Movie poster captured by Heather Shaw. There are several variations, all equally baffling. I’m hoping there’s a concept behind it—that it’s bad design to make a point.
Filed under: Design, Layout, type, Typography
I like it. There’s nothing severely baffling about it to me.
I think it there must be a concept behind it.. surely?! :)
I think that idea is that because it is hard to read, once you have struggled through it, you won’t forget what the ad said.
Maybe after they designed all the movie posters (IMDB Link) with the text over the actors, they were reveling in the extra space. I don’t find the movie posters particularly easy to read either.
Unfortunate letterspacing of Diane Keaton’s name notwithstanding, I kind of like the type on this. “What’s the story?” and “Morning Glory” are made visually analogous to match their syllabic rhythm, and the red-to-yellow upward gradation is meant to evoke sunrise (morning). It works well enough for me.
Good point Tom. I agree with you to the extent that the viewer has time to read it over again and put the message together.
It’s not that bad looking but I’m still confused as to what the title is. Is it the left part, right part, or both?
Reminds me of that old typography maxim: “Anyone who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep.”
I thought you hated it because it looks like Times New Roman, and I thought you hated Times New Roman because it was the default for Windows documents (Word, IE) for so many years.
I gotta say, bad or good, that I noticed these posters in the wild and it made me curious.
In other design crime news, they have airbrushed Harrison Ford into nigh-unrecognizability.
I can see that there must have been some degree of thinking behind this but I can’t imaging what the goals must be for this to be considered a success? No designer gets it right all the time but you’d think someone would have called this one.
Noted that on every one of the movie posters (Thanks Robert) there is a shift from yellow to orange in the word ‘Morning’ – ‘Morn’ is yellow, ‘ing’ is orange. Just enough of a shift to be visible *if* you look for it, at least on my screen.
Makes me wonder if there isn’t some reason-ing to the hyphenation after all.
I think this is less about type, and more about how the words flow off the tongue.
In other words, these seem to be more about reading the type aloud than simply viewing the type.
I can see the brief being: “We would like Diane big. We need the title big. These are the ad dimensions. Oh, we need the artwork by this afternoon.” :)
But that’s not the point.
I agree it’s a little odd to put the typography under pressure with this composition, but bad design? That depends on how much you attribute traditional typographical “rules”, and things looking “nice”, as aspects of “good design”.
But, by “going there”, we’re opening the cupboard that contains the cans that contain the worms :P
So: It looks a bit weird. I agree :)
Was thinking that maybe the terrible new _ _ _ logo that was introduced and ridiculed by various popular websites a few weeks ago was done on purpose as a PR exercise. If so, they certainly put the company’s name on a lot of minds.
the spacing at first glared out to me – all wrong, but it’s not so bad when you look into it. The hypenated word though… huh? Strange. Can only assume it has a deeper/wider idea behind it. Would help to view more poster and related.
maybe Laird and Partners designed it…..
I don’t see what’s wrong with the setence:
“What’s morn’ the ‘ing story?, Glory!”
Maybe the designer was just having a bad type day.
Boy…things sure are slow around here
This looks like what happens when you print a PDF that doesn’t have the intended font embedded, and it’s not one of the standard fonts that every printer has built in. It defaults to a standard one (similar to how CSS does when the requested font is not available) and it looks horrible because, unlike CSS, PDF retains all the metrics (size, kerning, leading, etc.) of the original design while it substitutes another font which has different metrics, and the result looks just like this.
If it’s not bad on purpose, somebody simply missed a checkbox when generating the files for the printer.
h a v e you s e e n the movie Helvetica? What an AwesomE Flick!!
(i s jack nicholson in t h i s one??)
yeah, i can kern and clip too
Funny – I saw that same poster here in SF (maybe even the exact same one), and was confused, too. I asked myself, how did this happen? Who let it happen? I didn’t get it, and still don’t. Is it a movie? A morning tv show? I feel I shouldn’t have to guess even for one second, but I did. Lately, I feel like some are trying to push “bad” design into the “cool” realm by purposely making things a bit off so that it appears quirky and perhaps genuine. No mi gusta.
The link to “Heather Shaw” is not a link. Or rather, its URL is just a “/”.
If Helvetica were the default in old MS Word, we would hate it too.
Microsoft doomed Times New Roman.
Doesn’t it refer to the subject of the film – the struggles of a woman on a morning news show?
BTW – the Frederick Goudy quote is: Any man who would letterspace blackletter would shag sheep.
I’m physically cringing at this unfortunate sight. So many curious questions about the logic behind nearly every decision made, ending with who on earth approved this?
Years ago Print asked a famous designer for a list of things that sucked. His first answer “all movie posters.”
Am I the only one to think of of the Oasis album and song of the same title whenever I see this? Somebody please alert the Gallagher bros. about this so they can sue the bejesus out of the producers for copyright infringement, kthx!
Yeah we don’t like it , but what about the people that likes these types of movies?. I’m sure there’s someone that likes this design out there.
I don’t understand why country music exists, yet half of the world loves it.
It’s newspapers! Well, that’s what I thought immediately anyway :)
Most newspapers use a standard serif, have forced justification (and therefore bad tracking) and tonnes of hyphenation. I assume the movie is about news and the media, therefore the typesetting somewhat reflects that old newspaper feel. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, just saying.
@Simon: Interesting theory, but I’d still put it in the “gone wrong” category.
Simon, that is my theory too.
Moderator: there’s no “preview” facility, and I see that I’ve screwed up my HTML links. Please delete the previous post and I’ll try to re-post it cleaner. Thanks. Sorry. –Howard
A few thoughts:
–Apparently there are a number of versions of the perhaps-apocryphal line about sheep, but I always heard that it was blackletter [aka Gothic or Old English] rather than lowercase. ( Wikipedia tells us that it wasn’t originally stealing, either.)
–Apparently like a number of network tv morning shows (I am very fond of The Onion’s Today Now!), the one in the movie has a yellow-and-orange colour scheme that appears all over the studio and is reflected in the poster.
–Innocent as I seem to be, I was unaware of some of the slang definitions of “morning glory.” Having seen the film, I would find it difficult to believe that any of these were in the mind of whoever titled it. A morning glory is a flower, one that had a brief fame in the sixties as a possible psychedelic. The movie is about a tv morning show that is failing and trying to find some popularity, or glory. In the musical Bye Bye Birdie, “The Telephone Song” features gossiping teenagers singing, “What’s the story, morning glory / What’s the word, hummingbird?,” slang on the order of “See you later, alligator.”
–Clearly the typeface is a “maverick” choice–it’s not in Trajan.
(I make no excuses for the letterspacing, or for breaking a word between two lines. I can only assume that the latter is an artifact of having to fit the copy into an awkward space.)
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