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The Poster Boys

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37: Best of 2017

The Poster Boys discuss the 2017 Year in Movie Posters. Designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith select the theatrical posters, teasers, and campaigns that caught their eye this year, discussing design trends, film branding, the importance of context when comparing agency work to freelance work, and reflecting on their own personal experiences as poster designers in 2017. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Graphic Design Criticism as a Spectator Sport by Michael Bierut Music selections: “Bass on Titles”...

Duration: 02:15:39

36: Holiday Gift Guide

It’s an extra special light episode centered almost entirely around dead trees! This month, Brandon and Sam try something a little different in time for the holidays: they look at some of their favorite art and design related books published (or found) throughout the year and do their best to suggest them as gifts, while making impassioned arguments for local libraries along the way. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Visit to for links to our holiday gift selections. Music...

Duration: 01:27:38

35: Stephen King

Find a flashlight and a blanket to hide under, because The Poster Boys are taking a Halloween themed trip down memory lane with the work of Stephen King. This month, Brandon and Sam discuss their favorite book covers and film posters from (and based on) the bestselling author’s more chilling tales, diving into the differences between marketing a story for print and film while reminiscing about how inescapable King’s presence was when they were growing up. SHOW NOTES & LINKS James Jean...

Duration: 01:44:10

34: The Process - Part 1

This month, Brandon and Sam journey back into their own lives to discuss how they first got involved in design, and the ways in which their process has changed over time. From school flyers to fake toy packaging, the boys share stories from their childhood and discuss how they both went from designing film posters for fun to making it into a career. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Carnage for Kids Music selections: “Bass on Titles” opening theme, Great Southern Land from the Young Einstein Original...

Duration: 02:21:59

33: Back to School

Grab your lunch, pack your books and get ready for the first day of class! This month on the show, designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith head back to the halls of academia, diving into some of the most notable posters for films centered in or around the school. From Pretty in Pink to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the boys look back at their favorites while trying to piece together the process behind some of the genre’s most iconic pieces of key art. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Sela Lewis /...

Duration: 01:51:08

31: David Lynch

With the return of Twin Peaks after 26 years, designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith look back at the posters that have accompanied the many films of David Lynch in their first director-themed episode. From Eraserhead to Inland Empire, the boys discuss how Lynch’s unique cinematic vision has been marketed both in the US and abroad since 1977 while looking at the role a one-sheet plays in honoring a filmmaker’s work. Plus: listener feedback and a few words on the state of the superhero...

Duration: 02:31:58

30: Jacqueline S. Casey

Best known as a designer and later director of the Office of Publications at MIT, Jacqueline Casey created some of the most striking graphics for lectures and events at the prestigious school for over 30 years. This month on the podcast, Brandon and Sam look back at the work and career from one of America’s most prominent practitioners of the Swiss Style before opening the Flat File and discussing the film posters created for Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction classic, 2001: A SPACE...

Duration: 01:53:39

27: Stenberg Brothers

This month on The Poster Boys, Brandon and Sam head back to the 1920s to look at the incredible film posters born out of the Russian Revolution and the work of two of Russia’s most prominent designers in particular, Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg. Despite a tragically short career, the Stenberg Brothers crafted over 300 posters during a period fraught with societal and technological change while becoming the pioneers of design and advertising techniques used throughout the world to this...

Duration: 02:20:35

26: Georg Olden

For The Poster Boys’ first episode of 2017, designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith look at the life and work of Georg Olden, one of the most prominent and influential black executives in the American advertising business. Olden designed and art directed countless television title cards for CBS television which embodied the most timeless qualities of modern graphic design, and additionally designed for the Office of Strategic Services before it became the CIA, for the conference that...

Duration: 01:44:34

24: Barbara ‘Basha’ Baranowska

This month on The Poster Boys podcast, designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith look at the diverse work of Polish poster artist Barbara Baranowska, also known simply as ‘Basha.’ An essential voice in the Polish Poster School (see also last May’s episode for more), Basha created a chameleonic oeuvre while living in post-war Poland and France through the 60′s and 70′s, including iconic posters for films ranging from Zulawski’s POSSESSION to WILLY WONKA. The Poster Boys also chat about some...

Duration: 02:23:22

22: Film Posters in the 21st Century - Part 2

Drawing from their experience as poster designers, hosts Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith take a general look at the ins and outs of film poster design in the 21st century, and how commercial factors like billing blocks, logo placement, and actor likenesses have shaped poster design from the 70’s to today. The Poster Boys also chat about some books, sites, and poster designs that have caught their eye recently, and then open the Flat File to take a look at the poster art for Steven...

Duration: 01:57:04

21: Dick Bruna

On this month’s episode of The Poster Boys podcast, designers Brandon Schaefer and Sam Smith look at the inspiring life and iconic work of Dutch designer Dick Bruna, from his hundreds of book cover designs to his children’s books and characters, and his designs for his home town of Utrecht in The Netherlands, from whence host Sam brings a report from his recent trip. Plus: This month in The Flat File, the book covers and poster art for PSYCHO. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Dick Bruna / Miffy...

Duration: 02:05:18

19: Brandon & Sam’s Favorites - Part 2

This month The Poster Boys continue with a look back at their favorite movie posters ever. In the second of a two-part episode, Brandon and Sam reflect on the film posters that have left a lasting impact on them in recent years, including those by artists from Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Cuba, and some of Hollywood’s most striking one-sheets from Silence of the Lambs to Rosemary’s Baby. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Movie Poster of the Week: “Une femme douce” and the Posters of Olga...

Duration: 01:24:37

18: Brandon & Sam’s Favorites - Part 1

This month Brandon and Sam look back at their favorite movie posters ever. In the first of a two-part episode, the Poster Boys reflect on the movie posters of their childhood and the designs that captured their imagination growing up, from the art of Faerie Tale Theatre to Robocop and The Rocketeer. SHOW NOTES & LINKS Art of the Modern Movie Poster, Judith Salavetz, Spencer Drate, and Sam Sarowitz, with text by Dave Kehr, Chronicle Books Faerie Tale Theatre artwork gallery John Mattos...

Duration: 01:20:06

17: Corita Kent

This month The Poster Boys look at the life and art of Corita Kent. A nun and teacher at Immaculate Heart College, and beginning in 1964 the chair of its art department, her silkscreens combined religious language with that of American advertising culture and the spirit of 60’s modern art. As a teacher, her philosophy and class exercises brought a radical and fresh perspective not just to the spiritual ideas of the church but to the artistic and creative process overall. Brandon and Sam...

Duration: 02:03:06

16: Batman v Superman

From their small, separate start on the silver screen in the 1940s to joining forces for one of the most anticipated epics hitting theaters in 2016, Batman and Superman have woven in and out of cinematic history for over 70 years. Leaving in their wake a plethora of film posters, the Poster Boys look back through the key art that defined each cinematic interpretation of two massive cultural icons and use their highs and lows to examine the constantly changing trends within the...

Duration: 03:03:27

15: Cuban Film Posters

This month the Poster Boys survey the Golden Age of Cuban Posters, created during and after the Cuban Revolution. In addition to the iconic social and political posters that celebrated Cuba’s cultural pride and solidarity with other nations, hundreds of silkscreen film posters were produced during the 60’s which reflected the distinct styles and humble ingenuity of Cuba’s poster artists. Brandon and Sam reflect on the processes of these artists and appreciate how much their posters have...

Duration: 02:04:24

14: Hipgnosis

For their first episode of 2016, the Poster Boys depart from the world of one-sheets for a quick spin around some of music’s most visually engaging album covers courtesy of the design powerhouse Hipgnosis. From Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Brandon and Sam explore the prolific career of a small design studio working out of London’s Tin Pan Alley from the late 1960s until the early 1980s. They cap things off with a return to the world of film,...

Duration: 01:53:03

13: 2015 In Review

To close out their first year, the Poster Boys reflect on theatrical film poster design in 2015, sharing some of the pieces that caught their eye throughout the year and discussing the industry’s recent tropes and trends. They also take a break to talk to the artists behind two of their favorite posters of the year (Anna Katrina Bak for Queen of Earth, and Erik Buckham for The Assassin) before wrapping up with a look back on the process behind some of their own posters that they tackled in...

Duration: 01:36:38

12: Star Wars Poster Spectacular

Ahead of the release of the latest entry in the Star Wars saga, the Poster Boys pull out the history books to uncover the story behind nearly forty years of Star Wars poster art. From Howard Chaykin’s first teaser in 1976 all the way to LA’s one-sheet for The Force Awakens in 2015, Sam and Brandon look at the way designing and commissioning posters has changed with each passing year while digging into some of the franchise’s most unsung heroes. They also touch on their own history with the...

Duration: 01:51:16

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