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  • Writer's pictureKJ Ha

Design Analysis

The Image

For the assignment "Design Analysis," I chose a movie poster of Thelma, a Norwegian film by Joachim Trier. Although I am not a huge fan of the movie, I vividly remember the moment I first saw the poster in 2018 because of its powerful imagery.

Grid System

The poster demonstrates a great use of a grid system--of symmetry to be specific. The image is simple, demonstrating a portrait of a young woman whose eyes are covered with a dead bird. The imaginary line that passes through the center divides the face and the bird into almost identical halves. The first and third vertical lines roughly indicate the position of the protagonist's neck and the arches of her eyebrows. Horizontally, her forehead is placed on the second row and her eye area, covered with the dead bird, is located on the third row. The fourth horizontal line passes through her jawline and lips.

Hierarchy of Elements

When looking at the image, I first read the word "THELMA." THELMA, the title of the movie, is highly legible because it is the word written in white on a dark background. Then my eyes are caught by the bird and the protagonist's pale skin almost at the same time. I am hesitant to say which one comes first into sight since those two form a great contrast in terms of brightness. At last, I see the lips and by then, I fully recognize the face of the protagonist as a whole.


Unlike many other movie posters, the letters are hard to be found on this poster. The only word that is readily visible is the title of the movie, THELMA. In this particular case, I believe the text is not as important as the image since having too much written information may digress attention to the visual. Minimizing the text ultimately brought a positive result of creating a visually powerful and intriguing image.

There are mainly three families of typefaces are used in the design: Passenger Display, Kepler, and Horsham Serial. Passenger Display Semibold by Indian Type Foundry is used to write the title of the film, THELMA. Passenger Display Medium Italic is used to highlight the former works of the director and his name and to write the quote at the bottom of the poster.

Kepler Std Medium Semicondensed Subhead by Adobe is used to write less important, supporting texts. Lastly, Horsham Serial Extra Light by SoftMaker is used to write the names and corresponding positions of the film crew.


The colors used in the poster can be divided into four categories: the colors of the protagonist's hair (#6fb4c5, dark blue), feathers of dead bird (#424c55, grayish blue), lips (#896873, desaturated pink), and the skin tone (#b0a6ae, grayish pink). The color scheme of the poster resembles the overall tone of the film, which evokes the scenery of a cold winter in Northern Europe.

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