New forms in film poster design

A few years ago, cracked.com posted 8 Actors Who Look Exactly The Same On Every Movie Poster. I'm easily distracted by a nice short list, so was drawn in by the blatant linkbaiting. But as well as providing a few chuckles, it flicked some little switch in my head and changed the way I perceive posters. It wasn't so much about actors pulling their particular actor faces, rather the repetition in the design. Tom Cruise's nose must be shown in profile if at all possible. Jackie Chan's fist is always bigger than his head. Bruce Willis will invariably be tilted to the right.

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Backs of things

Quietly, with no fuss at all, we are losing an area of design that is rarely discussed or celebrated. When it's gone, we'll miss it and reminisce it and pine for it. We are losing the backs of things.

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Macdeath

Sorry. There's a chance this might get a tad solemn and obituarish. My Mac, my wonderful iMac, is no more. She is an ex-Mac.

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Ed Ruscha and the future of maps

Modern maps didn't just appear out of nowhere, nor were they simply torn straight from the pages of the London A-Z. Behind all the futuristic shimmer and zoom that we're now accustomed to lies a visual language that’s been churning in galleries and artists' studios for decades.

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Boring

Maybe I'm reminiscing an imagined calm, but didn't we once use things like Twitter and Facebook to just talk to each other? Nobody wanted to be bored, but it was okay to be boring. Now there's so much noise and flailing, as everyone tries to hold everyone else's attention. 

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Stock

A long time ago, when I accidentally became a designer, I had this book. It was probably about the thickness of an issue of MacUser. On every page of this book sat twenty or so very small photographic thumbnails.

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The film machine

I had a horrible, horrible thought in the shower. This happens far too often. I'm not sure if it's been plumbed in incorrectly or something, but every time I go in there, I end up having some kind of terrible epiphany. It's like a little cubicle for emptying the mind, rinsing away all the mental detritus and imagination grit. All that's left is a dark pearl of an idea. I should've learnt by now that if I want to stay happy, I should just avoid the shower at all costs. To hell with cleanliness, I need my sanity.

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Blog

Here I am, surrounded by code and tick-boxes and sketches. My desktop is a patchwork of tiny screenshots and hastily flung-together type and colour swatches. For the umpteenth time, I've gone and started building myself another blog.

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CD

There are few experiences in this world more exciting than unpacking a brand new Mac. Pulling that silver slab out of the pleasingly sloped trapezium box, it's just so satisfying. A new thing, all mine.

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Camera

In the 1990s something changed. Our relationship with photography was forever altered by two new flavours of camera: the disposable and the digital.

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Apple irks and niggles

I feel like the Princess and the pea. No matter how comfortable and reassuringly supportive all my Apple gubbins may be, once the tiniest of disagreeable details becomes apparent, it plays on my mind. Why is it there? Why is it like that? Why isn't it right? Everything else is right, why isn't this right?

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Marvel Unlimited

I never thought this would happen. After years of loyalty to ink on paper, I've been converted to the new and the fangled. I've fallen in love with reading comics on my iPad. 

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Rediscovering albums

iTunes has reminded me that there's something special about a structured, deliberate collection of songs by a single artist. A good old fashioned beginning-middle-end snapshot of an artist at a particular time, requiring a bit of a time commitment. iTunes has returned me to a lifetime of slow listening.

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Amiga

There I was, lazily flicking through the latest releases on the App Store, looking for things I really don't need or want, just in case there's something incredible buried under all the camera filters and calculators and clunky weather apps. I was about to give up too, and then I saw something glistening in the most obvious of places. Right there on the main "Featured" page. XCOM: Enemy Unknown, it said.

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Roaming

In theory, Apple's shiny pocket butler (yes, that's correct) is the ultimate travelling companion, equipped with all manner of adventurer's tools and guides. However, network providers see things differently. Using your iPhone as an iPhone anywhere but your home country is an extortionate, baffling ordeal.

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Black and white

in the space of a few days, Steven Soderbergh watched Raiders of the Lost Ark three times … each time in black and white. And now so must I.

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Interface

Way back in the halcyon B*Witched-soundtracked days of 1998, I made a minuscule contribution to the art of of science fiction UI. I'd managed to score a few months of intern work at Revolution Software whilst they were developing their new game In Cold Blood, and was tasked with creating various incidental graphic elements and background details. 

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Websnail

At the recent New Adventures in Web Design conference in Nottingham, all attendees were given a goodie bag full of an assortment of nice bits and bobs. One item stood out from the rest: a postcard. A pre-stamped, ready-to-send postcard, to write on and send to whoever you wished …

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