So what's the deal with movie poster fonts?

At the bottom of movie posters they always use this font that’s like three times as high as it is wide. This makes all the letters look really tall and skinny. I can hardly read it. I have to go slowly to see what it says. Let’s see, that looks like an S, that’s a T, then a A, then a R. Ah! That word must be STARRING. Ok. Onto the next word… An M, an I…

It’s kind of like the kids activity placemat where you have to view the word at an angle to read what it says.

So why do they do that? It’s a completely ineffective way to get people to read who’s starring in the movie or who directed it. If it was normal font I would be able to read it normally. As it is now, the only time I read it is when I need to kill some time before the movie. “I think that’s an N. Or maybe an M. Or maybe LL?”

The distributor really doesn’t care if you can read all the credits. The credits are there only because of contract stipulations with individuals or unions. The credits that the distributor does think will make a difference are given in large, very readable display type. E.g.,


I seem to recall reading – and no, I don’t have a cite beyond fuzzy memory – that the tall, skinny fonts come about because of contractual obligations to the people named on the poster. They’re guaranteed to be listed in a certain point size, either specified (like 24 point) or in relation to other names on the poster (the cinematographer’s name has to be as big as the editor’s).

Tall, skinny typefaces let those obligations be fulfilled while still leaving room to cram everything onto the poster.

the fonts are stretched like that as, under contractual obligations they have to be at least 10% as big as the title logo or font of the film.
it depends on the stars contract as to whos name goes above or below the title.
bigger the name ie cruise, bigger the credit.