“The challenge is to interpret in a new way—in a novel way—one of the most recognized symbols in the world.” —Alex Swart (The Hollywood Reporter)


IT WAS TIME TO BREAK OUT OF THE GRID utilized for the previous Best Picture posters. To celebrate its 80th Anniversary, AMPAS asked me to include key art from all its Oscar winners in one commemorative poster. Working from my concept sketch—with deft digital help from Karl Shields—this curvilinear design emerged. For that opportunity and all the others, I’d like to thank the Academy. —AS

FRATERNAL TWINS—O-S-C-A-R casts contrails of Awards history in this Best Picture poster. For its sibling—the official Academy Awards® poster—and related outdoor graphics, I turned the vertical bands gold. —AS

THE ACADEMY’S CREATIVE BRIEF: “WE WANT BEETHOVEN.” With this empowering directive from Executive Administrator Ric Robertson, AMPAS clearly didn’t want a minimalist design for their official poster. But what visual elements could be analogous to the master’s music? Beethoven’s dramatically orchestrated 9th Symphony inspired the blue Oscar profiles cascading in the background. His 5th opens with four unforgettable notes which suggested the descending 2-0-0-1 motif in the foreground of my design. —AS


“I JUST PUT THE LIGHTS WHERE I WANT THEM!” is what legendary Hollywood photographer George Hurrell exclaimed after I said, “Nobody lights like you do, Mr. Hurrell.” Years later, with the Academy’s blessing and his widow’s permission, I extended his evocative photo of an Oscar statuette and used it as the foundation of a new Best Picture poster. —AS



It sure wasn’t like anything I’d ever designed before. Newly arrived in L.A., my Oscar journey began with this first Best Picture poster. And the always gracious Mr. Osborne was right—the first run of 50,000 posters sold out! —AS

OSCAR NOUVEAU AND DECO TOO. When AMPAS Executive Director Bruce Davis asked me to imagine an Oscar poster from the pre-Academy Awards era, my response was an Art Nouveau portrait (left) entitled L’humanité d’Oscar and an Art Deco concept (right). While it was fun to explore those historical design movements, not all ideas go to finish. Yet, my homage to the Dutch design collective De Stijl (next slide) was actually produced as cross-promotion between the Oscars and Diet Pepsi. —AS