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How Was Graphic Design Used In Film And Television?

Hollywood has been around since the turn of the 20th century, and it’s certainly changed quite a bit in that time. However, one area that hasn’t changed much is how graphic design has been used in film and television to make projects pop and stand out. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways in which Hollywood has used graphic design over the years to make your favorite films and TV shows even more unforgettable than they already are.

Book Covers

As you may or may not know, graphic design is used in many different ways to create film and television. The most obvious uses are for movie posters and DVD covers, but graphic designers also come into play during pre-production, production, and post-production. This means that you will find them working alongside writers, directors, producers, set designers, and actors to help bring their vision of a movie or TV show to life.

At least in theory – there are plenty of bad movies with great marketing campaigns (we all remember Gigli) but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The point is that there are a ton of interesting stories about how graphics have been used in film and television in various situations.

Opening Credit Titles

Most people don’t notice them, but opening credit titles are one of graphic design’s biggest contributions to film and television. Audiences enjoy elegant typography and complex compositions for a few minutes before each movie begins. Opening credit sequences often take on a character of their own, drawing viewers into each story through eye-catching visuals.

And with some of history’s greatest designers like Saul Bass and Maurice Binder behind some of Hollywood’s most classic intros, it makes sense that filmmakers spend so much time worrying about their looks. But while movies and TV shows provide easy examples of typography in motion, they aren’t graphic design’s only contribution to visual storytelling.

Print Ads

They can run on billboards or in newspapers, magazines, and books. These print ads are designed to be visually arresting—whether they contain photos, illustrations, or text-only slogans—and their message is often condensed into a catchy one-liner, like Nike’s Just Do It or Apple’s Think Different. Print advertising is great for sparking immediate consumer interest. If done right, a print ad could make viewers curious enough to visit a website or call you directly.

Motion Picture Posters

Let’s be honest, and motion picture advertising has almost always been a huge part of film industry culture. It started in an age when there was no TV and radio was virtually non-existent. Billboards and cinema were literally the way to reach your potential audience. The lack of moving pictures for TV meant that you couldn’t go home and watch trailers whenever you wanted; movies simply didn’t have much other exposure outside of their theatrical debut. So, from their first appearance in front of audiences, movie posters were designed to catch your eye while attempting to tell you as much about what they had to offer in terms of story/action as possible.

Closing Credit Titles

From film and television’s infancy, graphic designers have been employed in production to ensure that titles, credits, and advertising all fit together seamlessly. As with any other profession (especially those in show business), it takes more than talent to become a professional title designer; it takes connections and experience.

Most of today’s top-level designers learned their trade on sets and began working as assistants or interns before they got a break. Some designers even had to create their own opportunities by freelancing or starting their own firms. There are no shortcuts when it comes to success; these titles prove that creativity is just one small piece of what it takes to be a great graphic designer.

Poster Graphics and Logos

Within film and television, poster graphics and logos are used to help market films before they are released. These graphics are often featured on trailers or on posters located around theaters. Oftentimes these pieces contain not only a catchy title but also interesting imagery that draws moviegoers into cinemas. So, how was graphic design used in film and television production? Let’s take a look at some notable examples below. 

There have been numerous instances where film directors will use artworks by known artists for their marketing purposes. Some notable examples include Wes Anderson and his frequent use of visual artist Takashi Murakami as well as Quentin Tarantino’s collaboration with Dave McKean, who had previously worked with him on several motion picture titles for Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill.

Volume 1 (2003) and Kill Bill & Volume 2 (2004). Other director/artist collaborations include Ridley Scott using art from H.R Giger for both Alien 3 (1992) and Prometheus (2012), as well as Steven Spielberg working with Doug Chiang for Men in Black III (2012). Another form of graphic design that is prominent within the film is animation sequences.

Set Designs

When it comes to creating realistic, film-quality sets, graphic designers and set builders are two sides of a triangle. A screenwriter’s job is to visualize all aspects of a scene. Production designers do just that by transforming empty stages into lively backdrops for actors’ performances. They’re also responsible for incorporating design elements so moviegoers forget they’re watching actors in an artificial setting and instead accept them as their own surroundings.

Those design elements are graphically created according to a production designer’s vision by graphic designers like us. There’s no separation between these three professionals; they work in tandem toward one goal: storytelling through visual media.


Brand Identity is more than just a logo. It’s about creating an experience for your customers and then conveying that experience through every piece of communication you produce. The most creative business owners use graphic design to help them differentiate themselves from their competitors and create an emotionally connected brand. If you want to make your mark in a crowded marketplace, it’s time to think like a designer.

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