☛ 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:
- [UPDATE- May 18, 2011] Criterion conducted an interview with Eric Skillman to mark the release of Liar’s Kiss, Skillman’s first graphic novel: “A Conversation with Eric Skillman” (May 18, 2011)
- Light & Shadow: “Eric Skillman Interview”, March 4, 2010
- Communication Arts: “Profile of Eric Skillman”
The photograph used for the above designed was also used on an Italian poster when the film originally came out (image source):
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)
Here are other covers designed by Eric Skillman (hi-res version retrieved from Criterion Dungeon):
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:
- [UPDATE – June 5, 2011] Eye Magazine’s blog lists 22 cover designs with adequate source attribution (art direction and design): “Rick Poynor selects DVD covers from the Criterion Collection’s film list.” by Rick Poynor, June 4, 2011.
- Most (if not all) cover art for The Criterion Collection can be found in large size over at the Criterion Dungeon.
- Movifone: “Criterion Corner #6: The 10 Best Criterion Covers”
- Cartel Agency: “The 10 Best-Designed Criterion Collection DVDs”
- Well Medicated: “An Ode To Criterion Box Art”