At Popcorn Horror, we are used to creating a range of graphics for our film festivals, digital magazine and social media channels. When it comes to crafting striking Halloween event posters, eye-catching features and shareable social images – one of the first considerations should be the fonts used in the design.
Horror related events invite a huge variety of font options, from retro B-Movie inspired scripts to tall, thin gothic text. Perhaps you need to lay out a poster for a short film, the cover for a horror comic or invitations to your Halloween party. The choices of fonts can seem overwhelming and often beginner designers struggle with the style of text that works best for their project.
To help you get started, we’re going to take a look at some great examples of horror and Halloween related design and the font choices that make them stand out.
Are you an aspiring director who has created a short horror film? If you are looking to begin submitting your work to film festivals, or sharing it online, you will need a striking poster design to accompany it. Many film festivals will feature posters in their brochures and marketing, giving filmmakers the opportunity to stand out and ensure audiences are intrigued enough to check out the film. The poster can also be a great tool to promote films via social media, and to include with press releases sent to media outlets – who often prefer to have accompanying images to include in reporting.
Of course, the tone and sub-genre of a particular film is key to the design of the poster and the font requirements. One concept that can work for several styles of film is a vintage, gothic inspired font to give the poster a timeless, classic feel. Gothic text has featured on classic horror movie posters and novels for over a century, and continue to be popular in the modern film landscape. The style of text synonymous with the gothic atmosphere of stories including Frankenstein and Dracula has it’s origins in the Scandinavian region. Originally ‘gothic’ was used to describe barbaric or violent events or behaviours – with the font style being viewed as harsh and hard in comparison with the Roman style. Gothic fonts have been described as having a ‘restless spirit’, and are often tall or thin in appearance. The title cards used in the iconic British Hammer films are a good example, and the more contemporary Only Lovers Left Alive show how the trend continues in modern film.
To recreate this style, consider a font such as Immortal – a modern gothic typeface inspired by the historical gothic traditions. The distinctive pointed shape of the letters could work well for a vampire film due to their similarity to fangs.
Halloween is only a few months away, and many horror fans will be making plans to celebrate in the coming weeks. If you are planning to host a Halloween party, you will be likely to create a Facebook event to let friends and family know. Custom artwork for a digital invitation that you can send out brings a more personal touch to the event. You could event keep the same themes and fonts used on invitations for bunting or menus at the party itself.
Don’t fall into the trap of using cheesy Halloween fonts with blood dripping from the letters! Many of these can be difficult to read and are extremely overused. Luckily there are a wide range of fonts free to download and use for your spooky get together.
For a children’s party, you might want to have a mix of cute and playfully spooky to set the tone.
Bootiful is a gorgeous handwritten font that has just the right amount of spooky for invitations to a kids party. For a family event, or one aimed at slightly older children, the Day of the Dead influenced Sweet Bones or Nether Lights (which reminds us of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things) are fantastic choices.
Horror and Halloween Publishing
For many of us, Halloween is more than an occasion to have fun with friends and family. For those working in the horror industry it is often the time of year for releases of films, artwork, comics, books and more. We have a few suggestions for aspiring horror comic book artists and writers to make your spook-tacular cover images memorable.
Of course, the tone of your project is key – and should be reflected in the choice of fonts used. If you want to give a call-back to the classics, comic books including Tales From The Crypt, and Haunted Horror are a good starting point for inspiration. The uneven and chaotic lettering on their covers has endured through the decades and continues to inspire new generations of horror comic creators.
A bold font that draws inspiration from the classic horror comics is ideal for cover design. You might consider options like Creepy Twigs or Brain Meals (what fantastic names!) Test out these fonts in various bright and neon colors and with heavy outlines or shadows. Remember that you can adjust the angle, shape and density of shadows and outlines to craft a unique title. High contrast color pairings can also help to create this retro aesthetic.
We love the variety of designs that horror has to offer, and checking out new posters, comics and events from indie horror creators. Whether you need to tell the story of your short vampire-romance film, get the word out about a Halloween party or create something scary but kid friendly – there are a wealth of design options available. Make sure to share your spooky designs with us this Halloween!