Box cover design for The Criterion Collection edition of Bran De Palma's Blow Out (1981)

The Criterion Collection: Blow Out by Brian De Palma, United-States, 1981. Cover design by Eric Skillman.

Eric Skillman is a Brooklyn-based writer, graphic designer, and art director. He’s been designing professionally since 2002. His official website is filled with various covers he created for The Criterion Collection (for films by Fassbinder, Kurosawa, Bergman, Mann, Imamura and others – see below). He explains his creative process over at his blog. One can learn more about him from the following interviews:

The photograph used for the above designed was also used on an Italian poster when the film originally came out (image source):

"Blow Out" 1981, Italian poster

[UPDATE–April 2, 2013] Over at his blog, long time Criterion designer F Ron Miller recently shared two unused cover concepts for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (see below) along with the following comment:

These are a couple of unused cover concepts for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma’s Blow Out. The brief at the time was to bring the technology of the story somehow on to the cover design. John Travolta plays a movie soundman who’s an ear-witness to a murder. His tools of the trade are a microphone and a reel-to-reel recorder. There’s a terrific shot of the tire going pop and it seemed a natural to me to fuse it with an image of a tape reel. When the Travolta character retreats to his sound studio to piece together the crime he attempts to synchronize it with a moving image –thus the perforated audio tape with the X that marks the spot. (read more: “Blow Out”, April 2, 2013)

Unused cover concept by F Ron Miller for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma ‘Blow Out’: the tire.
Unused cover concept by F Ron Miller for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma ‘Blow Out’: the tire.
Unused cover concept by F Ron Miller for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma ‘Blow Out’: the tire:  X marks the spot.
Unused cover concept by F Ron Miller for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma ‘Blow Out’: the tire: X marks the spot.

Here are other covers designed by Eric Skillman (hi-res version retrieved from Criterion Dungeon):

Cover design by Eric Skillman for "Vengeance Is Mine" (1979), The Criterion Collection no. 384
Cover design by Eric Skillman for "Vengeance Is Mine" (1979), The Criterion Collection no. 384
Cover design by Eric Skillman for "Berlin Alexanderplatz" (1980), The Criterion Collection no. 411
Cover design by Eric Skillman for "Berlin Alexanderplatz" (1980), The Criterion Collection no. 411
Cover design by Eric Skillman for "Through a Glass Darkly" (1961), The Criterion Collection no. 209
Cover design by Eric Skillman for "Through a Glass Darkly" (1961), The Criterion Collection no. 209

The Criterion Collection released the Blu-ray edition of Blow Out on April 26, 2011. Read the press note. As they acknowledge themselves “one of the most discussed aspects of a Criterion release is its cover art”. See for example those galleries of great Criterion cover art:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
1 Shares

Subscribe to our newsletter

This newsletter serves one purpose only: it sends a single email notification whenever a new post is published on aphelis.net, never more than once a day. Upon subscribing, you will receive a confirmation email (if you don’t, check your spam folder). You can unsubscribe at any time.