Film posters with a twist – László Nagy’s alternative posters
Today, the majority of official film and music posters are not made for artistic value, and simply serve promotion purposes. In comparison, alternative film posters can add extra layers or reveal deeper layers of meaning, offer a unique and creative perspective for interpretation, and not unimportantly, also act as collectibles. Like a number of contemporary artists, László Nagy has been working in this alternative scene for decades.
He has been designing posters since 2010 – first for songs, and in the past two years, for cult films. His style could be best described by vintage, mid-century or retro. The posters are made by screen printing, just like in the old days – the only difference being that the files are digitally processed for increased efficiency of the design process.
Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer dye to the surface, except where made impermeable to the dye by a blocking stencil. One colour is printed at a time, and a stencil is made individually for each colour.
As screen printing is a manual technique, the print will have tiny imperfections, which means no two posters will turn out completely identical – each one will be unique and unrepeatable. At the same time, film posters need to comply with strict requirements and not just technically.
“Illustrating films is interesting because I’m free to create new visual narratives. Should I use the same visual code system as the original film? Or should I create an alternative world? It holds lots of exciting challenges professionally.”
Speaking of challenges: László set himself the goal of making at least one film poster a month until he reaches 120. The selected films are normally classics or weird horror films with a subculture following, so the style and the subject both point in the same direction. He has an exhibition and a catalogue in mind to complete the project – just like when he decided to put an end to his musical poster period a few years back. To be fair, these are practical considerations that are outside the scope of a love project. As he himself put it, everyone should have a love project to work on long term, that is only theirs, with no rules or deadlines.
László Nagy is head of the Graphic Design BA programme of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. His other works are available HERE!