Animated Poster Part 1: Ideation

July 24, 2020

Our first assignment for Design for Communication class is to create an animated movie poster. To produce this poster, we were given the following contraints:

  • DO NOT use the actors from the movie
  • Duration of animation (min:2s max:10s)
  • Design your animation at 24 frames per second
  • Format of the poster should be HD (1080 x 1920)
  • Orientation = Portrait

The movie I will create a poster for is In The Mood For Love (2000), directed by Wong Kar-wai. Set in 1960’s Hong Kong, the movie concerns two married neighbors, Chow and Su, who fall in love, but due to the conservative social climate, never act on their feelings.

While watching the movie I was struck by the use of setting to convey solitude. Because the neighbors meet after moving into the same rooming house on the same day, themes of vacancy and presence resurface throughout the story. With their spouses often working late or traveling abroad, the pair often pass each other on the way to a noodle stand, and an otherwise nondescript back alley becomes enlivened with these encounters.

Eventually the pair form an excuse to rendezvous on a more regular basis when Chow decides to write a novel and asks for Su’s advice. Thus through they are able to communicate their feelings through the process of writing the novel.

The movie ends with Chow visiting Angkor Wat and speaking his feelings into a crack in the ruins. Though the site is one of the wonders of the world, it is vacant, its time has passed and it cannot be revived.


Themes of contrast like vacancy vs. occupancy, saying something vs. thinking something, passion vs. pragmatism pervade the movie. Additionally, what it means to share a meal vs. eating alone is often emphasized.

The color red plays a prominent role in conveying the desires of the characters.


I’d like the text of the poster to convey the disconnect between the two main characters.

Perhaps the role of the typewriter could be referenced with themes of vacancy and what was obvious but remained unfulfilled.

Or vacancy and secrets can be more directly referenced by changing a letter into a keyhole.


A design example I’d like to emulate is The Prudence Review; a digest of designer Ross Solokovski’s reading list. For each book on the list, Solokovski designs a new cover that concisely communicates a core theme of the text. The style is flat, simple and may include a subtle animation.

Initial Sketch

Using the vacant alley as a foreground, we could swap out the background for different motifs, similar to a color wheel.

Using this form we could also integrate concepts from chapter 4 of Understanding Comics. The relationship between the background and foreground can be used to convey a sense of time, or be used to stage the contrasts in theme referenced above.