Just as there is no single answer to ‘how much does it cost to make a film’, the same is true when designing artwork, as there are many factors that can affect cost.
Whilst the majority of indi films In the UK will pay under £4000 for a poster, creating artwork for larger budget productions can run to multiples of this when the scope of what is needed grows beyond just as single peice of key art.
When figuring out the best cost there are a number of things that need to be considered, so to help, we’ve put together a list of initial questions you should share answers to with your designer. Covering as many of the points below as possible will help them come to a rate that will work for both of you.
The basics – what is the film? The film title, director, producer, lead cast (or if script stage who is the desired or locked cast). What is the plot, genre, and film production budget? Share as much information as possible to give an understanding of the films aspirations. If you already have a website, social media accounts, pitching decks, or mood boards that you have used for promotion – then share as much of this as possible so we can see the existing style , and discuss how you want to move forward from there.
What is the deadline you are working too? Do you have marketing plan in place, or an upcoming film festival that you need artwork for – let your designer know these time constraints as early as possible so they can work towards them.
If your film is still in pre production then share the synopsis, or film overview. Better yet, send the full script. All things at Bobo are treated as highly confidential and not shared with anyone outside of the company.
Do you have any poster examples that you like, so we can see the sort of style you are after? What are the films that have similar themes to your film that you are using as a reference. A great place to find posters for comps is on the impawards website.
Additional design elements
What other design requirements do you need for the project? Websites, pitching decks, trailers, social media imagery – many agencies have the skills to cover most of your creative needs, so discuss the scope of what you are aftere and see if there is a package deal that can be agreed.
If you have a specific budget in mind, let your designer know? We always work with our clients on all aspects of costs, and advise on what’s achievable within your budget.
If your film has already been made, and is in post production, or is a fully completed film, then the following points are also vital for poster design cost quoting.
Do you have a trailer, or completed film we can see? Or is it still being made? Designers are happy to watch early drafts of films if this is all you have available.
Stills from the film – can we have access to all of the available stills? With stills we mean on set photographs, not screen grabs. Regardless of the type of high resolution film camera that was used to shoot with, screen grabs should be a last resort when creating artwork, and not the starting point!). Stills should ideally be a mix of cast, action shots, and scenery. Preferably they’re in front of camera shots, but a range of BTS photos can sometimes help as well.
Did you take any staged ‘specials’ shots of the main cast? Photos where they are posing specifically for the camera – preferably against a plain background or on a specific set from the film? These are a fantastic assets to have for any film marketing teams to work with, and really help to showcase your title in the best light. The cost of shooting these during filming is negligable when compared to the benefit they make to your marketing. They also make designing a poster much easier for your creatives – with much better end results. If you are still filming, then your agency may be able to help art direct a shoot with your actors to ensure the best pics are taken in anticipation of the poster artwork. At Bobo we are equipped with a full studio lighting set up and have done multiple specials shoots for films.
Depending on your cast, budget, timeframe, and if the title warrants it – you may decide to do additonal posters. An early teaser poster, character posters, minimalist / arthouse festival posters – these are some of the extra key arts that we have created over the years, and can help expand the world you are creating and keep your marketing fresh
Once your designer knows the full scope of the above points then they can give you a cost that should work with the size and scope of your film, and if they are working on multiple items (eg social media, website) then they may be able to offer better costs on the overall project than if they priced each item seperately.
Hope this list helps give a good overview of what is needed to cost a film poster design. Please get in touch if you have a title that you’d like to discuss.