Now Showing

Now Showing is essentially an art experiment, devised to see how a selection of today’s illustrators and designers would respond to a brief asking them to create their own poster for a cult or obscure film from the past

The idea was born out of my love for trashy film posters, which I guess stems from my obsession with anything vintage and also from an appreciation of screen printed work. There is something really refreshing about film posters that predate the 1980s, they felt more like works of art, pieces cry­ing out to be encased within a frame. And in many old film posters it’s easy to see styles and approaches that have been revisited or adopt­ed by illustrators working today. 

From the 80s onwards, the humble poster played a smaller part in the overall film promotion process as TV commercials and trailers came to the fore. Hence the tagline for the London Now Showing exhibit­ion (held at the Cosh Gallery): The lost ‘art’ of the film poster. The lost ‘art’ refers to the actual illustrative process involved in the poster, not the quality. I certainly wouldn’t be as bold or presumptuous as to say that modern, photography-based posters aren’t any good, but there is a certain charm and character that the illustrative film poster offered. This project was a light­hearted way of indulging that nos­talgia, and feeding it with current illustrative and graphic styles.

Every contributor approached the subject differently and the posters created for the project (a selection of which are featured in this publi­cation) vary hugely in style. Some are restrained, o­­th­­­­­­­­­­­­ers extra­vagant, some are black and white, some are brightly coloured­ – ­­­­but­ each one offers an alternative spin on the original poster for the film, reflecting both the artist respon­sible and their choice of film.

Darren Firth


Darren Firth launched WIWP (Wearitwithpride) in 2003 as an umbrella organisation for a variety of activities involving publications, exhibitions and collaborative projects featuring the work of contemporary illustrators and graphic designers.

Aside from these duties, Firth works as an art director for the UK-based studio Six. Darren’s personal work (under the name Keepsmesane/Sane) is an eclectic mix of styles and has been featured in numerous international publications and exhibitions.  

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