Retro Design in Django Unchained

We’ve started seeing previews for Quentin Tarrantino’s new film Django Unchained in the theatres. The film looks like a high-octane take on the western genre done with a Tarrantino twist, and as has been the case with other recent films from Tarrantino as a director and a producer we’re already seeing a lot of attention being paid to the graphic presentation of the film, with the use of period design elements reminiscent of the films whose legacy Django Unchained borrows from, the spaghetti westerns of the 1960s and early 1970s.

The first official poster release shows this dedication to retro design, though the minimalist cut-out style seems much more characteristic of  novel cover design from the late 60s or early 70s than it does of spaghetti western posters.  But there’s no question it’s a striking and evocative design.  And there is a clear parallel to one classic film poster, the poster from the similarly themed 1971 western The Skin Game (shown to the left), whhich also uses silhouettes and bold contrasting colors.

The  theatrical preview also shows the same kind of design aesthetic, with the use of letterpress style fonts, including the use of what appears to be a somewhat distressed version of our Caelian font as the main titles between the cuts in the trailer, which works well because the font is so bold.

Of course, if you want to see really bold vintage font choices and retro design style in a period film, keep an eye out for the trailer for The Man with the Iron Fists brought to us by Tarrantino collaborator Eli Roth and rapper/actor RZA, a film which seems to have no official Tarrantino association but sure looks like something he would have produced.

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