A testament to the power of film to inspire visual artists, Criterion Designs is an essential collection of artwork and cover designs from the company’s stunning back catalogue.
Ever since the introduction of Laserdisc, which brought with it technical advancements in home cinema and the ability to add extra features such as still frames, director’s commentaries and documentaries, The Criterion Collection has remained at the forefront of packaging design for the movie enthusiast. Acting like a virtual checklist for must-see-cinema, Criterion have grown to become one of the most respected sources of quality film preservation and presentation.
The book Criterion Designs is a curated selection of artwork and cover designs produced for Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray covering the company’s entire history. Featuring the work of artists such as David Downton, Sean Phillips, Darwyn Cooke, Laurent Dureux and Daniel Clowes, it’s an eclectic mix celebrating both high and low-brow cinema with equal enthusiasm. Development sketches, alternate takes and descriptions of each project tells of the thought process and dedication to each project, and taps into a pure love of film that so many share.
It’s final dozen or so pages showcase Criterion’s entire back catalogue starting with Citizen Kane on Laserdisc and ending with My Winnepeg on Blu-ray, effectively describing their change in art direction from the formal still photo and title arrangement, to the newly commissioned artwork of their current releases.
Criterion Designs is a testament to film’s power to engage with visual artists and provide that essential spark that inspires a single image acting as both teaser and reminder of the film goer’s experience. It’s an example of highly considered art direction and a dedication to film that I stand up and salute.