NHS Designs

a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.

thumb·nail sketch
a simple drawing, usually quite small, that shows the basic elements of a print advertisement.

Graphic Design Assignments

Assignment #3

You're the Movie: Poster Project
Due Dates
Step 3: August 27
Step 4: August 28
Step 5: August 29
Step 7: September 5


Your first name is going to be the name of the next big box-office movie. You get to make a movie poster for it.


  • 8½ x 11 paper
  • pencil for sketching and initial layout
  • large butcher paper for final poster
  • colored markers, colored pens or crayons


Each student will create his/her own movie poster for his/her name. You may brainstorm with other students or with Miss P.

STEP ONE: Select a genre for your movie.
Here are some ideas:

STEP TWO: Research how other movie posters in the genre you chose are designed. Take some notes to help you complete step three.

  • Don't look only at the posters in the links I provided above. Find lots more. Check out Google images for movie posters, or look at movie posters on netflix.com - if you find a blocked site, try another.
  • What do movie posters in this genre have in common that tell you what kind of movie to expect? Think about how text, shapes, lines and colors are used and positioned.

STEP THREE: On a sheet of notebook paper, tell me:

  • Your name, period number and the date
  • Movie Genre I Chose: _____________________
  • Briefly, what would a movie with your name for the title be about? Make sure this answer matches with the genre you chose.
  • What do movie posters in this genre have in common? This answer should have at least five complete sentences. Talk about how text, shapes, lines and colors are used and positioned.

STEP FOUR: Create some rough layout ideas on 8½ x 11" paper in pencil.

  • Do at least three "thumbnail" sketches to turn in before beginning your large poster.
  • Try to capture the feeling of posters from the same genre, but don't copy the entire layout and simply swap text and images.
  • Darken in the areas that will be dark and leave light areas light.
  • Don't get too detailed at this step. Just "block out" where certain things could go: the title, the images, the star's names, a slogan, etc.
  • Turn your thumbnail sketches in.

STEP FIVE: Draw a more detailed poster on 8½ x 11" white copier paper. Write in all the text and sketch in all the images.

  • Carefully plan where everything will go.
  • In the text, you may include friends or celebrities in starring roles, but make sure your name (the movie title) stands out the most.
  • Create images that are appropriate, or create a poster entirely of powerful text/typography.
  • Turn this more detailed, larger poster in.

STEP SIX: Draw the final poster in pencil on large butcher paper before committing to color or ink.

STEP SEVEN: Color in your final movie poster with markers, colored pencils or crayons. Turn your final, full-size poster in.

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