The poster in concern is the wonderful work of Saul Bass for the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo. The fundamental focus of any advertisement, particularly a movie poster, is to communicate with the audience and reveal the properties of the product in an interesting and creative manner. In this context, this poster by Saul Bass is a complete success.
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The poster shows everything an individual, be it a film buff or a general onlooker, wants to gain information about the movie. First, it is a Hitchcock movie, and there is a huge fan following for these types of movies. Hitchcock is a brand name by himself, and so the fonts denoting the name are quite large. Next, the fonts for the protagonists of the movie are larger. It includes a huge star of the era James Stewart. The prime attraction point of a movie of the 50s was star value, and thus the hero’s name appears in a larger font.
As for the content of the movie, the poster is well documented too. It is a thriller, and from the line drawing of the man in black and the women in white, the contrast of good and evil is well revealed. The predominant color red indicates the vibrant aspect of the movie and the indication of bloodshed present. Again, the name ‘Vertigo’ means ‘fear of height,’ and the spirals in the poster indicate a sense of dizziness, and that is enough to convey the basic component of this thriller. At the bottom of the poster, there are the names of the other components of the movie, but as they are not of much interest to the audience, they are written in comparatively much smaller fonts.
This was a time when the world was going through a difficult phase after the horrors of the war. It could be mentioned in the initial stages that it was degeneration time. Imperialism had taken its tolls on the world, which was grilling on the last fires of the World War. The losses were too heavy, and the shocks, almost unbearable. People just lived through a test of the extent-organized cruelty, and purposeful ruthlessness could reach. As far as the future was concerned, the initial tremors of what would lead to a massive cross across the globe were being felt. In this context, it would be relevant to mention that the generation was not finding their existence worthwhile, or in other words, they wanted more out of their life for they hardly knew what to believe. (Lamb, 221).
It is obvious that the world has changed from the days of the 1950s, but still, this poster communicates with us almost the manner it used to reveal the details of the movie in those days. It is true the current stylistic trend is much different, but good work has its perennial value, and we can still understand the message conveyed to us by the poster.
In conclusion, it would be relevant to say that with passing the time, true work of exceptional abilities are evaluated and examined but ultimately, they survive the test of time. Similarly, Saul Bass ad his poster of ‘Vertigo’ has survived the test of time. Though it is true that a movie poster is intended to influence the population with instant effect in the short-term, this poster manages to evoke interest still to this day.
Bass, Saul; Vertigo; IMP Awards: 1958 Poster Gallery: Vertigo Poster; Internet Movie Poster Awards. Web.
Lamb, Davis; Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization; (Wellington: National Book Trust. 2004).