We typically do film posters in this space. However, there is a long history of design for film festival key art that warrants examination. Especially when the design is this superb.
Festival posters have their own set of tropes. Indie film festivals often use hand drawn Robert-Crumb style collages from local artists Typically, these use images and design elements from the many films that are playing at that years festival. Larger, globally recognized brands such as Cannes and TIFF have their own individual cliches: Cannes focuses on movies stars or directors (often jumping in the air for some reason) while TIFF (particularly recently) has been co-opting trendy graphic designs from the greater media landscape for their own use; powder explosions, mirrored architecture, etc.
This poster for Amsterdam's longest running fantastic festival, IMAGINE, is somewhere in between the indie festival and TIFF, but is stronger for being a kind of hybrid approach.
Here the design firm Liefhebber Ontwerp and graphic artist Dawid Planeta -- who has a whole series of these designs, many of which could work as IMAGINE alternate posters -- have evoked the implacable shadows, ominous nature, and exploration. In other words, why we go to fantasy and horror film festivals.
The Stag is often a mysterious totem, he is king of the temperate forest, from Princess Mononoke to Grímnismál, and the keeper of great power. Whereas the deep sea diving suit has often featured in horror films from The Creature From The Black Lagoon to Robot Monster, and is both a vessels for unearthing secrets and its own kind of barrier/confinement, making it equal measure of ominous and aspirational (in a retro-future kind of way).
Really though, I am in love with the high-contrast fog in this design, and the dark rocks in the foreground. I happen to love yellow text on black and white images, It evokes industrial, open minded, and 'indie' (see last week's column) all at the same time. All these design elements, presented simply, minimally, add up to one of the classiest and most striking festival posters in some time.