A movie poster is a way to attract a bigger audience. It depicts the film’s setting, theme, and mood captured by graphics, fonts, and colors. Carefully selecting every design element is crucial for a movie poster design. The whole composition must spark curiosity, leading audiences inside movie theaters. If you’re DIYing a poster for an indie film, here’s how to make a movie poster in Canva for free. 

1. Choose the right tool

Creating a movie poster is a time-consuming undertaking. You have to ensure the graphics and copy complement the movie genre concisely. Otherwise, your film poster won’t enthuse audiences. DIYing a movie poster needs a convenient and user-friendly graphic design tool for an iconic movie poster. Canva is one of the most straightforward graphic design tools for all design types.

2. Understand the gist of the film

Understanding the gist of the film is imperative to craft the right imagery that showcases the movie’s theme, mood, and setting. What is the movie’s vision? Who is the antagonist and protagonist? Identifying this in the beginning will help you decide on an appropriate poster style. 

3. Open Canva

Canva interface

Open Canva and click the Create a design button on the upper right-hand corner.

4. Choose a movie poster size

Canva interface

The standard movie poster size for promoting films in theaters is 27 by 40 inches. If you display the posters on subways and bus stops, go for 40 by 60 inches. Finally, choose 24 by 36 inches for retailers who want to promote the film. 

Canva interface

Click Custom size, enter the dimensions, and click Create new design. For this example, let’s choose 27 by 40 inches.

5. Determine the movie genre

Determine the movie genre so you can select the most appropriate typography and color palettes. Some of the most common genres are comedy, romance, action, adventure, drama, horror, mystery, murder, animation, and Sci-Fi. 

6. Upload an image or select a template

Learning how to make a movie poster boils down primarily to imagery. Movie poster graphics are everything. This will determine your movie’s promotional success, so ensure you let experts create the graphics for you. 

Canva interface

You may upload custom images on Canva by clicking the Uploads menu on the left toolbar and then clicking the Upload files button. 

Canva interface

You may also select a template by clicking the Design menu on the left toolbar. Then, type “movie posters” or “film posters” in the search templates field. You’ll see a gallery of a few free movie poster templates, so select the most appropriate image for your film. 

6. Choose an appropriate font

Experts recommend letting the imagery set the font style. The typography will say a lot about your movie’s genre and theme. Another essential reminder is to ensure the font is legible from a distance. Cohesion between the imagery and typography is vital for a captivating outcome. 

Helvetica is a go-to font for minimalist and hyper-realistic films. Bold, slab typefaces work for blockbuster films. Vintage fonts are also suitable for films focusing on particular periods or nostalgia. Bloodied lettering or typefaces are best for murder, mystery, or horror movies. Ultra-minimal fonts are also best for space, animation, or Sci-Fi movies. 

Canva interface

We’ve chosen a beige retro-style movie poster template for this example. You can customize the fonts by clicking on the text. Once the text box appears, click the font’s drop-down arrow to choose the most appropriate font. 

Canva interface

Pro Tip: A movie poster must have all the details so viewers can read what the film is about. Prioritize typography hierarchy. Ensure the title is the most prominent text on the movie poster design, followed by corresponding subheadings and paragraphs. 

7. Add billing blocks

The final design element to add to your film poster design is billing blocks. This typically contains presentation credits, the cast, production crew, writers, the release date, social media accounts, etc.

Canva interface

To add billing blocks on Canva, click the Text menu on the left toolbar. Click the Add a text box button or choose from the Default text styles. Adjust the text box placement and size by dragging the corners. 

8. Download and publish the movie poster

Download your final design by clicking the Share button in the upper right-hand corner. 

Canva interface

Click the Download drop-down arrow.

Canva interface

Choose the file type. PNG is a better option for high-resolution images, such as movie posters. 

Canva interface

Click the Download button, and you’re all set!

Once your final movie poster design is ready for printing, you can then display these in theaters. You may also promote your movie poster on your social media pages, website, or newsletter. 

Need help with movie poster designs? Let Penji’s professional graphic designers do the heavy lifting for you. You no longer have to go through the time-consuming process of crafting the best film poster design. Penji’s experts will deliver the movie poster within 24 hours!

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