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Chungkong - The Bare Essentials

Words:

Edd Norval
January 13, 2022

What do we really need to show? This question seems to guide Netherlands based designer Chungkong on his quest to simplify the posters (and storyline) of every iconic film ever made. Currently well surpassing the 1000 mark, his eye-catching minimalist designs highlight the strengths of his subjects - a sort of aesthetic poetry.

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Reliant on visual metaphors and strong, yet subtle, references to the film, Chungkong pulls key moments from the film and boils them down to instantly recognisable visuals. There’s something to see if you’re glancing quickly, but also nuggets of hidden gems for people who take the time to chew over what might at first seem like something simple.


That’s because the Dutch designer is an expert in creating content for brands - his day job. Knowing how to communicate something quickly, clearly and impactfully influences the way he designs and presents his film posters - boiling each movie down to its bare essentials.


Clearly a bit of a film buff too, a lot of the posters have a heavy inflection of a designer’s eye. He manages to pick things out that, whilst not being the centrepiece of a film, is a detail that will ring the alarm bells of his audience. In building a poster around the subtly recognisable visual cues, Chungkong focusses the rich details of the film’s director into a poster that is, more often than not, more reflective of the film than the original poster.

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It’s all about the audience with these things too. Film posters are designed to be viewed at a glance. The best ones convey the film, actor(s) and release date instantly. They’re designed for bus stops and billboards - an art in itself - but Chungkong makes posters that you’d put up in your own house or buy in a coffee table book that you could leisurely flick through.


Curating the film experience and distilling it into his sharp artwork, Chungkong has nailed his particular style. Contrasting colours, with minimal detail, accompany the title, director and usually a quote. Making the posters started out as a hobby, but has developed into something entirely different, “A few years ago it began as a sort of strange but nice hobby, but now is literally an addiction. It has come to a point that I can not watch a movie anymore without thinking, ‘what would my minimal movie poster look like?’”


Approaching each film this way, the designer has found his stride, developing a sort of sixth sense to extract creative information from each film he watches with the plan to turn them into a magnificent poster. They’re for sale here, so enjoy browsing.

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