Designer Karl Castro Shares the Colorful Process Behind the Making of the 'Never Not Love You' Poster

After the success of their TV Show, On the Wings of Love, JaDine is back to stir the hearts of fans and critics in their new movie, Never Not Love You.

In the film, James Reid and Nadine Lustre portray a carefree, very-much-in-love couple in the early stages of their relationship facing life-changing decisions and real-life situations millennial lovers can easily relate to.

But before we got to catch the movie, we first got enamored with its poster. A fresh take on film posters, it features Reid and Lustre in a classic sweet pose enveloped in a smart, sophisticated splash of colors and word and design play.

For the final film poster, we ended up going for a less troubled, more conventionally “kilig” image. The tension is expressed through the double-reading title treatment, and a more blunt tagline (edited out in most billboards and standees, I noticed! Haha). The color scheme for the materials emphasizes tertiary colors (yellow green, blue violet, red violet) and a pale pink. These “evolved” colors are the combination of a primary and a secondary color; pink is a development of red. The colors speak of a process of mixing and fermenting, the same way the film highlights the  evolution of Joanne (@nadine) and Gio (@james), as a couple and as individuals. “Never Not Love You,” written and directed by @tonet_jadaone, screens in cinemas starting today, March 31! #artph #designph #posterdesign #jadine

A post shared by Karl Castro (@karlfmcastro) on

“A great movie poster is eye-catching, memorable, and does justice to the film it represents. It should grab your attention before you see the film, and it should be worthy of lingering in your mind as a memento of the film after you’ve seen the actual movie,” the movie poster’s designer Karl Castro said to Manila Insider.

Karl Castro is the brilliant mind behind the posters of films like That Thing Called Tadhana, Boses, Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington, and Norte, Hanggang sa Kasaysayan.

Never Not Love You Poster

To get the masterpiece he envisions, Karl Castro starts his day early around 5 or 6 AM since he strives to work on his projects mostly mornings.

While it is necessary to be creative, Castro notes the importance of studying and research, knowing the nitty gritty details of every project that he takes on. To him, being critical is also part of the creative process to provide a great representation of a book, film, and other artistic works.

In his work for Never Not Love You, he maintained a strict relationship with everyone. This is necessary to the creative process to make the best outcome. He mostly coordinated with Director Antoinette Jadaone for the poster’s final look. 

On his Facebook post, Castro shared what he called the “evolution of a film poster.” In pictures, he revealed some initial concepts he and Jadaone had about the Never Not Love You poster.

One one side, he considered an “oily” look. He shared that since the script was “inspired by ‘real’ relationship issues that promised to explore a less rosy view on love,” he heightened the texture to show a “deglamorized” JaDine.

Evolution of a #filmposter: I went through nearly 30 iterations when I designed the #poster for the new Jadine movie #NeverNotLoveYou. On the eve of the film's opening day, allow me to share some conceptual approaches @tonet_jadaone and I considered before arriving at the final design. 1. “Oily.” My first impulse was a grittier look. The script was inspired by “real” relationship issues (#teamreal hahaha) and promised to explore a less rosy view on #love, so I heightened texture to show a different, rather deglamorized #Jadine. (Papunta na raw sa “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” sabi ng initial comments.) Early on, I knew I wanted to play with readability for the title. I used color and placement to allow for opposing readings (Never Love, Not You), hinting at a relationship on the rocks. 2. “Script.” A new round of studies emphasized the literary side of filmmaking, featuring lines from the screenplay in lieu of a tagline. The idea was to encourage reading, and to contrast the sweet lines with the bittersweet image. I also played with color toning as storytelling: a warm-to-cool gradient to suggest the loss of warmth, and bright red for youthful ardor. “Never Not Love You” opens in cinemas tomorrow, March 31! #artph #designph #romance #posterdesign @nadine @james

A post shared by Karl Castro (@karlfmcastro) on

It showed Reid and Lustre’s intimacy in a tan, sort of bronze color. Castro even joked some commented that the poster looked like it’s going to be like Pamilyang Ordinaryo for its texture. You may also notice that the earlier versions really retained the play on colors and placement of the title.

On the other hand, they also based the design on the script through the inclusion of actual lines instead of a tagline.

“The idea was to encourage reading, and to contrast the sweet lines with the bittersweet image,” he said in his post.

Castro also noted color-toning as a way of storytelling. The gradient of warm tone was reduced to cool to “suggest loss of warmth”, while the bright red signified “youthful ardor.”

This take on a movie poster is quite different from most mainstream movies that have beem coming out in cinemas for a while. Most of them were bright colored, usually with the cast ensemble’s images and names following the leads. If not, the poster colors were faded or pastel-colored.

Some romance movies use sweet photos of the main leads, with calligraphy similar to what I see on romance pocketbooks when I was young. Meanwhile, the comedy movies use a shade of yellow as the main backdrop in hyper embossed titles.

He recognized those movie posters aren’t necessarily “artistic.” A film poster is the face of the movie that gives viewers ideas about the film’s story and its cast.

A film poster isn’t necessarily about art. It is about design. The designer’s task is to come up with a visual that would, in a sense, become the ‘face’ of the film. Formulas aren’t bad, but like anything else, when applied uncritically and executed poorly, it will fail,” he said.

In the end, Castro has arrived on the conventional kilig moment in the picture, using yellow green, blue violet, and red violet colors to highlight the tension in the story.

Castro shared that the colors “speak of a process of mixing and fermenting, the same way, the film highlights the evolution of Joanne and Gio, as a couple and as  individuals.”

“Film posters are not completely different from book covers. When done for a mass audience, both of them need to capture their material and creators, they need to tap into popular sensibilities. And they need to generate enough interest and drive people to see the film or read the book,” he shared to Manila Insider.

Entering the world of design

When you say Karl Castro, one word will always resonate—books. Since he was a kid, he has always been fond of art. While his siblings’ summers are filled with sports and dance workshops, it has always been arts for him.

His love for reading and interest in calligraphy and illustration stirred him to pursue designing books. He designed his first book when he was a freshman back in college taking up BA Film at the University of the Philippines.

He was the mind behind the great designs of Ricky Lee’s books. Castro designed Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata, Para Kay B, and Ricky Lee’s newest book, Bahay Ni Marta. He also designed for museum exhibitions and theatrical shows like the OPM musical Sa Wakas.

JaDine movie a hit

Never Not Love You has been ruling the local charts garnering P33 Million pesos in the first five days of its showing date. Fans and critics laud JaDine for taking on mature roles in a serious movie far from the usual romantic comedy films that they did before. Never Not Love You garnered positive responses and positive reviews so far for its mature and realistic depiction of work-life balance between young couples.

Never Not Love You is still showing in cinemas nationwide.


What do you think of Never Not Love You’s poster design? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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