The classic poster for Captain America: Civil War.
Image: Marvel Studios

I’m passionate about movie posters, but I can’t say I really understand the craft of making them. James Verdesoto, a poster artist with a long career that includes, among others, the iconic poster for Pulp Fiction, does, though. And he’s generous enough to share.

In this fascinating video by Vanity Fair, Verdesoto goes through the major posters for each film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, breaking down how they function visually and lending some insight into their design. He’s especially clever in pointing out the influences on these designs, and how certain posters—like Spider-Man: Homecoming’s exceptionally busy theatrical poster—fit into traditional modes of poster advertising and maybe, uh, don’t work quite as well as they’d like.

The kind of sad thing is, I don’t remember all that many of these posters. The Avengers poster is pretty great, and a few others, but a lot of the standalone movie posters just don’t make that strong of an impression. Up your game, Marvel!

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