German Warner Bros. movie poster typography

Hand lettering by German poster designer Hans Otto Wendt

Mildred Pierce 1950 German movie poster detail

MILDRED PIERCE (1950) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Highway 301 1950 German movie poster detail

HIGHWAY 301 (1950) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Decision before dawn 1951 German movie poster detail

DECISION BEFORE DAWN (1951) 20th Century Fox movie poster detail

The enforcer 1951 German movie poster detail

THE ENFORCER (1951) Schneider Film movie poster detail

Big Jim McLain 1952 German movie poster detail

BIG JIM McLAIN (1952) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Casablanca 1952 German movie poster detail

CASABLANCA (1952) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

The lion and the horse 1952 German movie poster detail

THE LION AND THE HORSE (1952) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Blowing wild 1953 German movie poster detail

BLOWING WILD (1953) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Dragnet 1955 German movie poster detail

DRAGNET (1955) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

The sea chase 1955 German movie poster detail

SEA CHASE (1955) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Moby Dick 1956 German movie poster detail

MOBY DICK (1956) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Rebel without a cause 1956 German movie poster detail

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1956) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Sayonara 1957 German movie poster detail

SAYONARA (1957) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

Indiscreet 1958 German movie poster detail

INDISCREET (1958) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

The hanging tree 1959 German movie poster detail

THE HANGING TREE (1959) Warner Bros. movie poster detail

German Warner Bros. movie poster typography

Designers today have it easy. A computer, a copy of Adobe® Photoshop® and a couple of typefaces, that’s all they need to create a movie poster.

Sixty years ago things were different. Floating heads were painted instead of copied and pasted. Letters were drawn by hand. Designers spent days or even weeks to create one single poster.

One of those designers was Hans Otto Wendt (1911-1979), who designed German movie posters for Hollywood studios like Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. during the 1940s and 1950s.

His designs were often reminiscent of pulp novels. In a way they are painted predecessors of the movie posters we see today. One major difference: the typography.

Wendt didn’t use existing typefaces. Instead, he created a unique title for every poster, often using bold brush strokes. In my opinion some of the best hand lettering in movie poster design history. A reason for me to create this post. Poor mr. Wendt deserves more than the 79 results you’ll get when you type in his name in Google. (click on the images to see the original posters)