“Styles come and go. Good design is a language, not style.”
So said Massimo Vignelli, the Italian designer famous as much for his modernist furniture as for his posters. Why would I quote someone known for tables and fonts in a blog about horror design? Because Vignelli also said, “If you can design one thing, you can design everything.” And that’s really how some of the greats got into the horror game. H.R. Giger, for instance, painted before designing the famous monster and interiors in Alien. Alfred Hitchcock was a draftsman for an advertising company before turning his attention to horror. Roger Corman studied industrial engineering, a very different type of design.
With the legacies of these notable designers in mind, I decided to create some alternative movie posters for a few historic horror films. The following images serve as homages to the work of favorites like Peter Saville and Mike Joyce‘s Swissted.
The Thing is ultimately a chess metaphor. When MacCready loses against The Chess Wizard (a glorified Apple II with the voice of Adrienne Barbeau), he pours his whisky into the computer’s port. Despite getting checkmated, he still has the upper hand. Similarly, MacCready offers Childs whisky during the films close as U.S. Outpost 31 burns, symbolically “pouring” J&B into the mechanic. The situation is dire, but MacCready maintains control. The chess metaphor/computer served as inspiration for this design. The researchers are the pawns and the Thing is the King. Each missing pixel represents someone lost at the Antarctic station.