The Anatomy of a Movie Poster: The Work of Dawn Baillie

March 14–September 8, 2024

In a career that spans nearly four decades at three design agencies, Dawn Baillie has worked on some of the most iconic and beloved posters in modern cinematic history. Few designers can claim something as recognizable as Dirty Dancing as their first professional project. Fewer still have the litany of award-winning masterpieces in their portfolios that have been a running threat throughout her career. From Silence of the Lambs to Little Miss Sunshine, Dawn Baillie has designed and art directed posters that stand out for their remarkable simplicity and unconventional execution, a reserved and intellectual blend that leaves the viewer curious and eager to see a film.

As a founding partner of BLT Communications, Dawn and her team continue to be hired by various movie studio creative executives and filmmakers to collaborate on images that serve as branding for a film through movie posters and advertising campaigns. This exhibition chronicles not only her impressive career from junior designer to creative director, but also serves to showcase the evolution of the production of movie posters of the past 35 years, from paste-ups to the introduction of computer technology.

Selected Images

Poster of a ghostly face with a death's head moth over the mouth.
The Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Poster of a couple standing together with their legs apart embracing from behind.
Dirty Dancing, 1987
Illustrational poster of Indiana Jones with a whip over his shoulder.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989
Photographic poster of a jumbotron screen with Jim Carrey sleeping.
The Truman Show, 1998
Bright yellow poster of a small bus speeding away as family members run toward it.
Little Miss Sunshine, 2006
Photographic poster of Ben Stiller in a breakdancing position with a giant green Z behind him.
Zoolander, 2001
Photographic poster of a family portrait on a book surrounded by various desk objects.
The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001
Illustrated poster of three actors staring at the view above the Hollywood sign.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 2019