The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, just won four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. The movie also has a very nice hand-drawn poster, designed by James Jean.
Five or six years ago, when Mr. del Toro was deep into other projects, he imagined this embrace and worked with the storyboard artist Guy Davis to get it down on paper. Fast-forward to preproduction on “The Shape of Water,” when the Los Angeles illustrator Natalie Hall was asked to make another sketch based on Mr. del Toro’s conception. That’s what appears in the movie (and the trailer): the woman’s face partly obscured by the creature’s, the two melding in a kind of yin and yang.
Next, Mr. del Toro brought in Mr. Jean to create an illustration for the teaser poster. The director was a fan of the covers Mr. Jean had designed for the DC Comics series “Fables.” As Mr. del Toro explained in a phone interview, “His drawings have a delicate nature to them and beautiful line work that is at the same time realistic and sort of elevated into a style of his own.” [The New York Times]
Sadly the drawing wasn’t used for the final theatrical poster but was instead replaced by a picture.
All the posters, promotional materials, and movie titles are all set exclusively in Neutraface, adding an Art Deco look to the visual atmosphere.