How To: Make a Movie Poster
Friends and family can become the stars with these poster ideas.

Design Master

Quick Tip: Need beautiful posters printed ASAP? Check out our reviews of the best poster printing services. Prices start at just $0.44/poster!

Do you remember the posters for “Gone with the Wind,” “E.T.” or “Pulp Fiction”? Of course you do! These are some of the iconic movie posters that will never be forgotten.

However, there are also those movie posters we remember for other reasons (check out our 10 Movie Poster Fails.) You don’t want to be remembered for that.

Most iconic movie posters follow a general formula, so you can easily combine some of their elements when designing a poster for an actual movie, as a gag gift or even to promote a themed event.

For this tutorial, I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS5. I will start with a size of 18″ wide by 24″ tall.

TIP: Use CMYK color when working with a document for print.

How to Make a Movie Poster 1

Start with a great screenshot from the movie or an image representing the subject of the gift or event.

TIP:  Your image should be at least 300 DPI.

How to Make a Movie Poster 2

Click on the Text tool and select a place on the poster to start typing. Choose an appropriate movie title font.

How to Make a Movie Poster 3

Name the top “actors” in bold print toward the top of the poster. Use a different font than the title.

How to Make a Movie Poster 4

If this is for a movie, list all the key actors, director, production company, etc. If this is for a gift or event, you can include information about the honored guest or details of the event.

TIP:  Use a tall, thin font to replicate standard movie poster credits.

How to Make a Movie Poster 5

Add a few good reviews. Use the same or similar font to the movie credits.

How to Make a Movie Poster 6

A good way to call attention to this section is by adding large parenthesis or brackets.

How to Make a Movie Poster 7

Check your work: Make sure the final poster contains all the information you need, everything is spelled correctly and it matches your vision. (Fun challenge: Find the spelling error on the poster above!)

Now you’re ready to print. Make sure you’ve saved the image in a high-quality, 300 DPI format. Check with your printer to make sure you save your poster in the proper file type.

How to Make a Movie Poster 8

Posters offer a unique way to promote a variety of products and events or to surprise your friends with a personalized gift. Keep those iconic movie posters in mind while you continue to practice and explore design ideas.

About the Author
Kristi Maddox is a master of graphic design, on-site design and ordering, and is the go-to for template and design tool usage.
Kristi and the team order print jobs from every major printer to test quality, value, customer service, and more. See their reviews here:


  1. wish I could have found this article before I had a class project about making a movie poster. would have really helped with the basics.