“Alien: Covenant” by Jed Kurzel

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent on Alien: Covenant‘s predecessor, I’m really as quick as lightning with this week’s custom covers collection. But you gotta be fair, I didn’t even roughly try to spend the same effort or reach the same scope as on Prometheus. And that’s okay, because at this point in time the available source material is nowhere near as good.

The official marketing campaign brought us some spine-chillingly (or rather back-burstingly) good posters, yet overall I was a bit disappointed. Even more so when I think about how Ridley Scott in his old age seems to be getting better and better. In the last few years he had treated us with some visually absolutely stunning films, including this one, but the poster campaign apparently couldn’t care less.

Let’s start with what I consider to be the three main posters for this film. For once we’ve got a poster design (#1) that at least for me evokes long-buried memories of the dismally failed Alien: Colonial Marines. Not exactly what I want to be reminded of.

Due to the portrait orientation of the original poster I had to open up my bag of tricks:

Making-of Custom Cover #1

The other not so great one-sheet design (#2) seems to have had a much better source of inspiration: Alien³. That’s certainly not a bad reference, but the poster is looking bizarrely low res, like a print job that has gone horribly wrong. And the two facial expressions are not helping either. Also, I’m really curious if we’ll get to see this depicted scene in the film. I really doubt it.

Remedy comes in the form of design #3, which is indeed an amazingly conceptualized and masterfully executed work of art. Heavily influenced by famous classical art, this poster could very well be seen as the MU/TH/UR of all Alien posters. It’s got it all: Xenos, Face Huggers, Queens(!), Engineers and it even seems to be featuring the Trilobite from Prometheus’ gruesome finale. And who knows what else is lurking in the shadows.

Needless to say that I kept my customization as simple as possible. Almost this entire collection was finalized using the universally fitting “Helvetica”. Sure, it’s a lazy choice, but Fox used it for the official promo material as well. And – let’s face it: It’s still one of the most acclaimed typefaces in the world.

The gallery above are more or less leftovers. The first two designs (#7, #8) are based on unused Prometheus key art. And after that we have some additional covers (#9, #10, #11) that shouldn’t be taken all too seriously ;-) Due to the lack of proper source material I had to become a bit more imaginative this time.

The final one (#12) features the really brilliant logo from Alien: Covent in Utero, a VR experience for the curious who want to know what it feels like to burst out from a person’s back. It’s short, super gory and pretty cool actually. But it also has kind of taken away the surprise element from the film. You know, I’ve been waiting for Alien: Covenant forever and I gotta admit, my research for this custom covers series has almost ruined the movie for me a little bit. I’ve had a really hard time to avoid major spoilers! That’s why I decided to cut it short and call it a day. My hopes are high that I’ll get my hands on way more stuff once the Blu-ray hits the market. But for now I’ll follow the advice of my pal Sonic and keep this blog post rather small (read: digestible, as in delivered in small chunks). Or, as David used to phrase it in Prometheus: “Big things have small beginnings.”

3 Comments

  1. Hmm, i’m not feeling this, if i’m honest. Maybe it’s the overuse of Helvetica – a font that i can’t stand to look at amymore. It works better when the tracking is extremely wide (like in the logo), but compressed… not so much. Or maybe it’s the combination of the two, i dunno. So, #6 is probably my favourite one here in terms ot type treatment; but i prefer artwork #4. Oh, and #12 (the In Utero one), that artwork is absolutely stellar. It’s the same kind of ingenuity that is the Firewatch soundtrack cover.
    Anyway, sorry if i’m sounding so negative this time – maybe i’m just disappointed in the music as well… Still, your covers are a huge step up from the abysmal official one, so i’ll gladly take any of them as a replacement!

    1. Fair enough. I’m not a fan either, tbh. At first I tried Arial, deliberately trying to avoid old beaten paths. But it looked even worse, absolutely crude. I think Helvetica works quite well if you’re looking for a more discreet type treatment. Exactly like on Tron: Legacy and The Force Awakens.

      1. Helvetica looks good in New York, in the subway. To me it didn’t work at all on The Force Awakens. The original Star Wars? Sure, it was the 70s; and that’s what it feels like. (So i guess it DOES work on TFA, what with their relentless copypasta of the original and all. And now Alien Covenant does the exact same thing.) TRON Legacy used the hairline version, which made it look okay. But there’s something about these letterforms that just bugs me. I dunno, to me, Helvetica is like my ex-girlfriend: we had some good times, but i can’t look at it anymore.

        Neue Haas Unica, on the other hand, is a great substitute!

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