Posterity: Patrons can now select their favorite posters

Changing posters is a more arduous process in Cinema Paradiso (1988).
Changing posters is a more arduous process in Cinema Paradiso (1988).

Upgrade your Letterboxd aesthetic with our new custom-poster feature. 

You can finally stop yelling at us about The Batman poster. (If you’re a Patron.) Starting today, we’ve made it possible for Patron subscribers and our HQ partners to select their preferred poster for each film on our service. If you’re on one of these tiers, you’ll see a new Change Poster option for each film (keep reading for the finer details of how this feature works).

“We all have our scars, Bruce.” Patrons can now pick their favorite posters!
“We all have our scars, Bruce.” Patrons can now pick their favorite posters!

At last, everyone will know your true taste. But seriously, we’ve put a lot of thought (and work) into this, because a film lover’s love for key art is a heaving great popcorn box of cinephile psychology that must be attended to. It’s why we made posters a prominent part of Letterboxd’s design right from the start.

A film’s one-sheet has a lot of heavy lifting to do before the work of art it represents hits the screen. A poster is an invitation, a tease, a confirmation, rallying tool, collective spark, and sometimes a rejection of what‘s come before. It gives little away and yet tells a whole story in itself, sparking the imagination while also leaving plenty in the curiosity tank.

Be your own maverick art director.
Be your own maverick art director.

From less-is-more to more-is-more, and negative space to positively beautiful, the poster sets the mood. 

And once the film itself lives in our hearts, its key art becomes so much more. Many of us turn these works of printed art into lifelong artworks in our homes. They are the physical manifestation of our love. The memory of an iconic performance. Proof of the film’s proper title. Evidence of a weird trend. The pinnacle of entertainment marketing—or the ashes of a terrible advertising misfire. From typeface to photographic style, from minimalist to maximalist approach, “posters carry the DNA of their era,” says noted film-poster lover Martin Scorsese

It’s for all of these reasons, and many more, that you deserve the ability to look at the poster you want to see, when you look at your favorite films on Letterboxd. Shout-out to Hayden, David and Tom for their work on developing this feature, to Samm for the animation above, and to our wider crew for their invaluable feedback.

Our platform defaults vs the girls she told you not to worry about.
Our platform defaults vs the girls she told you not to worry about.

How it works

If you are Patron (or HQ) tier, you’ll see a new Change Poster option for each film. Tap this to open a selection dialog with three tabs: Popular, TMDb and Posteritati. The Popular tab showcases the 30 most popular posters according to community selections made to date. The other tabs show a full selection of posters from The Movie Database (where we also source our cast/crew lists) and one of the coolest stores in New York (thanks Stan!). There’s a language option for TMDb’s list, to help narrow your selections.

Simply select a replacement poster (AKA the correct poster, the real poster, the only true poster, the original-language poster, the what-were-they-thinking poster) from one of these tabs and press Save.

Now, your selected poster will appear across your use of Letterboxd, on the app, on the web, in your Letterboxd lists, your recent activity and so on (pretty much everywhere except our Year in Review). You may change your selection as often as you wish, or use the Reset Poster option to return to the platform-default poster.

Quickly change which posters you see in the Filters menu.
Quickly change which posters you see in the Filters menu.

As a Patron or HQ member, you have three options for browsing: you can select to see “Any” custom posters, in which case the posters your Patron friends have chosen will replace your selection (or the platform default) when looking at their profile or content. If you love your choices more than everyone else’s, there’s a “Yours” option. And if you love our taste and ours only, you can select “None” to always see the platform-default posters.

Pro and free members have just two options: Any (to see other members’ customizations) and None. For more details about the how-to of poster selection, see our FAQ.

Adding a poster

Posters come to Letterboxd directly from TMDb. There is no option to load your own poster directly to Letterboxd, but if you are in possession of a poster image that isn’t in TMDb’s poster-set for a film, you may upload it over there as long as you follow their guidelines. (Please do follow their guidelines—if you don’t, it may result in your being removed from their service and/or having the custom-poster feature suspended on your Letterboxd account. Please be cool.)

Coming soon, our correspondent Ella Kemp will have a deep-dive essay on the finer details of contemporary poster design, featuring fêted designer Akiko Stehrenberger and the nice folks at Posteritati. A final caveat: we know from your countless curated poster lists that list order is important when you’re customizing a list by aesthetics. We know that your hours of careful selections can be impacted when we change up a film’s poster, and that this new feature might further affect aesthetic layouts. 

You always have the option (whether you’re a paid or free member) to see the custom art or the platform-default art. It is possible that your list won’t look right if someone visits it with their selections locked in (if they are a Patron) or with the platform defaults visible (if they are Pro or free). But in all cases, they can quickly change their settings to see the list as you intended. As always, we’re happy to receive your feedback

Alright, off you go. There are decisions to be made.

Let’s get it, nerds.

Edit: we’ve added a “Theirs” option for members who can customize posters, and wish to view a particular profile or list with only its owner’s customizations. It’s on the web now, and coming to the apps in a future update.

Our Android update containing this feature has been held up in review with Google for the past several days (such reviews are usually a formality). We’ll share more news here and through our social-media channels when we have it.

Further Reading


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