Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!

This week in Visual Design class I was tasked to create a fictional movie poster. The design brief was that I could only use my own photographs or I can draw something. Well, I can’t draw, but I have thousands of photographs! But, where do I even start? I knew I wanted to do something with animals (because they’re cute) and I have tons of photos to choose from.


I found some great photos of my dog, Ava, and my best friend’s dog, Mason. I started brainstorming what my movie could be about while researching poster designs. I decided I wanted to use The Sandlot and Homeward Bound as my inspiration. I loved those movies growing up! But I needed another character..and voila! I found a photo of my niece, staring right into the camera with attitude. Perfect!

I still wasn’t sure how I would piece the trio together. What would their adventure be? I noticed in the photo of my niece, she’s holding a tennis ball and I know I had taken a photo of my friends playing tennis over the summer. A silly, family friendly, movie about a kid and two dogs taking all the balls at the tennis courts! That’s the movie!


I started with a background of a tennis court and cut out the photos of my main characters. I super-imposed them and immediately loved the trio together! Look how cute they are! I liked the look of the background, so I didn’t want to blur it and make a shallow depth of field. I did want to make it seem more dynamic, though. I started adding photos of tennis balls, resizing them, and just throwing them onto the page to see what would happen. It looked like the tennis balls were bouncing around them, like they’d created chaos! That’s where the name of the movie came in. The Troublemakers.



The poster’s composition is not quite symmetrical length-wise, but close! The poster is divided into thirds nicely. The top third has the movie’s title, the center frames the main characters, and the bottom is filled with supporting text. I also achieved a balance between the foreground and background. The foreground has the main characters and the background has a single tennis player. There are also a lot of leading lines on the tennis court that move your eyes around the composition.


The various yellow tennis balls fill other spaces in the frame, creating movement and directing the viewers eyes. The triadic complimentary colors (red, blue, and yellow) make the poster visually pop. Bright and colorful designs are a great way to capture busy kids’ eyes.


The poster is image heavy. The only text on this composition is the title of the film and the bottom text. Since this movie is (sort of) in the realm of sporty, I did try a few blocky, sporty fonts. Initially, I chose the font “Winner” and didn’t feel like it was the right choice. I scrolled around and really liked this font, “Faith and Glory Two”. It looks like a whiteboard marker and is bold. I liked the idea of a rougher font because the main characters are up to no good. But the font didn’t seem too scary for children.

Final Thoughts

I could not figure out a good way to cover up their feet. I knew the bottom text would help, but I needed more. I added a white and grey vignette around the edges of the poster. The vignette made my composition feel like the viewer is looking through the tennis fencing and added more ‘atmosphere’. The poster felt too much like a photo before adding this element and I knew this would be the finishing touch.

It’s not perfect, but I LOVE IT.

This was SUCH A FUN PROJECT! I loved playing around with these photos to see what story I could make out of them. I think overall, the composition came out better than expected and my favorite part are the flying tennis balls. I hope that you enjoyed looking at my design and reading my post as much as I enjoyed making it. See you next time!

2 responses to “Coming Soon to a Theater Near You!”

  1. Hi Jacklyn-
    I love this! Each photo you used is so crisp and sharp, and I think that sort of adds depth to the poster. The dogs and your niece have a mischievous aura and plays along very well with the title. They are each sized correctly height-wise, so it looks realistic. As you mentioned, there is definitely a foreground and background, with your main characters in the foreground and the woods + tennis player in the back.

    The really great and interesting element of this piece is the tennis balls. They add movement to the poster through your placement and paying attention to how the size affects the spatial depth. Balls in the foreground are bigger than those in the middle, which are bigger than the background, etc. Replacing the O in troublemakers with a tennis ball is a fantastic choice! It almost makes it seem like the text is fused with the image.

    For some reason, my brain didn’t acknowledge the gray aura, but when I read about it and scrolled back up, I got it instantly. What a cool concept! It refines the viewpoint for the viewer, as they are not just looking at the tennis court, but through the fence.

    Your design process was almost like a mind map, or maybe more like a flow chart? You took an element from your previous thought and it influenced your next decision (i.e. your niece holding the tennis ball made you think of the photos you have of your friends playing tennis).

    You’re doing great work and I’m looking forward to see your next pieces!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jacklyn,

    I thought your poster looked awesome. Just the title gave me Sandlot vibes and the dogs definitely helped give the poster that Homeward Bound feel. I think you did a great job adding depth. The kid and smaller dog in front of the big dog were great choices to superimpose. I agree that the tennis balls add depth and life to the scene.

    I didn’t think about color theory until you mentioned it but I love that you explained how the tennis balls really pop because of the color of the court. The tennis balls in the kid’s hand and the dog’s mouth made the poster feel very interactive. It’s as if the troublemakers have already caused some problems and now we have to see how the story will unfold.

    You achieved a great triangle hierarchy with the three troublemakers and the title above. Also, the choice to put the tennis ball in the title as an “o” really give a fun and youthful feel to the poster. The font vibes well with the theme of the poster because it looks like some kids could have written it out with a marker.

    Lastly, I think the vignette you have is a great example of experimenting and problem solving with design. It helped you cover up the feet and it does give atmosphere to the poster like you said.

    Overall, you did a great job with this! The poster was so cute and fun. Also, the photos you used looked so good. I can’t wait to see what you make next.

    Liked by 1 person

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