The Maltese Falcon | Skillshare Projects

Heidi Petersen

Graphic designer. Craftaholic. Vancouver, BC



The Maltese Falcon

1/3/16- It was nice to step away from this project for a few weeks. When I came back to it, I really felt that the shadow concept was my favorite and decided to take that design to the next level. I was fairly happy with the layout itself, so I took that foundation and improved it with texture and typography.




I chose the film noir classic, The Maltese Falcon. 

I started by making a list of words that came to mind:

Shadow*, Falcon*, Talon, Gold*, Film Noir, Guns, Violence*, Mystery*, Chaos, Wealth, Dark, "the stuff dreams are made of", Dreams, Wealth, Nightmare, Mysterious, 

When I sat down to do my sketching, the statue of the Maltese Falcon was really on my mind. Perhaps this is a bit predictable, but it really is the catalyst for all of the action in the movie and I wanted it to be part of the story that my poster was going to tell. Iwas interested in the way that this simple object lead to a lot of violence and conflict for the different characters in the movie. 

I'm excited to share my concepts with you all:


Shadow Concept - I used overlap to juxtapose the regular silhouette of the falcon with a menacing, distorted shadow of the statue. This was for two reasons, one, it hints at the violent acts the statue drives the characters to and it channels the moodiness of film noir (see above promo photo).


Gold Diagonal - The Maltese Falcon is supposed to be an ultra-luxe jewel encrusted statue. I wanted to play on the luxury of the item, while still hinting at the film's dark side. I flipped things around and made the background gold (wouldn't it be fun to create a poster like this with no budget constraints!) and the falcon deep purple. I used a bit of diagonal text to try and create some movement here, is it successful? I'm also not sure how to handle the additional text on the bottom left (I know it is difficult to read).


Film Noir Photo - I really love the line in the movie where someone asks Bogart's character what the Maltese Falcon is and he replies that it's "the stuff dreams are made of." All of the characters in the movie had such high hopes for the wealth it represented, but it turned into more of a nighmare for most of them. I wanted to convey this by using a dark, moody color pallet, a photo of the falcon prop and then the gold text is distressed to hint at that dream-turned-nighmare idea. 

Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to look at my project. Please take the time to let me know which concept you think was the most successful and/or any ways that I can improve my designs!

And thank you, Ellen, for teaching this class! It was so fun to be able to take a class from your after months of hearing my instructors refer to you! :)


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