Software engineer Vijay Pandurangan recently analyzed color data from over 35,000 movie posters, in an attempt to test his theory that most posters have, over time, become darker and bluer. His findings, represented above, seem to support his theory. Pandurangan began with films made in the year 1914 (displayed at the top of the graphic), and went all the way up to the present day (sans 1924), tallying each poster’s pixel count and brightness levels. The aggregated results suggest that film posters have indeed become darker over the years, though Pandurangan doesn’t have an easy explanation for this trend.

His friend, designer Cheryle Cranbourne, offered this theory:

“[The posters] cover a good range of genres. Perhaps the colors say less about how movie posters’ colors as a whole and color trends, than they do about how genres of movies have evolved. For example, there are more action/thriller/sci-fi [films] than there were 50-70 years ago, which might have something to do with the increase in darker, more ‘masculine’ shades.”

Click here for an interactive version of Pandurangan’s graphic, which includes a more detailed breakdown of each year’s poster portfolio.

// via The Verge

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