5 KEEN Designers Weigh in on Terrible Movie Posters

The end of this year’s film awards season inspired us to take a look back on some of the worst, cringe-inducing movie posters of all time!

Movie posters are a quintessential piece of promotion. When done right, they can drive the masses to a multi-million dollar production in droves. On the flipside, when done poorly, it leaves us scratching our heads and asking, “how did this happen?” five of our very own KEEN designers; Jenn, Nic, Tess, Arden, and Tiff weigh in on some of the worst movie posters of all time!

Fired Up

Worst Movie Poster Number 1

Jenn: “How many times can we do the collegiate font? Old, tired, and boring! Is it just me, or does anyone else notice that the “F,” “U,” and words are all on a different perspective. Also, that keyline on the type makes me cry, never put a keyline on type!

Anyone else noticing that exclamation point? Is it a cone and a globe? A beach ball? A pom pom? What does this have to do with the movie? Also, why is “Fired Up” orange at the bottom of the poster? I though the colour theme was red and black.”

Our takeaway: We have a lot of questions. Consistency is important so people aren’t left with a lot of questions.

How To Be

Worst Movie Poster Number 2

Nic: “I don’t see anything wrong with this movie poster at all! Bubble type is all the rage. Bubble type with a sketchy fill? I can’t even with how good it is. It’s casual, approachable, and doodle-esque all at once. Has Robert Pattinson ever looked better? That haircut reminds me of my high school boyfriend. That slouchy sweater looks really comfortable, and that mouth harmonica is perfectly accessorizing the whole look. Don’t even get me started on the guitar…a mop-head that can sing? Swoon! Obviously he’s really sentimental and he scrapbooks black and white photos of his loved ones into his sketchbook so that he can stare at them all day and feel like they’re always with him. What a softie!”

Our takeaway: THIS is the best poster of the bunch?

X-Men First Class

Worst Movie Poster Number 3

Tess: “This poster is pretty terribly executed, doesn’t look professionally done, or like much time was spent on it at all. Honestly, I thought it was fan art. Not to mention the weird details—why is the face placed in a bad spot so the eyebrow is cut of awkwardly? Why is The face is in the guys crotch? Not to mention that the silhouette idea has been done one zillion times, and one zillion times it has been done better.”

Our takeaway: Don’t reattempt a stale idea unless you are going to do it exceptionally well, or in a new and interesting way.

War for the Planet of the Apes

Worst Movie Poster Number 4

Arden: “Hey! What’s that “War for the planet of the Apes” movie all about? All you need to know about this movie is written in plain text: WAR, PLANET, APES. Obviously. Like all the other PLANET of the APE movies. The poor designer probably had a tough time fitting that mouthful movie title onto one line, so they settled for pulling out only the key elements of the film. Something seems off about the proportions…Do apes even have long enough legs to ride a horse? How does that horse feel about being ridden by an ape…Also, isn’t it the future? Why are we still riding horses?”

Our takeaway: Apes shouldn’t be riding horses.

Titanic and The Wolfman

Honourable Mentions



Tiff: “These are two completely different genres of movies, but they follow the same movie poster template. Trajan typeface; aka the typeface on every movie poster, ever. Maybe because it’s an expensive font and people just wanted to get their money’s worth? Who knows. I guess it’s better than Papyrus (yeah, looking at you, Avatar).

Floating heads because they paid these people a lot, so you may as well stretch their faces to take up almost half the poster. Plus, how else will you show off your layer masking and feathering skills? A third element at the bottom that vaguely tells you about the movie plot. There’s probably a boat in Titanic, and I’m pretty sure there is a wolfman in Wolfman.”

Our takeaway: Formulaic design is inherently boring. Let’s get creative, people!

What do you think about our picks for the worst movie posters ever? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Any wonderfly BAD posters that missed our list? Post a comment below, or send us a message and let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *