Friday, 26 August 2011

SELLING GOLDENEYE – The Poster Artwork

The fact that 1989’s LICENCE TO KILL, starring Timothy Dalton, featured a really un-bondian poster campaign (featuring 007 in black shirts in a DIE HARD fashion), forced the marketing department of EON Productions to create a strong campaign that would establish the return of Bond not only after a six year gap, but in a new decade and with a new face. The GOLDENEYE advertisement campain was meant to almost shout “Bond is back”, and we were meant to believe this Bond was the classic Bond, not redefined but readapted for the nineties.

The first artwork, used for the first advance poster, shown featured a detailed close up of Pierce Brosnan’s eye pointing his Walther PPK, all coloured in gold. It didn’t feature the film’s title, but the 007 gun symbol logo and the tagline: “There is no substitute”. This image was taken by photographer John Stoddart and designed by art directors Randy Braun and Earl Klasky.

The second advance poster was even more Bondian. It featured another production still by John Stoddart of Pierce Brosnan in a classic pose, wearing a Brioni tuxedo, gold cufflinks and a silenced PPK. The artwork featured a black and white contrast background, featuring a shadowy 007 logo with the tagline: “You know the name. You know the number,” and the film logo at the bottom.

This poster has the particularity of using two different 007 logos depending on the country. Some versions featured the logo used in the Dalton films, in which the “0s” were bolder and the “7” looked curvey than the new version, which featured a straighter ‘7’ and gun symbol (the latter version remained for TOMORROW NEVER DIES and the other Bond films onwards).

Earl Klasky and Randy Brown also created the one sheet posters and UK quads (landscape sheet) for GOLDENEYE. The artists reworked an original quad art featuring Bond running from a huge explotion with montages of film stills by John Stoddart, George Whitear and 007 veteran photographer Keith Hamshere, and completed it by adding a similar image of the first advance poster with headshots of Izabella Scorupco and Famke Janssen on the sides of Bond. This version was used for the US market and the soundtrack cover, and reworked for the Nintendo 64 cover artwork. Unlike the soundtrack and game artwork, which featured the headshot faces in black and white, the US poster showed the same headshots emboidered in sparkling gold.

In Europe, the one sheet artwork was exactly the same than in the US, but showed John Stoddart’s image from the second advance poster. The co-stars headshots remained but this colorized, just like Brosnan’s photography. This artwork was separated while adapted for the UK quad version, showing the explotion background on the left side and the stars images on the right. Both European and American artwork featured a new tagline: “No limits. No Fears. No Substitutes.”

Other minor artwork was seen in the US, featuring short squares with scenes from the film with the same tagline.

The Japanese campaign mixed the second advance poster with the final one sheet designs, featuring different stills of the co-stars and other scenes from the film.

The US VHS, Laserdiscs and DVDs introduced yet another new artwork, close to the US one sheet but with a golden 007 logo and an image of Brosnan pointing with his gun, similar to the first advance poster. Famke Janssen and Izabella Scorupco headshots were replaced by other shots that showed half of their body too, with a black background that slowly turns to blue at the bottom. The logo this time was placed on the top. In European territories, a new VHS and DVD artwork was made, showing Brosnan from the second advance by John Stoddart and a reddish background with the co-stars. Altough, in some European and Latin American territories we can see another artwork which has only a few differences with the European one sheet poster.

When the film was reissued on DVD in 1999, the cover was the same as in the first DVD edition, but the 007 logo was gone and the background was completely black. The 2006 DVD release features an all new artwork with Brosnan holding a Kalashnikov 47 machine gun and a photoshopped montage of the tank chase scene.

The GOLDENEYE logo has a particular story. In early pre-production of the film, a first version of the logo was shown in featurettes and campaigns (it even made its way on the 1996 official callendar), with a red oval circling the ‘E’. By the second advance poster release, another version of the logo was shown, with a different typography and the oval on the ‘E’ flipped. This logo remained for all the following GOLDENEYE campaigns, only to be slightly altered: for the video artwork, the oval turned gold; in the videogame cover, the oval disappeared and replaced with the 007 gun logo on the background. Something similar happened with the 2010 and 2011 game remakes, where the logo missed the oval and was underlined with the 007 logo below (in a similar fashion to the THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH logo).

The font used for the logo belongs to the Matrix Font Family, and it’s precisely MatrixWide the font used for the GOLDENEYE logo and the taglines (except “You know the name. You know the number”). The poster credits used MatrixNarrow and the soundtrack liner notes and synopsis (for home video systems) used MatrixBold or MatrixSmallCaps. This commercial typography family was created by Emigre Graphics in 1990 and can be bought online trough many fonts sites. A non-commercial alternative was created by Jens R. Ziehn, the 007 GoldenEye font, which is a replica of the MatrixWide font, but it doesn’t allows accents or puntuaction signs. And, unlike MatrixWide, only allows capital letters.


  1. One of the best posts I've read on the internet these days. First, becauase I love posters, specially of course, the Bond ones. Second, because GoldenEye set the stone for a new generation of Bond fans, me included.

    Keep up the amazing work on the site.

    Cheers from Brazil.

    Marcos "Marketto" Kontze
    James Bond Brasil

  2. Holla Nick, su sitio está muy muy bueno. yo quiero el selo para poner en mi blog. Besos

  3. Oi Marketto e Patthy! obrigado por suas palabras e muito obrigado novamente Marketto por seus aportes! Perdona-me mi portunhol!