Posters that speak volumes

Published Nov 12, 2015, 4:26 am IST
Updated Feb 23, 2016, 2:43 pm IST
Chennai-based Posterwala has designed posters for over 50 films in various languages

Coveted by filmmakers across the country, the Chennai-based Posterwala has designed posters for over 50 films in various languages and also done graphic art direction for movies like Paa, Ghajini and Thuppaki

Narrating a person’s life, vision or ideas through a two-hour movie is a tough enough task, but imagine compressing all those thought bubbles, emotions, characters and expressions into a single poster! What to include or exclude, what colours to use and whose face to highlight? Jairam ‘Posterwala’ Ramachandran has answered these questions time and time again — making him one of the best in the field of poster and title designing, not to mention graphic art direction as well.


Originally from Kozhikode, he moved to Chennai soon after school to pursue a course in Fine Arts — and struck a jackpot when he teamed up with ace cinematographer and filmmaker Santhosh Sivan, not looking back since.

“Santhosh had come home one day to shoot a documentary about the legendary musician Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer — who was my father, Palai CK Ramach-andran’s guru in Carnatic music. During the shoot, I started interacting with Santhosh and wanted to join him as an assistant. However, he felt I was too young and wanted me to wait a year. Promptly, the very next year I went back and approached him. The rest is history!” exclaims Jairam.

He first started working on the visuals and poster for a film called Malli — which was well appreciated among the film fraternity. After a long gap, his next offer Navarasa came calling — following which Sony Pictures asked him to design a couple of posters for movies up north — and soon, offers were flooding in from all sides.

So what exactly does this posterwala do now? “I design posters for films, but this is just one part of the publicity campaign I carry out for them. I also work on the film’s title designing, and art direction for graphics as well. Thuppaki, Paa and Ghajini are some of  films for which I’ve done this,” he says.

I run my own company called Posterwala Designing Company, but also work with one of my friends, director Sunil Babu on various projects. In fact, he was the one who gave me my big break when he asked me to design the posters for the Malayalam movie Pazhassiraja,” adds Jairam.

Apart from this, he also makes tribute posters based on movies that have inspired him — “If I watch a movie and it impacts me in any way, I use graphics or images from the film and design my own posters for it. I love doing this because I have full freedom and nobody tells me what I should include or not. In fact, I designed a tribute poster for Tamasha recently; Deepika Padukone herself saw it, really liked it and retweeted it on her micro-blogging page,” he says excitedly.

From a little boy who used to tear posters off walls and collect them at home, to becoming one of the most sought-after designers in the field, Jairam certainly has come a long way. “Cinema is my life. It taught me that dreams do come true if you believe in them. I am a hardcore fan of A R Rahman from the very beginning. There have been days where I’ve waited outside his house just to get a glimpse of him. But recently I designed the collaterals and did the re-branding for KM Music Conservatory. For me, that is living my dream,” he says on a concluding note.



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