Arts & Design

Creating an iconic image at the Cannes Film Festival 2018

In a nod to Godard, this year’s poster captures the magic of sun, romance and cinema.

By Angela Matusik — May 14, 2018

You can’t go anywhere at the Cannes Film Festival this year without seeing people kissing. They’re in front of hotels, on street corners, and on the steps of the Palais. The poster of 2018 features a young Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina leaning out of two convertibles to exchange a kiss, blue sky blazing behind them. Based on a famous still photograph by George Pierre from Jean Paul Godard’s 1965 film Pierrot le Fou, the poster for the 71st international festival was created by 27-year-old graphic designer Flore Maquin. 

“That particular photo inspired me because of its colors,” says the Paris-based Maquin. “And of course, the movement of the kissing is very beautiful — and the characters are, too.” 

Courtesy of HP

Graphic artist Flore Maquin, who was commissioned to work on the giant poster gracing the front of Palais at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Being commissioned to work on the Cannes graphic was a dream come true for Maquin, who has been obsessed with film since seeing "Titanic" as child and whose art, she says, is inspired by iconic movies.

“Getting the call to do the poster of the Festival de Cannes 2018 was very emotional for me,” she recalls. “My hands were shaking and now seeing it here at the festival, it’s another level!”

The Cannes Film Festival has been commissioning artists to create its posters since its first year in 1946. Ranging from abstract paintings to moody black and white photographs, each image aims to capture the spirit of the festival, which celebrates cinema for ten days each May in the seaside town. Printed on everything from totes to mugs to street banners, the posters become icons in their own rights. These days, the poster’s image appears in countless photos and social media streams, thanks to the enormous banners hanging in front of the Palais, at the top of the festival’s famous red carpet. For the past 15 years, that banner has been created with HP printing technology.

Technology at Cannes Film Festival 2018 | HP Latex | HP

Measuring 12 by 24 meters, the poster is a feat of high-tech coordination. Printed with a unique water-based, eco-friendly latex ink, the mega-sized banner is actually three separate panels that must be precisely stitched together and then hung high atop the building. But it’s the sharpness of the image and brilliant colors that are the most remarkable.

“All of the work we do around color management and color fidelity is to reflect the colors that artists are really looking for,” explains Enrique Lores, president of imaging and printing at HP.  “The Cannes poster is a great example of value we bring, and how HP technology can support artists.”

Printed on everything from totes to mugs to street banners, the posters become icons in their own rights. 

For Maquin, knowing that an HP printer was going to help her produce her vision was extremely important — and a great relief. “It had to be perfect in terms of colors and I knew it was going to be a huge challenge," she says. "I work very closely with printers in general and I asked HP for their advice. Graphic designers and printers must work together.”

Learn more about HP Latex printing technology.