Vicci Ho is a writer, film programmer and producer. She has written for Variety and worked for film festivals across the globe, including Toronto International Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival and directed the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.  She is the President of Janitor Interactive: a production company specializing in games.

This is her personal page.

Visual Language Week 1 - Alien

One of my favourite films is Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror classic ALIEN (1979), and the film's poster is one of the most iconic in cinematic history. The film's greatest strength is considered by many as one that took its time to reveal itself, and draws its power from what the audience does not see. I believe the poster for the film, in many ways, share similar ideas in its design. This is the poster for ALIEN:

1979 Alien poster.

And this is how the poster is divided by grids:

alien grid analysis

This is how I analyzed the design of the poster:

Thoughts I have about the poster design.

This poster has a lot of negative space, which I interpret as a way to further emphasis that the power is drawn from the darkness, the unseen, the unknown:

This is my take on what the negative space I right?

I also love the simplicity of the font. The title spaced out in capital but still retaining a subtle, smaller size. The tagline, which is now one of the most well known, is so small that it wants you to lean in and take a closer look.


What I find so effective about this poster is that it provides you all the information you need to know what the film is about, without giving away ANYTHING as to what the film is about. It is about an alien and it is likely going to be scary, but just like the film, it invites your curiosity without spoiling the experience. It is an unsettling image even before you know what the images in the poster represent. And like the film, the best experience is when you discover ALIEN for the first time, is when you understand what the poster is trying to say.

Just what is interactivity?

Breadboard. Wow.