John Alvin’s design for Steven Spielberg’s 1993 dinosaur epic Jurassic Park ranks up there with some of the best of all time. How good is it? Well, the same basic idea is still being used to hype Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming Jurassic World, the fourth film in the franchise. It’s hard to imagine the movie and not immediately think of that simple, but iconic, black, yellow, and red design, but it could have been something entirely different, as illustrated by these alternate poster designs.
Alvin is the visual genius responsible for tons of legendary movie posters, including E.T., Blade Runner, Batman, and many, many more fan favorites. Later this month, a collection of his work titled The Art of John Alvin will be released, and IGN has a preview, which is where these posters originated.
These all have their own various merits, but in the end, Universal and Amblin Entertainment made the right choice going with the minimalist logo as the main focus of their marketing campaign. The others all feature key points from the film, including T-Rex, and characters like Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and the two kids, Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex (Ariana Richards). That’s all well and good, but there is an ominous feel to Alvin’s final poster that perfectly encapsulates the menace and dread of Jurassic Park. Another option wouldn’t have impacted the actual film in any way, but it would certainly miss that remarkable piece of the puzzle.
Some of these are, admittedly, not so great. The dinosaur crossing one is pretty cheesy (I can imagine buying one of those signs at a convenience store to hang in your car after the movie had been out a while), the one with the word “extinct” crossed out is not great, and the one with the giant jaws and the words “Opening Soon” is a bit too on the nose. But you’ll note that none of those are the one you remember, and along the way there are bound to be missteps. And some of these are just concepts, like that strand of DNA coming out of a mountain top while a T-Rex head looms over everything.
But while some of these are unfinished, others, like the extreme close up of what appears to be a Velociraptor eye, look to be basically complete, they just weren’t as good as the one selected. Now days there would just be a constant landslide of posters and all of these would get used at some point. Some site or other would get an exclusive for each one, or you’d get one at preview IMAX screenings or midnight shows in Toledo or something along those lines.