8 Pics and a Brief History of the Stenberg Brothers Who Designed Soviet Movie Posters in the 1920s
Vladimir (1899 – 1982) and Georgii (1900 – 1933) Stenberg were Soviet avant-garde artists and designers, best known for the film posters they created for Sergei Eisenstein's movies, Dziga Vertov's documentaries, and many other foreign and imported films.
The brothers initially studied engineering and fine arts, with both disciplines proving to be incredibly useful in their careers. Pioneers of constructivism, they always worked in collaboration with each other, first attempting sculpture, and then branching out into architecture and design of everything — from railway carriages to theater sets to clothing.
But the Stenberg brothers are best known for the amazing movie posters they designed in the glorious spring of Soviet Cinema. Their dynamic use of color, composition, typography, and frequent incorporation of film stills resulted in an innovative approach to composition that replaced traditional styles with non-narrative collage or assemblage.
By constructing an overhead-projector prototype that allowed them to project filmstrips onto their posters, the brothers easy copied, embellished, and distorted bodies and faces (when needed). The technique gave their posters a consistency and photorealist quality that was otherwise unachievable due to the limitations of the printing processes.
From their first poster for The Eyes of Love in 1923 until Georgii’s untimely death in a motorcycle accident just 10 years later, the brothers designed more than 300 posters; though Vladimir continued to design movie posters after his brother's passing and was eventually appointed Chief Designer for Moscow’s Red Square.
Check out their work below.