Criterion Collection DVD Covers

Cover for The Bad Sleep Well (1960) – Directed by Akira Kurosawa

The Criterion Collection is well-known for restoring rare, unique and cult classic films from famed directors like Akira Kurosawa, Jean-Luc Godard, Luis Buñuel, and Wes Anderson. Equally respected is their cover art and supplements to their DVDs. For 25 years, Criterion Collection has been pairing art house films with strong design. From typography to photography, they elevate box art to poster art with work that never cease to impress.

Georges Franju  – Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Jaques Tati  – Mon Oncle (1958)

woman is a woman

Jean-Luc Godard  – A Woman is a Woman (1961)

jean luc godard

Jean-Luc Godard -  2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967)

Jean-Luc Godard - Pierrot Le Fou (1965)

Jean-Luc Godard – Breathless (1960)

Shohei Imamura – Pigs, Pimps & Prostitutes (1960s)

akira kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa – High and Low (1963)

le doulos

Jean-Pierre Melville – Le Doulos (1962)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)

Jaques Tati – Trafic (1971)

Wes Anderson – The Life Aquatic (2004)

Wes Anderson – Bottle Rocket (1996)

Wes Anderson – The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Shohei Imamura - Vengeance is Mine (1979)

Akira Kurosawa – Seven Samurai (1954)

Luis Buñuel – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Sidney Gilliat - Green for Danger (1946)

Ingmar Bergman – Scenes from a Marriage (1973)

samurai spy

Masahiro Shinoda – Samurai Spy (1965)

the third man

Carol Reed – The Third Man (1949)

It’s no surprise these beautiful covers inspire copy cats. Auteurs, Criterion’s sister site for film geeks, embraces it and encourages people to post their redesigns in the forum, “The Auteurs’ Fake Criterion Covers.” More here.


Also worth checking: Nikkatsu Cinema + Classic Film Stills from the Hot Dog!

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Fantastic! This is quite the feast! I wish we could see everything (disc, back of cover, etc.), but really good stuff!

Eric Skillman I believe is the art director for Criterion.

His process blog is very helpful as well!

He has an awesome breakdown of how he created the Berlin Alexanderplatz cover:

whoa, that guys blog is awesome

Always worth it to buy something on Criterion!

Christian beat me to it! I was going to link to Eric Skillman’s sites as well. Definitely check them out!

As previously stated, Skillman is the art director, and also designs plenty of the covers. A few of those above are his.

Its also worth mentioning that Criterion outsource most of their work. I know Aesthetic Apparatus designed Eyes Without a Face.

great post!

Mon Oncle! Rented it because of the cover, and it was a great view too!

Fantastic. I love them.
I am not a designer but these covers make me think of the logo of Kind of same old school stylish graphism.

DimD |

Found design |

Talk about eye candy!

this is my new favorite post of the year.

does anyone know where or if i can buy one of those wes anderson prints, anywhere? i’d love one in my living room.

Inspiration! I need to make a DVD cover for a friend’s movie, and this is a good place to see that DVD covers aren’t all crappy photoshopped characters pasted into some sort of group.

Karen |

Found design |

Pretty cool, but you are missing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Jarrod |

Found design |

The equivalent/complement to Criterion in the UK is the Eureka Masters Of Cinema line. Their boxes aren’t as nicely produced at Criterion’s, tending to shy away from the gorgeous cardboard creations many films on Criterion get, but their design aesthetic is good, often using original poster art. My personal favourite is their box for Nosferatu, employing a wonderful poster by Alvin Grau for the original release in the 1920′s. I just wish I could find a copy for my wall.