Friday, 18 November 2016


#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY : An unused rough (sketch) for Hammer films’ Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell' cinema poster by Vic Fair, 1973. The final British poster cinema poster was painted and designed artist by Bill Wiggins (below).

HERE ARE A FEW WORDS from VIC FAIR himself, about his time working for Hammer films.  Fair designed two iconic cinema posters for the company, Vampire Circus and  Countess Dracula.

Did you enjoy working on posters for Hammer?
'Yeah, I really did.  Other artists and designers often frowned upon horror poster work but I really enjoyed it, especially since I was almost always given complete freedom to come up with my own ideas. Hammer were good at giving us the initial brief and then trusting us to come up with our own take on it. I remember I actually went too far with a few of the concepts and the studio would often request for them to be toned down quite a bit so they’d get past the Advertising Standards Committee'.

Can you recall working on the quad for Countess Dracula?
'Yes, I might have got a bit carried away with the two-faced thing but I think it worked quite well overall. I was lucky with that one in a way as it was one of the others where they just printed my first rough. I guess they must have liked the style of my sketch'.

ABOVE: The original concept rough (sketch) for Hammer films’ Vampire Circus by Vic Fair, 1972. You’ll notice that the rough is surrounded by pencil annotations and one to the bottom left simply reads ‘More tit’, indicating that the client, or someone in the agency, suggested they could get away with showing more of the lady on the bottom left.

'I enjoyed working on the quad I designed for Vampire Circus. I’d wanted to design something that might have been used to advertise an actual circus. The animals on there were pretty much copied directly from a children’s book, as I really didn’t have that much time to work on it. I thought they looked quite amusing, since they’re not exactly anatomically correct portraits of tigers and lions! I also had fun sneaking in the hidden male members, which was really just meant as a bit of a tease towards certain people behind the scenes. I can’t believe I got away with it really.'

ABOVE: A concept rough (sketch) for the British poster for Hammer’s The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires by Vic Fair, 1974. The final quad was illustrated by the Italian artist Arnaldo Putzu. This rough has yellowed with age somewhat but the concept is very clear.

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