Ripoff Artistry, pt. 3

This One Goes to 11

This next installment happens to be my favorite progression from original to derivative, given this one has been extrapolating for decades. And the best part is that it didn’t even start with a movie.

Back in college, while designing, I discovered the stark, bold effect of red on black and white (or what have you). Every designer knows it’s a key color juxtaposition when you want to make a statement. Pop culture distiller, director and rock-and-roll media designer Mick Haggerty knew this full well, and is credited with the original artwork for the Smithereens album 11. One might not think twice about the album artwork, but it’s truly a wonderful piece. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so, with Haggerty’s album cover serving as a kind of splinter, consciously or not, in the minds of a few movie poster artists. Of course, I may be giving too much credit. Likely there was only one true inspiration and the rest just did their best at photocopying a style. Still, one can’t help look at the poster for Ocean’s 11 (yet another Soderbergh film) and ask: “seriously?”

Interestingly, these all seem to be crime-related/cops & robbers flicks. Must be something about black silhouettes walking against red and white that just says “stylish dudes with guns and attitude.” I threw in the Pacino/Deniro film at the end as an afterthought. It’s not entirely the same, but it does borrow heavily from the style. Looking forward to the next iteration!

smitherkill (click for a larger view)

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