Film Industry

Movie Poster Guide: How To Make A Movie Poster & Movie Poster Credits

Photograph of the blog post author, Jodie Francis

Jodie Francis

13.5.2021

Small blue and purple gradient divider

SHARE:

Would you like to learn how to create an effective and memorable movie poster? Then you have come to the right place! In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide as to how to make movie covers, including movie poster design and movie poster size.

movie template for poster art

Movie posters are a vital part of the marketing of a film, and therefore it should not be overlooked. 

So, if you’re seeking some inspiration for your movie posters then make sure that you keep reading!

What Is A Movie Poster?

movie poster collage

So, what is a movie poster? Put simply, it is a poster that’s produced by graphic designers to advertise and promote a movie. Poster art can entice customers to visit a cinema and pay money to see the film. Typically, film studios print a range of different posters for both international and domestic markets. 

Classic movie posters will usually include a picture or photograph, along with some text. If the movie has a famous tagline, then this can be featured on the poster.

Finally, the movie release date will likely also be featured, so that people know when they can watch it. They may even put a reminder on their phone so that they don’t forget the film they want to see!

What Are Movie Poster Credits?

movie poster credits

So, what are movie poster credits? These are known as the ‘credit block’ or the ‘billing block’ of movie film posters. They are the legal lines that show up on the posters. They credit some of the main people involved in the film, such as the director, actors and actresses, producers, financiers, and distributors. 

This information can help entice people into cinemas to see your film, particularly the names of the famous actors and actresses. If people like a specific person’s acting style, then they may decide to watch the movie based solely on the fact that they are in it. 

Why Make A Movie Poster For Your Film?

movie posters on the wall coming soon

So, why should you make a movie poster for your film? Movie covers are an extremely beneficial form of marketing for your film, and they are definitely worth making. Movie covers can appear both online and outside cinemas and shops. When people are out shopping a movie poster could draw them in and make them want to learn more about the film

This could lead them into researching the movie poster credits and make them want to book their seats. Movie poster adverts outside cinemas can capture people’s attention and cause them to see an impromptu movie.

The posters can also be seen in magazines, newspapers, press books, and more. The more places that you can get your poster seen the better, as this can drum up interest and excitement. 

Tips On How To Make A Movie Poster With Credits

movie poster book of eli

Now it’s time to get into what you came here for – a step-by-step guide on how to create a movie poster and movie poster credits. 

To ensure that you make a fantastic movie poster that stands out from the crowd you need to ensure that all of your movie covers are formatted correctly. Keep reading to find out more!

Different Template Types 

once upon a time in hollywood quentin tarantino poster

When it comes to a movie poster template, there’s a lot to consider. There are different options for you to decide between and they all carry specific guidelines. For example, there’s a one sheet movie poster. 

One Sheet Poster

This is one of the most common types of movie poster that you’ll see advertised, therefore it’s important that you learn how to make a good one! The key elements of this type of movie cover are the cast and crew details, in addition to the movie art as the main feature. 

Teaser Poster

Next up we have the teaser movie poster. This kind of poster is exactly what it sounds like, as the credits of the movie are hidden and sometimes even the title.

Typically, it will feature a large image that gets people talking or guessing as to what the movie is about.

It may also include a release date or a short statement like ‘coming soon’. The aim of this poster is to create hype and excitement. 

Wild Posting

Finally, there’s wild posting. These movie covers could appear on the top of taxis, banners, billboards, and more. 

You may wish to choose a combination of these types of posters, but at a minimum you will need to create the one sheet poster. Think about what type of poster will best suit your movie.

For example, famous branding like superheroes could simply use a logo as part of their teaser movie poster. The majority of people would know the movie and already feel excited at the prospect of it coming to cinemas. 

The Text 

movie covers text order

Now let’s move on to the text at the bottom of the poster, as it’s important that you take into account the specific rules for presenting billing credits. 

Leading Off 

This refers to the way that some credits may be presented. For example, there are production companies, like Warner Bros or Paramount. The presentation credit would need to be printed first and this could be as simple as ABC Films Presents. 

However, this can become more complicated if another company has helped them create the movie. It would then need to read the name and then in association with the other company. If one of the producers has their own production company this would then need to be added to the list. 

Finally, the director of the project may have negotiated their name onto the poster as part of their contract. You would include their name like this: ‘An Ellen Smith Production’. Even though this can seem complicated, as long as you take the time to research the information you will be able to gather everything that you need. 

The Cast 

star wars rogue one movie poster

This is where things can feel a little complicated. After all, a big movie will often boast lots of famous stars, so who gets their name credited on the posters? It’s important to note that this is sometimes included in the star’s contract that their name will be on the poster before the title. 

Or it can be presented at the top of a one-sheet movie poster. This is known as ‘top billing’. As we have already mentioned, this isn’t just a great promotion for the star, but also great marketing. This is because some people will want to see a movie solely based on who is in it. 

In the billing block section, you will also place any of the big names before the title of the movie. One of the most interesting movie poster examples was the poster for the 1978 Superman movie. This is because neither of the main actors and actresses (Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeves) were credited before the title. 

Instead, the actor Marlon Brando is listed first, and he plays Superman’s father. Thing is, he dies in the first reel of the film! He was given the starring role on the poster due to his fantastic reputation as an actor, and no doubt people thought that he would entice people to come and see the film.

Modern Cast Listings 

So, what about more modern cast listings? Things are a bit different now, as arguably the superhero brandings are enough to get people in seats, regardless of the actor playing the role.

On movie posters now, usually the main three actors will be named and listed in alphabetical order. Again, sometimes a certain name will be first due to the actor’s contract. These positions on the poster are known as ‘first position’, ‘second position’, and third position. 

Order Of The Crew Members 

movie poster with credits

There is a standard order for crew members: 

  • Casting
  • Costumes 
  • Editor 
  • Production designer 

Both music and the director of photography can be placed high up in the order if negotiated. If a negotiation hasn’t taken place, then think logically as to who has contributed the most to the film. Also, make sure that unions and societies get their mention after credits. 

You may need to do some further research into this to ensure that nothing is missed. Unfortunately, if not written correctly then it could lead to legal troubles. 

Producers

There are many different types of producers in film, for example Producer, Co-Producer, Associate Producer, and Executive Producer. There will sometimes need to be a limit on how many producer credits can be included on the poster. 

Authors

You also need to consider the authors of the film. For example, the film may be based upon a novel or based on characters. You need to make sure that this is clear on your movie poster credits. If it reads ‘screenplay by’ without any additional information, then it means that one person wrote the script. If it says ‘written by’ then one writer has written both the script and the story. 

Director

Finally, the director credit is an important part of the movie poster credit and it will be the last in the billing block. So, make sure that you don’t forget it! 

Final Information 

sound of metal movie poster with credits

There’s some additional information that needs to be included at the bottom of the movie poster credits. For example, the release date, websites, and any social media that you wish to include. The MPAA rating of the movie will also be in the bottom section. 

So, do you need to follow all of these rules? The short answer is no, as not all of the guidelines will apply to your project. However, it is usually a very good idea to follow the rules to avoid getting in trouble!

Once you have completed your poster you could have a legal team look over it to ensure that nothing is missed and that all contracts are being successfully met. This could be related to the placement of actors and actresses’ names on the poster or the union names next to theirs. 

Display Font 

movie poster font examples

Movie poster font is an important part of movie covers. The script font needs to be clear and small, as there’s a lot of information that needs to be placed on the poster. Also, the main focus should be the poster itself and not the text. 

There are free movie poster fonts that you can download, for example, SF Movie Poster Font or Tall Dark and Handsome. The font size also means that you can keep the movie poster dimensions normal. 

Use Canva To Make Your Poster

canva

Choosing the right platform to create your poster can be tricky. You’ve got a lot banking on it, so you want to make sure it is the best it can be.

Luckily for you, Canva’s all-in-one page for Canva Posters lets you in on their poster maker tool, templates, and design tips.

Canva is a great tool to create posters and gives you huge freedom over how you design them. You can start with a blank canvas or take advantage of their wide range of templates. Whatever you have in mind for your poster, you’ll be able to make it happen on Canva!

That Was Our Guide On How To Make A Movie Poster With Credits

audience watching in a theatre

So, there we have it – our complete guide on how to make a movie poster with credits! We hope that this article has given you the confidence to get out there and begin to create your own posters for your filming projects. Film poster design is a super important part of the filmmaking process, as they provide fantastic marketing for the film. 

There’s a variety of different types of movie covers for you to choose from, so do your research as to what would best suit your project. Of course, all films need to have a one sheet movie poster. 

It’s important to get all of the relevant information for your movie onto the poster. This includes the director, the actors and actresses, cast and crew, the rating, and plenty more. Some of the names will need to be more prominent due to contract negotiations, so make sure that you take this into account. 

If you need some inspiration for your movie poster, then simply type in ‘movie poster ideas’ into internet search engines and plenty will come up! Remember, it’s all about enticing people into wanting to watch your film. This could mean using bright, eye-catching colours or large pictures or art. 

Make sure that you head over to Music Gateway for more fantastic film-related content. You can read the following articles: How to Become a Filmmaker, the Best Lens for Filmmaking, Famous Movie Props, and so many more!  

Are You A Filmmaker?

Need financial backing to support your project? Our film investment can back projects of all sizes from independent short films to major releases covering all corners of the globe. If that wasn’t enough, promote your work, list your upcoming films and allow fans to pre-order or buy them with your very own Showcase site. Finally, with our concierge and service and extensive music library, allow us to help you find music for your film. Check out our Music Licensing service to get started!

Your music career
Get ahead.
“Making it in this business, means making sure you have everything you need to succeed.”
What you can expect from our newsletters:
  • Industry news and tips
  • Opportunities to submit your music and collaborate with others
  • Free software and resources
  • Free membership to Music Gateway
Are you sure that email is right?
Thank you! Newsletters will be sent to: .
Is this the right email address? If not, you can correct it.
Junk mail? Hell no - we hate that stuff too!
Tap here to get our newsletter!
News and opportunities
Thank you! Newsletters will be sent to: .
Is this the right email address? If not, you can correct it.
Are you sure that email is right?


Music Gateway Company Logo

Free. Forever.

Join for Free