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Frances Ha Poster and Website

Contributed by André Mora on May 24th, 2013. Artwork published in 2013.
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Source: http://impawards.com. BLT Communications, LLC. License: All Rights Reserved.

Director Noah Baumbach co-wrote his latest movie, Frances Ha, with its star, Greta Gerwig. Shot digitally with a Canon 5D, it is entirely black and white. From the IFC description:

Frances lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer…

The poster has a nice verticality to it. The black and white allows for a color multiply that makes it easy to place type anywhere. The title is set in Rudolph Ruzicka’s Fairfield (designed in 1940; digitized and expanded in 1991 by Alex Kaczun).

The rather simple serif treatment gives the movie a classic feel without looking deliberately New Wave. But this is just marketing—while there’s no experimental sans here, the trailer with its hip New Yorkers could’ve been covered in one. Surprisingly, the type in the trailer is actually Didot, which is also used for the title on the website’s navigation.

The film’s promotional site is rather adventurous. It begins with an interpretation of the poster and then a long, dotted line leads the visiter through clips, quotes, stills, Google-map locations from the film and gifs. The cast gifs even use Fairfield in some frames.

Now that it’s possible to match a movie poster’s type on the web, you might expect to see Fairfield (especially Fairfield Light which the poster uses) in use here. Unfortunately, the designer has settled for less.

The text of the site is primarily set in Fanwood, an open-source “revival” that is vague about its origins. Only its text style is served even though a text italic is provided with Fanwood’s download. So throughout the site bold and italics are faked, usually at the same time—a faux-faux faux pas.

Near the bottom of the page is a Press section that is really a Reviews section (Press is typically reserved for media kit materials). Review pull-quotes are set in all caps with Playfair Display, free via Google Fonts. In a couple instances it is combined with Fanwood. Using a different font for text that is beyond the movie’s own promotional copy is not entirely a bad idea. But there’s no reason to introduce a whole new typeface. With such limited use, Fairfield Heavy would be more appropriate.

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Source: http://www.franceshamovie.com. License: All Rights Reserved.
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Source: http://www.franceshamovie.com. License: All Rights Reserved.
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Source: http://www.franceshamovie.com. License: All Rights Reserved.
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Source: http://www.franceshamovie.com. License: All Rights Reserved.
Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.24.48 AM.png
Source: http://www.franceshamovie.com. License: All Rights Reserved.
Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 10.24.58 AM.png
Source: http://www.franceshamovie.com. License: All Rights Reserved.

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