How Ray Harryhausen inspired a generation of poster designers

Animator and SFX artist Ray Harryhausen didn’t just create movie magic, he also fuelled the creation of some of the most vibrant posters of all time. A new book explores how his work kickstarted the imaginations of designers around the world

Harryhausen: The Movie Posters delves into the archive of the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation to pull out dozens of different ads created for classic films including Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts. The ballyhoo – as the giant posters and illuminated marquee displays were collectively called – was a major part of movie marketing during Hollywood’s golden age. These lurid pieces of print played a key role in drawing cinema-goers into theatres, and getting tickets sold.

“I think that the theatrical posters created for Ray’s movies were very influential in setting a standard for just how important publicity was in promoting a film,” says the book’s author Richard Holliss. “Studios responsible for the fantasy film genre were notorious (more than in any other movie genre) for producing stunning publicity art that was, nine times out of ten, more ambitious than the films it represented.”

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