Visual language class — design analysis

3 min readOct 29, 2019

For this assignment, I chose a few posters for the Netflix teen show ’13 reasons why’. I personally fall for the marketing environment Netflix creates for its shows — not only in terms of posters but anything from trailers to Instagram designs. I think all of the marketing materials Netflix uses for different campaigns really contribute to the story and add to its depth even when the show itself…well, it’s not that deep as one could expect before watching it.

I really love how these posters play with the storylines and technologies mentioned in the series for the sake of triggering fan’s interest.

’13 reasons why’ is a rather dark teen drama that touches some controversial topics including suicide, rape, and bullying. I guess one can immediately identify a certain amount of darkness presented in the series by colors used in the posters — cold and dark shades of blue and grey, contrasting with the tone of human skin. However, the story has a touch of romance in it as well, and the plot also ‘plays’ with different types of technology that has important impact on both characters and events. I think both of these key themes are pictured on the posters.

Here I picked the posters with one of the protagonists even though the show has customized posters for each character because it shows the changes within a character in a chronological order which seems to be a sign of a really good visual storytelling.

Color palette. I would note that these are all subtractive colors (hope I use this term right). What I mean is that they are all mixed, not red but burning bloody red; not blue but dirty dark gloomy blue, color somewhat between grey and beige, etc.

The hierarchy of elements within the poster’s inner system seems pretty strict. It’s usually only one character on the poster so that he or she could ‘lead’ in terms of composition. This one is an exception with two main characters on it, and NO exception because they are equally important for the story and even act as one single person to a certain extent. As for words, the show’s name is obviously the most important part, date and Netflix’ logo — second things to note. The rest, including the tag line and other info’s are left for the most involved audiences, I guess.

I would argue that all the used fonts belong to the same type family with the variations mostly in colors — from white to deem gray, and red used only for Netflix identica.

Since I am a fan of the film poster art I couldn’t stop myself from mentioning a few more from my personal favs.