When American movies were released, posters were usually created by graphic designers and made according to the demands of the big movie studios. In Soviet Poland, however, conditions were different. They allowed for a new type of poster to be designed. Let’s look at the art of the Polish movie posters.
Poland did it differently. From 1945 to 1989, Poland was under the banner of the Soviet bloc, where American ‘propaganda’ materials were either banned or more restricted. Like anything else, the film industry was owned by the state. Two main institutions were responsible for commissioning poster designs. These were Film Polski (Polish Film) and Centrala Wynajmu Filmow (Movie Rentals Central). Instead of commissioning graphic designers, like other studios did at the time, they commissioned artists – using unconventional methods for their designs and thus breathing an individual voice to each poster.
Due to the nature of the government, who didn’t care much about how the posters looked, and the artistic limitations at the time, the posters became a way for the artists to fully express themselves. Instead of the big studios demanding posters that looked a certain way or evoked a digestible emotion, the artists were able to create powerful imagery inspired by the movies – without featuring the stars, including stills from a film, and without necessarily creating a direct connection to the film.
Without further ado, let’s look at 6 of the coolest Polish movie posters of the era.
Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ (1979)
Inoshira Honda’s ‘King Kong’ (1968)
George Lucas’ “Star Wars: A New Hope” (1977)
John G. Avildsen’s “Rocky” (1976)
Stephen Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1983)
Inoshira Honda’s “Godzilla” (1957)
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