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This Week's Challenge: Imaginary Film

Every week, I’ll be sharing with the design community a creative challenge, alongside sample solutions from working designers and students. The challenge below is from my forthcoming book for HOW Design Press, Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills. These weekly challenges will be cross-posted on the Imprint blog from Print Magazine.

Action-packed typography. A bold ingénue enhanced by dramatic shadows conjured up by Photoshop. An atmosphere conveyed through color that hits you square in the gut. Since you’re in the trade of making pictures, you’ll definitely enjoy this challenge.

Brainstorm a name and plot for a made-up film, including its genre and the decade in which it was produced. Using that description, create a DVD cover for the imaginary film that aesthetically conveys all of those details. You have only 60 minutes to brainstorm ideas and create a sketch of your cover.

Will you be in the business of marketing a film noir pic made in 1980? A lost Woody Allen film from the ’70s? Or the fourteenth sequel in a long-running line of horror classics? Seal in an envelope a one-sentence plot for your film. Then, show your DVD cover to some friends, ask them what they think it’s about, and open the envelope—just like the Oscars—to reveal if they’re correct.

Shown above is a solution by designer David Christopher Everly. He says that his imaginary film Lily, Under the Sea is “an off-beat comedy about Lily, a young twenty-three-year-old New York hair-stylist struggling to make it on her own in the big city.”

If you decide to tackle this challenge, post links to your solution—whether a rough sketch or a final execution—in the comments.

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