The DO-DAS (DayOne Design Awards).
/ Blog

With 2020 in full swing, and the awards season quickly following, DayOne thought they would hijack the Golden Globes and held their own award ceremony.

Based on what, though? Acting? Score? Cinematography? Forget all that.

We’re a Design Studio… welcome to the inaugural DayOne Design Awards (DO-DAs).

The panel is the DayOne team.

The nomination categories are the same.

The judging criteria: most technically skilled artwork? Most inherent meaning? Uniqueness? Or from a marketing perspective, which most clearly communicates the film it’s promoting?

No! Good design and marketing don’t need explaining.

It’s a feeling. We went with:

– The posters that immediately caught our attention and made us want to watch (or re-watch!) the picture they’re supporting.

– The most compelling poster from each category is the winner (regardless of the film/show itself. Meaning even Cats may be in with a chance).

So, without further ado…

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Winner – Joker

Starting with the heavyweight category, Joker came out on top as DayOne’s favourite.

This instantly intriguing image is shot from an almost uncomfortably low angle that immediately made us feel as if we were looking towards the heavens.

Despite the relative simplicity, a protagonist at the top of a flight of steps, the more we looked at this, the more meaning it seemed to reveal.

The Joker’s outstretched arms mirror those of a conductor, his eyes closed, listening to his own inner symphony, or someone who is looking for salvation. Either way, there is a sense of psychological unease.

The colours are muted, but with a slightly sickly undertone – the green of the Joker’s hair and sleeves mirrored in the camera’s light leak. Despite essentially being a picture of a clown, we know instantly that this is probably not going to be a light-hearted film!

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Winner – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

This stylish, hand-drawn poster beat the others in the category by immediately catching the DayOne team’s attention.

A poster that instantly evokes ‘The Golden Age’ of Hollywood, with just a single glance – due to the colours, the fashion, the car, and the ‘groovy’ typeface at the top of the image, we know that we’re in the ‘60s.

There is so much going on in this poster, big Hollywood stars, a car chase, a Western, dancers, a guy doing a flying kick… no doubt an amoral universe. And like any Tarantino film, you can guarantee that there’s going to be a lot going on!

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Winner – The Lion King

Nostalgia was the winner here as DayOne voted for The Lion King, with the live action re-release relying heavily on the iconic imagery of the 1994 version.

With a very natural colour palette, we were drawn to the iconic sunset, the imagery that has come to epitomise this classic Disney story in both its incarnations. Everything about this poster promises the same emotional experience from the love story and classic soundtrack as the original.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Winner – Parasite

Parasite occupied a unique position in the inaugural DayOne DO-DAs – it was the only winner on the list that no-one in the studio had seen!

Although that didn’t stop it from blowing its competition out of the water.

The more we looked at it, the more intrigued we were.

The first thing we see is the main figure, with the censor bar across his eyes. But all the other figures have their eyes censored, too. Some with white censor bars, others with black. Is this important? Even the child in the reflection is censored. And why can we see the legs of a dead body? And why can’t we see this body in the reflection?

So many questions!

Like the layers of unanswered questions, the picture plane is deceptively deep, as the eye wanders further in, from the legs, to the ice-pick-esque typeface, to the man, a beachball, the couple, the youth, and the girl and tepee reflected in the window.

The one thing that we all agreed on – which is what makes this such a successful poster: we need to see this film!

Best Original Song – Motion Picture 

Winner – Rocketman

After a three-way tie, this had to go to a second round of voting, with Rocketman soaring to victory. Quite simply, it does what it needs to do – tells us this is going be an upbeat story of Elton John’s music and places it nicely in its era. 

Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy

Winner – The Politician

Another one that sparked the DayOne curiosity.

The bright colours, the collage feel to the design, and the symbols of hedonism (the cornucopia of fruit) and ostentatiousness – basically it’s a world away from what we’d normally associate with a series called The Politician (i.e. dark, Machiavellian and people wearing suits!).

This poster has more of a propaganda look to it, making Payton Hobart look somewhat like a dictator.

After being drawn in by the luscious colours outlined in gold, this poster reveals its rich symbolism, with the white lines of the tigers and trees reminiscent of Asian art, there’s also obvious religious symbolism with a pink halo behind Hobart’s head, and the lavish golden frame, bursting with centurions, cupids and crocodiles… the poster offers as much intrigue as the series.

Best TV Series – Drama

Winner – Killing Eve

A DayOne studio favourite, Killing Eve pipped Succession to victory here, thanks to its typeface (somehow both elegant and violent, especially in blood-red) and the tension and chemistry that oozes from the protagonists.

The ambiguous nature of the embrace (affectionate or muderous – or both) conveys a sense of drama and piques the viewer’s interest. Especially for the women on the DayOne team, a timely fantasy portrayal of two beautiful, powerful, authentic women. 

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Winner – Chernobyl

Finally, we have Chernobyl. Fully utilising the negative space behind the solitary figure, we are left with a stark image. There is no embellishment, (even the typeface is sans serif, making it look more like a town sign), no shock factor.

And this why it works so well, through its subtlety and understatement. 

So, there you have it, the best poster designs from the Golden Globes according to DayOne.

Right, when are the Oscars? And when can we have some more Phoebe Waller-Bridge…?