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Credit Where Credit Is Due

American Beauty movie poster

American Beauty movie poster

The most common question we receive at Posterwire:

What is the font used for the credits at the bottom of a movie poster?

The short answer:
There is no one particular font used for movie poster credits.

The long answer:
The credits at the bottom of a movie poster are known as a billing block or credit block. The credit block consists of the names and titles of many of the “above the line” talent, key crew members, and others involved in the production of a film.

The billing also includes logos for motion picture studios and other film related properties, including the MPAA rating — these logos are known as bugs.

The order of names appearing in the movie’s billing are tightly regulated (as many aspects of film production are) via contracts by the various actors, agents, producers, director, etc. For example, some directors invoke the infamous “a film by” above title credit in their film’s billing.

Once you factor in all these names and titles, space becomes a premium in the billing block. That’s where a condensed typeface comes into play. Most good ultra condensed typefaces (usually sans serif) will work in a billing block.

A few popular movie poster credit fonts include:

Download Movie Poster Billing Block Template

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18 Comments

  1. Dav, formlosMay 6, 2005 at 6:55 AMReply

    One more ‘good ultra condensed font’ perfectly suitable for setting a ‘credit block’.: ‘Ohrada‘, by František Štorm..

  2. Jon CampbellNovember 13, 2005 at 9:25 AMReply

    I was wondering where someone would get these bugs you were talking about? I am doing a school project (a dvd sleeve), and I was wondering where a professional would get the vector based logos for say “DVD Video”, “Regional Coding”, and also what font the MPAA Ratings are done in? Thank you in advance for any replies.

    -Jon

  3. CrystalDecember 6, 2005 at 1:13 PMReply

    For vector based logos try brandsoftheworld.com I think the ones you are looking for should be there Jon.

  4. untonJanuary 25, 2006 at 4:30 AMReply

    I always wondered why they always write credits in those stretched letters… The reason is simple, indeed. :-)

  5. AlexMarch 2, 2007 at 9:35 PMReply

    I have been searching for the longest time for movie ratings font. Can anyone help me?

  6. rachelMarch 16, 2007 at 9:23 AMReply

    Alex, like the above person said “brandsoftheworld.com” might have the mpaa ratings.

    Most things that are used in widespread publications are vector based files with a “eps” file extension.

    Your best bet would be to google search mpaa vector file or something like that. :)

  7. ThomasApril 1, 2007 at 7:01 PMReply

    What is a convenient way to quickly produce a billing block? Are there any programs specifically designed to do such a thing? It’s easy to make the first part of the billing block (just small caps) but once you get into the “Production Designer”, “Music Composed By,” etc., where two layers of text are laid on top of one another, it’s fairly time-consuming and difficult to get everything lined up correctly.

    Anyone have any ideas? Just curious…

  8. JeffJune 6, 2007 at 3:35 AMReply

    hey thomas, check out dafonts.com, the font titled steeltongs(free for download) has all the answers to your problems it automatically makes certain keys designated to say certain titles for people in a smaller size, just please try it and tell me it’s not perfect! I was having the exact same problem figuring out how to do that. check it out!

  9. BenJuly 16, 2007 at 2:31 PMReply

    Another good font is SF Movie Poster available also from dafonts.com

  10. christopherJuly 22, 2007 at 5:40 PMReply

    jeff – wow! thanks for that tip about steeltongs. that’s ridiculously cool.

  11. RJAugust 14, 2007 at 11:19 AMReply

    Thanks for the Steeltongs suggestion — its *perfect*!

  12. SamOctober 9, 2007 at 12:19 AMReply

    What is the reason for the credit block appearing at the bottom and centred on a film poster? Is it just an accepted convention of posters? Thanks

  13. RandallJanuary 9, 2008 at 8:47 PMReply

    Thanks for the informative post about movie poster typefaces!

    Just as a sidenote (since someone asked) I believe that the “DVD Video” logo and the MPAA ratings are all registered trademarks. They’re probably okay to use in a high school or other personal project, but any commercial use could subject one to civil liability.

  14. Got Guns? « Posterwire.com « the movie poster weblogJune 2, 2008 at 12:24 PMReply

    […] interesting feature of this one-sheet is the placement of the poster’s billing block. Rather than running the credits at the bottom, the Lord of War credit block is on a single line […]

  15. How to Create a Movie Poster Billing Block in Photoshop | INFICTUS - Digital MadnessNovember 30, 2009 at 9:19 AMReply

    […] we get ready to place the text, head over to Posterwire.com to read more in-depth information about the billing block. It’s basically must-know […]

  16. Ja, RAFi – o mnie i o was » “Weekend” Cezarego Pazury to jedna wielka podróbaJanuary 6, 2011 at 12:30 PMReply

    […] u?ywa si? do tzw. “credits” – wszak wystarczy zapyta? wujka Google, aby dowiedzie? si?, ?e nie jest to wiedza nieznana. Mam pewne obawy, gdy? wymienione w artykule fonty s? p?atne, a u?yty w projekcie Arial jest […]

  17. JinWookApril 23, 2012 at 8:10 AMReply

    Version 3 of the the billing block template has been released,

    billing-block.com has more information on the movie poster credits block.

    Thanks to posterwire for you support.

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