My Fellow Americans: Tony Seiniger, Poster Designer

After 1,500 Movie Posters, the Best Designs Are the Simple Ones

Poster for the 1975 film 'Jaws'

Poster for the 1975 film Jaws © Tony Seiniger hide caption

itoggle caption © Tony Seiniger

Tony Seiniger doesn't call himself an artist — he prefers advertising designer. Still, in the 30 years he's been designing promotional posters for films, he's created some indelible images that resonate decades later. Remember the poster for Jaws? That was him.

At age 62, he now oversees a group of more than 20 young designers, and his studio has pumped out more than 1,500 posters. During those years, he's come up with some ground rules for what makes a poster great:

"First off, it should be different," he says. "It should be something nobody has seen before — that'll get it attention. You have to be able to read it at about 35 or 40 miles per hour and digest it in three seconds... That's the challenge, to try get an hour-and-a-half or two hours of entertainment down into a simple graphic that you can read in three seconds."



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