Watchmen and C.R.A.P.


Watchmen is movie adaptation of a comic book written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. The movie came out in 2009 and posters are made to promote the movie to get people all around the world to have the want to see the film. The film industry in general has designers and animators come up with multiple designs for promotional propaganda for the upcoming event. Designers use the four basic design principles to help get viewers’ attention.  Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity (C.R.A.P.) are the principles that give a design the look needed to bring in more viewers.

Robin Williams, (not the actor. Haha.) states that the definition of contrast is “…when two elements are different…if the two elements are not exactly the same, then make them different. Really different.” The contrast in the photo is shown through the choice of the colors yellow and blue. Yellow and blue are two colors almost on the opposite sides of the color wheel and that makes it an excellent choice for contrasting texts and backgrounds. The brightness of the yellow reflects greatly off of the darkness of the blue and black tones. The contrast makes it easier for people to see the movie poster from farther distances and gives it a pop of color that is needed.

The next principle of design is repetition which is defined by Robin Williams, “The principle of repetition states that you repeat some aspect of the design throughout the entire piece…. It can be anything that the reader will visually recognize.” Repetition is shown throughout the movie poster with the look of rain falling in the same repetitive pattern and the repetitive showing of the windows from the buildings in the background. The use of repetition gives a look to any design of familiarity and a design that makes the viewer look all around the entire poster or piece of art.

The third principle of design that is discussed is alignment which can be described as, “When items are aligned on the page, it creates a stronger cohesive unit. Even when aligned elements are physically separated from each other, there is an invisible line that connects them, both in your eye and in your mind.” Alignment has to deal with the arranging things in appropriate positions. The Watchmen movie poster has each character aligned in the middle of the poster and aligned in between the two strips of buildings and the alignment of the buildings makes the viewers eyes go down into the street which can represent the journey that the characters will go on throughout the film.

The last principle of design is proximity. Proximity deals with the space between different points of reference and making the picture stand out and are even and give the movement to the picture. Proximity can be defined as, “Group related items together, move them physically closer to each other so the related items are seen as one cohesive group rather than a bunch of unrelated bits.” The proximity shown in the movie poster depicts the proximity of the group of heroes standing together as groups even though they are all heroes and anti-heroes in their own way. They are all individual people but when putting them together it makes the collective group of Watchmen.

Principles of Design are a vital part in any aspect of creating anything with substance. Designing websites, movie posters, and even covers for books take a lot of hard work and consideration from many different people. This movie poster has a sense of all four of the major principles of design and that makes it an excellent example of the major parts of design.


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