.
Detroit is available with an Envato Elements subscription.
3. Blockbuster Adventure: Kong: Skull Island
Big blockbusters need equally big fonts. This slab display typeface is the perfect choice for making an impact. The custom font used for the movie title is a variation on Forza Black, but Eurostile Bold also has a similar feel.
Affordable Alternative: Arkibal
Arkibal is a short sans-serif that could easily have been used, had it been modified with the triangular shapes in the Kong poster.
Arkibal is available with an Envato Elements subscription.
4. Documentary: Wiener Dog
This charming, vintage-styled poster uses equally charming serif typefaces, which bring a touch of elegance and intellectualism to the poster design. The movie title and supporting text is set in Horley Old Style.
Affordable Alternative: Pioggia
Pioggia is a playful serif that shares many of the same characteristics as the ones used in Wiener Dog
Pioggia is available with an Envato Elements subscription.
5. Retro Indie: The Lobster
The retro trend in poster design continues with The Lobster, which has a distinctly 1960s feel in its choice of colors, cut-out imagery and modernist typography. To mimic the look, set your headers in the Extra Bold weight of Avenir Next.
Affordable Alternative: Colombo
Colombo is a gorgeous geometris sans serif that could easily be used to replace what’s going on in the movie poster with Avenir.
Colombo is available with an Envato Elements subscription.
6. Retro Comedy: The Nice Guys
Amping up the references to the disco era, Pump Pro Triline is the perfect choice for this Seventies-tribute poster design. Teamed with a retro orange and yellow color palette, this artwork is the ultimate nostalgia trip.
Affordable Alternative: Argon
Argon is a great alternative to Pump Pro Triline as it carries the same multi-lined font design.
Argon is available with an Envato Elements subscription.
7. Superhero: Justice League
There’s more than a sniff of retro about the upcoming Justice League movie’s branding. The title font is custom, but borrows generously from League Gothic, which has an old-school comic book feel.
Affordable Alternative: Vancouver
Vancouver is another tall font that could work wonders in a similar superhero poster.
Vancouver is available with an Envato Elements subscription.
8. Thriller: Sully
Emotional dramas and thrillers suit the serious impact of a traditional serif. Sully‘s main title is set in elegant Sabon Roman, with supporting text in Gotham Light, which keeps the design looking clean and contemporary.
9. Romantic Drama: Loving
The artwork for acclaimed drama Loving uses photography cast in a dreamy, nostalgic light, teamed with romantic serif type. If you recognize the font, that’s because it’s well-loved Adobe Caslon Pro Italic, which brings an elegant and bookish touch to the layouts.
10. Western: The Salvation
New gritty Western The Salvation uses appropriately vintage-inspired type for its evocative, high-impact poster designs. The typeface is custom, but you can recreate the Wild West look with Gunfighter Academy or Dead Saloon.
11. Historic/War: Hacksaw Ridge
War movie posters often suit ultra-modern typefaces, which helps to make the story feel relevant and immediate to modern-day audiences. Hacksaw Ridge uses a clean and discreet sans serif, Fette Engschrift D, which looks fantastic against dramatic action photography.
12. Sci-Fi: Arrival
Sci-fi movies need typography that’s as futuristic as the subject matter. Recent years have seen films like Gravity and The Martian resurrecting the sort of sans serif type styles made popular by seminal sci-fi flicks like Alien. Futura is a failsafe choice for achieving the contemporary sc-fi look, but new movie Arrival uses a customized version of Gotham Light.
13. Action: Logan
It can be tricky for movie studios to create designs for spin-off characters that feel completely fresh and unique. For X-Men relative Logan, the designers have managed to create a fresh-feeling brand for the movie with a chunky, informal slab typeface. Recreate the look with Maple, which has a bouncy, Saul Bass-inspired feel.
14. Musical: La La Land
The marketing artwork for romantic musical La La Land owes numerous debts to vintage poster design. Simple scenic photography is paired with Art Deco titling set in Yasashii, and teamed with subheadings set in simpler yet still vintage-inspired Neutraface.