How do you make a simple poster worth millions? Does it always have to depict a “throwback?”
Nobody’s sure about that, but the world record for most money paid for a poster belongs to a poster for Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi film “Metropolis.” Although widely criticized during its time, the movie— largely about the adventures of the son of a ruthless elitist in a wealth-dominated future society— soon became a cultural heritage with all but five percent of the original film restored.
In 2012, a collector holding onto one of four existing copies of the original Metropolis posters put it up for sale to alleviate his money woes. The initial appraisal pegged the poster at $250,000; but a few months later, its value shot up to three times the amount: $850,000. Finally, another collector bought the poster, along with other posters, for a staggering $1.2 million.
Posters today are a far cry from posters of the early 20th century due in no small part to modern technology. Software like Photoshop makes graphics today more realistic and awe-inspiring, in addition to movement to a minimalist approach. However, there’s always the choice of making a poster old-timey in design with the same software.
For pop culture specialist Caitlin Graham, there’s more to vintage posters than a reminiscence of classical movies. The fact that the Metropolis poster in question sold for a big wad of cash is a testament to the art of expressionism at the time. Graham says German filmmakers were well-known for making surreal posters to endorse their silent film.
A poster that exemplifies the lessons from posters of the past can be unique enough to warrant attention. With the aid of digital printing in Los Angeles, today’s posters can be made clearer and create more impact. In an age where computer-assisted graphics have yet to be a thing, today’s posters have it easy.
It may take a century for today’s posters to yield a fortune; but that’s a priority for the future. The aim of Los Angeles poster printing services like MasterCopyPrint.com is to yield viewers now.
(Article image and excerpt from “World’s most valuable movie poster could sell for $1 million,” Today, June 26, 2012)