Bollywood posters

Trends | 1913 to 2010

the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON

POSTER

CULTURAL ICON
ADVERTISEMENT

the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an

the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON RANJANI MAZUMDAR the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT and a CULTURAL ICON

the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an the POSTER is both an ADVERTISEMENT an

1913 to 1960

1960 to 1970

1970 to 1980

1980 to 1990

1990 to 2000

2000 to 2010

Titles

Titles
A look at the titles on the Bollywood posters right from the first talkie- Raja Harishchandra till date reveals several trend. Quite a few of them are time and technology specific but some make a comeback several years after they were first spotted. Below are the trends in movie titles of the poster as I have spotted them. The names given are my opinions and not the industry standard or some such.

Clean/ empty/ monocoloured titles with black casing

Alphabet squishing into each other, black casing

Bevelled metallic lettering

Celtic style lettering

monocolour type with non black/ white coloured casing

Type along diagonals / waves

3D perspective, WORDARTlike

Gradients

Lettering inspired from “Westerns“ cowboy movies

Pulpy/ Horror lettering

Typography in Satyajit Ray films was a genre in self

Lettering and shadow

Lettering along concave/ convex arcs

This is cutting edge in movie title design for Bollywood and was inspired by various international movements in art and society. From hippie movement to avant Garde to Viennese graphic work

Unconventional typefaces here Skia and Papyrus

Vertical title blocks

Titles 90s onwards

90s, 1992 to be precise ushered in digital technology for poster making in Bollywood. Pioneered by Rahul Nanda of HR enterprises, this was to change the face of Bollywood publicity design forever, for better or for worse is debatable. Following trends emerge in movie titles around the turn of the millennium.

Title-object, object-title

Humane-cursive looking

Calligraphic

Fancy decorative

Futuristic

Grunge-distorted

Hand-written

Indianized English

Boards-labels-frames (rectangles)

Noir

Simple, minimalist, clean type

Classic, fantasy, flourishes

Playful, cheerful, comic book

Major titling trends till 90s:
3D, perspective, WORDART like and Westerns (cowboys) inspired.

Major trends of 90s and millennium:
Simple, minimalistic, clean looking typefaces, modern-chic

Characters

Expressions | Themes | Portrayal of Gender | Hierarchy

Number of Characters:

• Solitary hero- all powerful, brave and kind • Twos, couple- A story of a couple in love or a story of two brothers as in Deewar. denotes, dualities on the same • Three, Triangle or a trio- Either a love triangle, or a team of three accomplishing a task. • Team of four or two couples or a couple, a wamp and a villain. • Ensemble caste- More than four characters on the poster
given subject. To portray two radically opposite perspectives at the same time.

Characters look at:

• 60s- the hero looked out of the poster but away from audience, staring into space. • 90s- onwards almost every character essentially looks out of the poster at audience.

Gender of Characters:

• A man was portrayed as strong, in control, kind in case of a hero and cunning, treacherous, scheming

incase of an anti hero. Role of men as comics was acknowledged and mentioned on posters. A woman could be portrayed as a shy demure wife, always looking towards the bottom of the poster and a bold wamp is the only character in 60s to actually look out from the poster and at audience, as if inviting their attention or a loving, caring, generous mother who is often portrayed helpless.

Expressions of actors/ themes:
• • • • • • •

50s- rural living, seeking liberation, expression etc 60s- Full of variety of emotions as described in Navarasa, Natyashastra 70s- Angry young man, the chase, thrill & rebellion 80s- Drama in human relationships, life complexities 90s- Joy, love, urban living, underworld, society etc 00s- ‘Star’ness of a star dominant than his/her character in the film, colour-correction 10s- International chic, crossover cinema, colour-correction, society, life, sex and violence being portrayed in very many ways. Expression wise indifference/ sorry state of the lead character (wake up sid) and suspension of morality (DEV. D. and Oye Lucky), celebration of dark and the underdogs

Hierarchy of characters:

Has more or less remained same since earlier days and is established using variation in size, alignment, opacity, blurring/sharpness (i.e variations in focus) w.r.t. the characters on the poster.

Design
Process | Colours | Layouts - Framing | Display |

Process
Beginning to 1980- Original Hand painted, mass produced by Lithography 1980 to 1992- Photography, Photography combined with hand painting called Cut-Paste method 1992 till date- Digital

Colours

1913 to 1960

1961 to 1970

1971 to 1980

1981 to 1990

1991 to 2000

2001 to 2010

Colour trends Master pallete till 50s till 60s till 70s till 80s till 90s till 10s

Layout - Framing

Bollywood poster

From street art

to high art

Anecdotes
Poster | Art | Artists

• Today posters have transformed from street art to high art. • The earliest surviving Hindi film poster is that of a 1924 film called Kalyan Khajina, designed and
painted by the film director Baburao Painter.

• The size of an actor’s face on the poster directly reflected his prominence and stardom. • At Osian’s auction in 2002, an original poster from Dev Anand classic Guide sold for Rs. 1.8 lakh while
highest selling film poster at the same gallery have been Sangam and Russian version of Kabuli wallasold for Rs 2.5 Lakh each. then preserved with alkaline neutraliser and hand-made Nepali paper.

• For preserving hand-painted posters of yester year, each one is painstakingly first de-acidified and • Diwakar Karkare worked with the best in Hindi film industry creating iconic posters for Deewar,
Sholay, Don, Amar Akbar Anthony. His signature technique being over painting with a knife. to Rs. 50,000 for Manmohan Desai’s Mard after the film Daag became a hit.

• Diwakar Karkare was the highest paid poster artist in the industry, hiking his price from Rs. 30,000

Overview of trends in Bollywood posters
Bollywood posters have changed responding to changing technology, social milieu and evolving visual culture in India. The posters are an cultural icon and an advertisement.They make information about new releases available to people on the street and borrow heavily from the Nav-Rasa theory of Natya Shastra while they are at it.

• The Indian poster has been influenced by several international art movements like the Avant Garde,

Art Nouveau, Viennese graphic work, the Pyscedellic art of the 60s as well as the westerns and the typography native to them. • The typography of Bollywood posters mimics the West largely and lacks an Indian idiom except for the work of Satyajit Ray and a couple of calligraphic works by Achyut Palav. • Apart from the consistently common layouts through the decades every decade brought in atypical designs. • Highest grossing films did not necessarily have the best posters. Posters from parallel cinema and Satyajit Ray films had very vibrant posters.

Titling trends Major titling trends till 90s:
3D, perspective, WORDART like and Westerns (cowboys) inspired.

Major trends of 90s and millennium:
Simple, minimalistic, clean looking typefaces, modern-chic

Colour trends Master pallete till 50s till 60s till 70s till 80s till 90s till 10s

Trends in character depiction Number of Characters:
• Solitary hero- all powerful, brave and kind • Twos, couple- A story of a couple in love or a story of two brothers as in Deewar. denotes, dualities on the same • Three, Triangle or a trio- Either a love triangle, or a team of three accomplishing a task. • Team of four or two couples or a couple, a wamp and a villain. • Ensemble caste- More than four characters on the poster
given subject. To portray two radically opposite perspectives at the same time.

Characters look at:

• 60s- the hero looked out of the poster but away from audience, staring into space. • 90s- onwards almost every character essentially looks out of the poster at audience.

Gender of Characters:

• A man was portrayed as strong, in control, kind in case of a hero and cunning, treacherous, scheming • A woman could be portrayed as a shy demure wife, always looking towards the bottom of the poster and a bold
incase of an anti hero. Role of men as comics was acknowledged and mentioned on posters. wamp is the only character in 60s to actually look out from the poster and at audience, as if inviting their attention or a loving, caring, generous mother who is often portrayed helpless.

Expressions of actors/ themes:
• • • • • • •

50s- rural living, seeking liberation, expression etc 60s- Full of variety of emotions as described in Navarasa, Natyashastra 70s- Angry young man, the chase, thrill & rebellion 80s- Drama in human relationships, life complexities 90s- Joy, love, urban living, underworld, society etc 00s- ‘Star’ness of a star dominant than his/her character in the film, colour-correction 10s- International chic, crossover cinema, colour-correction, society, life, sex and violence being portrayed in very many ways. Expression wise indifference/ sorry state of the lead character (wake up sid) and suspension of morality (DEV. D. and Oye Lucky), celebration of dark and the underdogs

Hierarchy of characters:

Has more or less remained same since earlier days and is established using variation in size, alignment, opacity, blurring/sharpness (i.e variations in focus) w.r.t. the characters on the poster.

Atypical posters

This poster of Bobby is reminiscent of the Procol Harum concert poster of 1969 by Lee Conkin, whose forte was psychedelic art

The typography of Bazaar bears an uncanny resemblance to Otto Wagner’s work

The Taare Zameen Par poster marks the return of hand work albeit the scanned-digitized-printed one.

Grattitude
I have made use of several write-ups, images, articles, research papers from the internet to put this trends’ document together and I am thankful for people and their knowledge sharing tendencies the credits are as follows, some website I may not have mentioned, but I will try and update the credit list soon. Thanks! http://blogs.bootsnall.com/miss/archives/013860.shtml http://images.travelpod.com/users/zolab/1.1226921820.bollywood-posters.jpghttp://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/newdelhi/Classic-Bollywood-posters-a-click-away/Article1-535695.aspx http://www.randomspecific.com/bollywood-poster-wallas http://www.thehotspotonline.com/eyecandy/index.htm http://www.impawards.com/ Special thanks to my guide Prof. Ravi Poovaiah for giving me such an assignment.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.